Civil Lawsuits News - Law and Daily Life

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Suing government officials and employees is not always possible, and when it is, it's more difficult than most people expect. Whether you have a civil rights case against a law enforcement officer for excessive force, or a postal carrier rear ended you, to simply achieve a legal resolution, there are several barriers to overcome to get justice from the government, even for government employees.

One of the biggest hurdles to getting justice from the federal, state or local government, or an employee, or official, is the legal doctrine of sovereign immunity. This legal doctrine basically states that the government (the sovereign) is immune from liability (can't be held accountable in court). However, while immunity is an actual thing, under limited circumstances, the government cannot claim sovereign immunity to escape liability. This session of the United States Supreme Court is expected to provide more insights as to when immunity defenses will apply to police officers and federal agents that are being sued for civil rights violations.

A former San Diego high school student recently won a $1.25 million dollar jury verdict as a result of her lawsuit against her former school resulting from being forced to pee in a bucket in a supply closet. The lawsuit alleged that the embarrassing incident, which was caused by a faculty member, led to extreme bullying, eventually causing the student to suffer PTSD, attempt suicide, and incur other damages.

The large jury verdict came after the school rejected the initial settlement demand of only $25,000. Currently, the school is considering whether to appeal the verdict.

The stereotype is deeply embedded in our minds and media when it comes to jury trials: the jurors sit passively, perhaps nodding or even crying in response, as the attorneys, witnesses, and judges battle before them, then retire to a room to argue about a defendant's freedom or the fate of millions of dollars. They are instructed to decide the case based only on what they have seen and heard in the courtroom, but have little or no input on the evidence.

But that might be starting to change. More and more jury reform advocates -- judges among them -- have been pushing for more juror freedom when it comes to asking questions during trial. Could we be witnessing the end to the static, silent jury and see more juror involvement during the course of the trial?

Undocumented immigrants beware: sanctuary cities are not all they are reported to be, and a certain elected official wants to do away with them. For undocumented immigrants that live in sanctuary cities, the next presidential term will require staying aware of whether Donald Trump follows through on the threatened consequences for cities and counties that continue to provide sanctuary for undocumented immigrants. Many cities have vowed to protect their populations, but what does that even mean?

The reason many people have a problem with there being sanctuary cities across the country is the incorrect belief that the cities provide a safe haven for criminals. In reality, in a sanctuary city, an undocumented immigrant will be pursued for any criminal act(s) they commit, except for merely being undocumented. Sanctuary cities generally only promise or have a policy not to follow orders from the Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency regarding holding individuals without other criminal charges for deportation.

A New York City developer and landlord is being sued for allegedly tricking an elderly woman into signing an agreement to vacate her rent controlled apartment in the coveted Upper West Side neighborhood. The former resident's lawsuit claims that when she signed the agreement to vacate, she believed that all she was signing was a receipt to prove that she received documents about renovations that were planned for the building. Unfortunately, the documents stated that she would move out while renovations were being done.

Surprisingly, after she signed the documents, the landlord cut off heat to her unit, which ended up causing her medical problems. Additionally, while the documents she did sign stated the renovations would only last nine months, it has now been over a year, and it does not look likely that she will be able to move back home before the holidays. From the current reports, it is unclear whether the resident has been permanently or just temporarily ousted from her home.

Hosting a party has its ups and downs. While gathering your friends and family together to celebrate any occasion is bound to be fun, if you're hosting and serving alcohol, you may have to be the "fun police." Social hosts have to walk a fine line between encouraging guests to have fun and making sure everyone stays safe.

Although a party host isn't going to be able to prevent every sort of alcohol related problem, exercising caution may save a host from facing legal liability if something does go wrong. Below, you'll find some tips on how to minimize legal liability when serving alcohol to party guests.

It's a fundamental principle of our legal system -- if you're going to sue someone, you have to put them on notice that they're being sued. Defendants need to be given a chance to respond to accusations against them. But this requirement begs the question: What constitutes notice?

Do you need to hand a copy of the lawsuit to them in person? Can you mail it? Or can you just slide into someone's DMs and drop a summons off?

The three Valencia College students that filed a civil rights case against their instructors for retaliating against them when they objected to being forced to undergo transvaginal ultrasounds won their appeal. The Federal Appeals Court ruled that the ultrasounds were not only an unconstitutional search, but also that the instructors violated the students' right to free speech.

This case is as shocking as it sounds. The three female students objected to Valencia College's Sonography program's unusual practice of requiring female students to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound at the hands of other students. All three students faced retaliation for objecting and stating they did not want to have the procedure done on them by another student, and all three quit the program as a result of the retaliation they faced.

The hearts of nursing home bureaucrats are going to be breaking all over the country come November 28, 2016. That's the day the new regulation goes into effect preventing nursing homes from requiring new residents to sign agreements that contain arbitration clauses in order to move in, unless they're willing to forego receiving Federal government monies.

Arbitration clauses in nursing home admissions contracts have been so widely used that finding a nursing home without one would be harder than finding an heirloom tomato in Camden, New Jersey. This change in the law is great for the elderly moving into a nursing home after November 28. 2016. The law is not being applied retroactively.

Most of us will never see the inside of a courtroom. And if we do, it's more likely to be for jury duty, or to haggle over a speeding ticket. Those less lucky may find themselves on the other end of a civil lawsuit, which can be a scary proposition. You may not have realized you did anything wrong, and now someone else is claiming you owe thousands or even millions of dollars?

Lawsuits should be taken seriously, but that's no reason to panic. Here's what you need to know if you've been sued.