Federal & State 1983 Claims Against Police
Des Moines Police Brutality and Abuse Claims Lawyer
Police have a difficult and dangerous job. Most officers honor their commitment to themselves and the public, but in rare cases the line is crossed. There can be no excuse for the use of excessive force or abuse in the process of apprehending and/or detaining a suspect. If you were injured because you believe your constitutional rights were violated by police, and there is serious injury, you have the right to file a lawsuit in state or federal court under a “1983 action” (for deprivation of civil rights under color of state law).
Helping Achieve Large Civil Settlements
The photo at right was taken during the criminal trial of Bonds and Evans where Mr. Berger is pointing to a police officer testifying. After the jury found Bonds and Evans not guilty of committing crimes they were illegally charged with, Mr. Berger filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in their behalf. That case was settled shortly before the federal civil rights trial for one of the largest amounts in the history of Iowa cases such as this.
Police officers are required to respect the constitutional rights of the people they encounter. Those rights include fair and safe treatment of individuals who are accused of committing a crime. If you have been injured due to police misconduct, attorney Peter Berger would be happy to sit down with you and discuss your situation and evaluate your case at no charge.
The Berger Law Firm, P.C., in Urbandale (the West Des Moines area) is available to handle police abuse and brutality cases throughout the state of Iowa and in other states as co-counsel and/or with leave of the court.
Police brutality cases can be complex and challenging. Most cases are not brought to court because police are allowed to use force in many situations to effectively arrest a person. However, where an individual has been unnecessarily tasered, struck, or bitten by a police dog the circumstances are carefully evaluated by attorney Berger. Sometimes it is necessary to first file a state tort claim, which is evaluated by the state for up to six months in Iowa, before a lawsuit can be filed (if settlement is not reached first). Frequently such cases are filed directly in federal court to avoid this problem, and to have a much wider selection of jurors to choose from, not just from where the offensive conduct happened. There is also the added benefit of having a more diverse panel of jurors, not just from the county where the alleged abuse occurred.
Attorney Berger always starts by sitting down to listen to your side of the story. From there, he will conduct a detailed investigation, interview witnesses, and examine evidence. He will carefully construct a case that is dedicated to getting you compensation if there are significant injuries as a result of violation of your constitutional rights.