FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Will the NYPD retaliate?

A: No. You have a First Amendment right to make a complaint against the NYPD. The police are forbidden to punish anyone for making such a complaint.

Q: Will defense lawyers get access to my psychiatric and medical records if I sue the officers?

A: Yes. When someone brings a lawsuit and puts in issue their physical and psychological state, the defense is permitted to gain access to that person’s physical and mental medical records.

Q: Will the officer lose his job if i win the case against him?

A: No. As discussed in the section of our website dealing with police misconduct, only the police, in their internal investigation, may decide to terminate an officer. A lawsuit limits the damages a person may obtain to money.

Q: Who pays for the money I would recieve if i win a case?

A: New York City.

Q: How do I pay you?

A: Attorneys in 1983 civil rights actions are paid in two ways: one, they receive a portion of the settlement or verdict awarded to the client. This is usually one third. Also, attorneys are eligible for attorney fees, which will be paid by New York City.

Q: How long can a case go on for?

A: There is no set answer. Cases may settle in as short a time as three months. Cases may also drag on for several years. Generally, the time from filing a complaint against the NYPD to a verdict at trial will take approximately 2 years in federal court, and 4 years in state court.

Q: What do I do when you are working on a case?

A: In short, nothing. That is why you hire us as attorneys. However, demands will be made by opposing counsel and we always work with our clients to respond to those requests. To this end, we ask that you cooperate with us and promptly return our calls, emails and texts.

Q: What happens if I lose a case?

A: Nothing. There is no punishment or fine for bringing a lawsuit against the NYPD.

Q: What happens if I win a case?

A: You win money. This is the short answer. For most clients, however, in NYPD civil rights lawsuits nothing truly compensates them for being the victim of police misconduct.