New York Civil Rights And Criminal Defense Lawyers

Month: July 2020

The different ways to defend against drunk driving charges

Drunk driving charges are serious criminal charges with significant potential penalties and consequences associated with them. Authorities, however, may make errors during the arrest process or the evidence being used against the accused individual may be questionable. As a result, drivers accused of drunk driving should be familiar with the different ways to defend themselves against the charges they are facing based on any violation of their rights or mistakes made by authorities. Different drunk driving defenses include: Challenge to an improper stop – police must meet certain standards...

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New Supreme Court case explores a frontier of police brutality law

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides the people with some of the most important protections against police misconduct. Among other things, it prohibits unreasonable search and seizure. While courts have long disagreed about what counts as "unreasonable" behavior on the part of the police, it is well established that police brutality during an arrest can be a violation of a person's Fourth Amendment rights. But what if the person is not arrested? Is police brutality still a violation of that person's Fourth Amendment rights? A case headed to the U.S. Supreme Court could...

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Wrong man accused of stabbing woman in Queens

When a person is arrested for a serious crime in the New York area it can be a nerve-wracking time. An arrest can be a devastating time with a person facing threats to their freedom, reputation and livelihood. Occasionally an arrest takes place before the authorities have the proper evidence. A man who is confined to a wheelchair recently had charges dropped against him for a stabbing he didn’t commit. This past April a woman was stabbed in the back while waiting for a train at i71st Ave. and Queens Blvd. in Forest Hills. The woman claims the man who stabbed her was in a wheelchair and...

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Steel workers: Beware of working in this hazardous field

Working in construction, you sometimes participate in steel erection work. This is one of the top 10 most hazardous occupations known to the United States Department of Labor. In this field, you should know that you have specific rights. Workers have a right to be able to: Work in conditions that don't post a risk of serious harm File a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) if they believe that a serious hazard is present in their workplace or that their employer is not following the rules set up by the OSHA. Exercise their rights without the risk of...

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Rivera’s Implications: Examination of an Open Case

Written by Kate Belsito, Legal Intern at Sivin, Miller & Roche, LLP In November 2019, the New York State Court of Appeals handed down its decision in Rivera v. State of New York, effectively setting forth a major hurdle for recovery under the theory of respondeat superior liability: the decision’s “so egregious” standard. In its 4-3 decision, the Court concluded that the actions of three corrections officers—actions which resulted in permanent and serious injuries to an inmate—fell outside the scope of their employment, thus shielding New York State from liability. The majority reached...

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Scope of Employment After Rivera: A Case Study

The New York Court of Appeals, in deciding Rivera v. State, 34 N.Y.3d 383 (2019), altered how pro se litigants and attorneys approach the “scope of employment” issue in prison cases.  The following case examines the impact of the Rivera decision. In March of 2020, an inmate (our client: I’ll call him John Doe 2) housed in a New York State correctional facility alleged that correctional officers took him to an area without video surveillance and brutally assaulted him. Mr. Doe was slammed into a wall, punched multiple times across the face, choked, kicked, and pepper sprayed.  During this...

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“Frolic or Detour?”: Rivera’s implications for victims of excessive use of force at the hands of Correctional Officers

By: Brendan Gilmartin   Correctional facilities are stressful environments where tensions often run high. These facilities create situations that often lead to the use of excessive force by correctional officers for myriad reasons.  When excessive force is used, correctional officers may violate an inmate’s Eighth Amendment right to be free from “cruel and unusual punishment”. When a correction officer uses excessive force on an inmate, oftentimes the State of New York (State) is also sued for the actions of the correction officer. Holding the State liable for the actions of the...

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Life After Rivera: Narrowing the Scope

Written by Edwin C. Torres, Legal Intern at Sivin, Miller & Roche, LLP This is the first in a series of blogs addressing the issues raised in Rivera v. State of New York.  There will be a number of blogs following this that discuss, in depth, cases that the firm is currently handling and the issues that are present because of the Rivera decision. Before the end of 2019, the highest court in the State, the New York Court of Appeals, handed down its decision on a case that has likely remained under the radar for most.  The case is Rivera v. State of New York, 142 N.E.3d 641 (2019), and I...

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Police misconduct continues to plague New York City

Police brutality and misconduct has become an all too common occurrence across our country, but it is just now getting the attention it deserves. For years, innocent New Yorkers have been subjected to unfair, discriminatory, and hurtful practices that jeopardize their rights. One would think that the magnifying glass that is currently hovering over the issue of police brutality would deter officers from acting in an unjustifiably violent fashion, but this sadly isn't the case. You don't need to look outside of our city for an example. Mere weeks ago, two New York City police officers took...

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