Can you file a civial sute against NYPD for damges &, the disstress cause of the damage.

NYPD broke into my appartment & shot the family pet with no cause.

Asked on June 15, 2009 under Personal Injury, New York

Answers:

M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The general rule is that the fourth amendment prohibits officers from entering your home without a warrant.  Although the rule is subject to some exceptions, the applicability of which is impossible to determine without additional facts, if the officers did not have a warrant and they did not enter pursuant to consent or exigent circumstances, your fourth amendment rights may have been violated.  Moreover, shooting the family pet may constitute an illegal seizure also in violation of the fourth amendment, since pets are technically considered "property" in a legal sense.  42 U.S.C. sec 1983, otherwise known as the federal tort claims act, allows plaintiffs to recover monetary damages for constitutional violations.  Based upon the facts that you have provided, you may have a basis to sue the police.  I suggest that you consult with a civil rights attorney to discuss the merits of your case at your earliest convenience. 


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