Were my civil rights violated if a subpoena was mistakenly served to me at gunpaoint?

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Were my civil rights violated if a subpoena was mistakenly served to me at gunpaoint?

I was to have a subpoena served to appear in juvenile court with my daughter pertaining to her daughter, my granddaughter. I was in my bed on Sunday morning and I was awakened by the sheriff with his gun drawn and him saying to get

Asked on May 15, 2019 under Criminal Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

It is not grounds to not honor the subpoena, since you were served in person.
You may have a claim against the sheriff's office or officer if you can show that this was done because of your race, color, or ethnicity, but it is questionable whether it would be worth pursuing action. You were terrified and understandably so, but evidently were not physically harmed, were not improperly thrown in jail, did not have valuable property taken from you, etc. The amount of money that a court might award for a few minutes of terror may well be small--possibly less than the costs of suing. Generally, there must be some significant harm, deprivation of liberty, or costs caused by the act to make a lawsuit worthwhile.
You may be best off filing a complaint with the sheriff's department and county prosecutor's offices, to see if they will discipline this officer.


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