I was taken but I cant afford an attorney . . . what can I do? Cases brought by persons without counsel typically fall into two categories: civil rights violations and tort claims. A civil rights case involves a claim seeking redress for the violation of a person’s constitutional rights. This type of claim is often brought under the federal statute, 42 U.S.C. S 1983. Under this law, a person who acts under color of state law to violate another’s constitutional rights may be liable for damages.
A tort is defined as a “private or civil wrong or injury.” It is distinguished from criminal law because it is an injury against an individual and not the state (city, county, or state government).
If a person ran a stoplight and hit your car, the state would ticket the driver for running the stoplight but it would not be able to sue the driver for the injuries received by the victim of the other car. That is considered a private wrong or injury and it is the right of the victim to file a civil suit against the driver seeking damages for the injuries received. There are three types of torts: intentional, negligence, and strict liability. You cannot sue someone just because you are angry at them; you have to have been injured in some way. You can bring a tort action in federal court if a violation of a federal law has occurred. Jurisdiction is the authority given a court to hear and decide certain cases. For a court to render a valid judgment, it must have both jurisdiction over the subject matter of the controversy and jurisdiction over the persons or entities involved. The court system is described more fully later on in this paper; however, to file a case in federal court, you must meet at least one of two important criteria: 1.
INTRODUCTION TO THE LAW OF NEGLIGENCE • NEGLIGENCE is a fault-based civil liability system as a basis of liability, and considered a broad concept encompassing many types of harm • The tort of negligence is composed of a number of elements, most of which must be proved by the plaintiff (P). These elements are not all self-evident, rather they are conventional concepts that the crts have imposed ...
The case must deal with a “federal question” of law; or 2. The parties to the case must be residents of different states (known as diversity of citizenship) and the monetary amount in controversy must exceed $75,000. Federal courts enforce “federal law,” that is, the United States Constitution and federal statutes enacted by Congress. State courts enforce state laws. Sometimes they overlap, such as in diversity cases. This is why it is important that legal counsel is obtained as often as possible. A statute of limitations is that part of the statute that sets a particular period of time within which a suit can be filed. It begins to run when the injury or right has been violated.
Some examples are as follows: 1. Car accident or other personal injury: 2 years 2. Civil rights violation: 2 years 3. Contract dispute: 6 years 4. Medical malpractice: 2 1/2 years Immunity prohibits you from suing a person who is performing his/her duties as prescribed by law. When a judge decides a case, he is immune from suit because he is performing the duties directed by law.
However, if a judge has operated his car illegally and caused you to be harmed, you can sue him for damages because driving his car does not fall under the duties of being a judge. Most government employees are immune from suit if they are performing their assigned duties and are not aware of a violation of the law. You should realize that immunity may be a defense that prevents a person who is sued from being liable. There may be other legal defenses that the person can assert which will also protect them from liability. All judges are subject to the Code of Conduct for United States Judges. The Clerk of Court and Clerk’s Office staff members are subject to the Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees.
The United States of America is one of the most powerful nation-states in the world today. The framers of the American Constitution spent a great deal of time and effort into making sure this power wasn't too centralized in one aspect of the government. They created three branches of government to help maintain a checks and balance system. In this paper I will discuss these three branches, the ...
Part of the codes of conduct prohibit Clerk’s Office employees from accepting any gift, without exception, from anyone seeking official action from or doing business with the court or from anyone whose interests may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of official duties. This prohibition includes accepting any sort of holiday gift, whether intended for the Clerk’s Office as a whole or for a specific individual. Complaints about the performance or behavior of Clerk’s Office staff should be made to the Clerk of Court or to one of the judges. Complaints about judges’ decisions on procedural matters or the merits of disputes can only be addressed through the regular appellate process. Any person alleging that a judge has engaged in conduct prejudicial to the effective and expeditious administration of the business of the courts, or that a judge is unable to discharge all the duties of the office by reason of mental or physical disability may file a complaint pursuant to the Rules of the Tenth Circuit Judicial Council Governing Complaints of Judicial Misconduct or Disability. You cannot sue someone because you believe or you have a feeling the person has violated your rights.
You must have facts to support your lawsuit such as the time and place of the incident, witnesses who observed the behavior, and actual articles of evidence such as a gun or a police report or other documentary evidence. The burden of proof is on the plaintiff to win the case; and without factual evidence, the case cannot be won. It is very important that you have all five required elements before you consider filing a case against someone or some entity. After all of these elements are met, you must still follow the procedures set out for the particular court you will file your case with. We will discuss the rules and procedures for filing lawsuits in the United States District Court for the District of Florida. If your case needs to be filed in any other court, you should contact the clerk’s office of that court for information regarding local rules and procedures for filing your particular case.
... first of which is "federal questions." This category stipulates that the federal district courts may hear any case involving a federal law, the Constitution, admiralty or ... of the federal courts in criminal matters, which used to fall within the exclusive domain of the state courts. Most criminal cases violate only state law, and therefore ...
It is very important that the pro se litigant understand that there are alternatives to representing yourself if you are indigent. Additionally, there are matters that are extremely complex and each matter deserves appropriate representation. In a criminal case, a defendant is entitled to legal counsel by the United States Constitution and one can be provided if indigence is shown on the part of the defendant. However, in a civil case, the plaintiff is not entitled to an attorney. There are organizations that can help obtain counsel in civil matters for nominal fees or even on a volunteer basis. The Florida State Bar has a referral service that lists attorneys who belong to the Florida Volunteer Lawyers and they are willing to help indigent parties in several different ways.
Legal Aid Services is also available as well as the American Civil Liberties Union. There are also attorneys who would be willing to represent you on a contingent fee basis where the attorney collects a fee only if money is won in the suit. You should be aware that, in some instances, it is necessary for you to pursue all remedies that may be available before you can pursue a claim in court. There are two areas in particular where this is likely to arise: (1) if you are appealing an agency decision, or (2) if you are seeking a writ of habeas corpus in the federal court. A person who is incarcerated or is otherwise in custody pursuant to court order may wish to challenge the fact or duration of his confinement. Such a challenge would be brought as a petition for writ of habeas corpus against the person or entity who holds them in custody, e.g., state or county.
If the person can successfully show that a constitutional right was violated, which would have otherwise prevented the incarceration (“fact of incarceration”) or the duration of the incarceration the court will grant a writ of habeas corpus. However, before such a petition can be filed in the federal court, the petitioner must pursue and exhaust all available state law remedies. This means that if you want to challenge a conviction or a sentence, you must pursue your right of appeal under Florida law. This may be accomplished in two ways: (1) the direct right of appeal to the Florida Supreme Court, or (2) by filing a petition for post-conviction relief in the state district court followed by an appeal to the Florida Supreme Court. Only after you have fully pursued the available state law remedies will you be eligible to pursue a federal petition for writ of habeas corpus. There are two court systems in the United States: the state courts and the federal courts. The state courts typically hear matters relating to civil, criminal, domestic (divorce and child custody), probate, and property in accordance with the laws of each state. Matters typically heard by the federal courts involve violation of federal laws; admiralty and maritime matters; United States patent, trademark, and copyright matters; bankruptcy proceedings; proceedings against ambassadors, consuls, and ministers.
The United States of America prides itself on it's democratic government, but the power of the federal government todays threatens American democracy. The Federal Government should grant states more powers to govern themselves. States' Rights, in United States history, advocated the strict limitation of the advantages of the federal government to those powers assigned to it in the Constitution of ...
These matters usually fall into two main categories: (1) federal question cases — cases which arise under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States; and (2) diversity cases — civil matters arising between parties who are citizens of different states and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. Bibliography Albrecht, Rebecca A.; Greacen, John M.; Hough, Bonnie Rose and Zorza, Richard. Judicial Techniques for Cases Involving Self-represented Litigants (Winter 2003) 42(1) Judges Journal p.16-23. Byrne, Louise and Leggat, C.J. Litigants in Person: procedural and ethical issues for barristers. (November 1999) 19(1) Australian Bar Review p.41-48.
Goldschmidt, Jona. How are Courts Handling Pro se Litigants? (July-August 1998) 82(1) Judicature p.13-22. Hannaford-Agor, Paula L. Helping the Pro Se Litigant: A changing landscape (Winter 2003) Court Review p.8-16. Moyle, Paul. The Unrepresented Criminal Appellants Scheme (UCAS): The University of Western Australia’s Clinical Legal Education Initiative (April 2000) 27(3) Brief p.7-9..