daycare abuse

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daycare abuse

If two daycare workers purposely slapped, and bit my son, twisted his arms behind his back and pinned him to the ground face down hands behind his back and their knee in his back, witnessed by other kids, and documented and recorded conversations of the incident, but the girls don’t get indighted due to politics here, can I refile the case if the daycare settles in a civil suit, or is it all said and done with?

Asked on June 20, 2009 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

It is important to remember the distinction between criminal and civil prosecutions.  In a criminal prosecution, it is the state vs. the defendants.  Therefore, the decision to arrest and/or prosecute is up to the police/prosecution, not the alleged victim(s).  On the other hand, in civil prosecutions it is a private plaintiff vs. a defendant, and the decision whether or not to file suit rests with the private plaintiff (you).  This also means that the decision to settle also rests with you.  Unless the defendant's attorneys are incompetent, part of any settlement will include a release from civil liability, meaning that you will not be able to re-file a civil suit that you have already settled.  Therefore, settling a civil suit will release a defendant from civil liability, and while it does not release the defendants from criminal liability, the decision whether to arrest/prosecute will continue to rest with the police/prosecution.  Nevertheless, I recommend that you consult with the attorney who has represented you in the civil suit to discuss all of the potential consequences of settling your pending lawsuit.


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