Monthly Archives: November 2013

Recently filed cases

Some of our recently filed complaints

Police Charge Driver with DUI whose

In May 2013, James, Schwartz & Associates filed a civil complaint in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, against two Philadelphia police officers for assault and battery, false arrest (imprisonment), malicious prosecution, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Plaintiff was stopped at a gas station when the defendant police officers investigated him for suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI). Defendants ordered him to perform field sobriety tests, due only to the fact that his eyes were red and puffy and, of course, claimed that his speech was slurred. Our client explained to Defendants that his mother had just passed and he had been crying, resulting in red and puffy eyes, and also that he had a speech impediment. Despite successfully completing the sobriety test, Plaintiff was handcuffed and was told by Defendants that he needed to provide a blood sample which caused our client to ask if he was under arrest, to which Defendants replied “No.” This was not true, and despite the lack of probable cause, Plaintiff was charged with DUI. He was photographed, fingerprinted, kept in a holding cell for over 24 hours, and was forced to sign documents that he did not understand and could barely see. Our client was released but not before his mother’s funeral had to be postponed. Ultimately, the DUI charge was withdrawn by the District Attorney’s Office. Plaintiff now seeks compensation for his attorney’s fees, the additional fees associated with delaying his mother’s funeral, as well as for pain and suffering.

On August 14, 2013, James, Schwartz & Associates filed a civil complaint in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, alleging that four Philadelphia police officers engaged in the malicious prosecution of our client. Our client was subjected to false allegations pertaining to allegedly selling marihuana to a confidential informant. Based on these allegations, defendants were able to obtain a search warrant for his home, where Defendants claim that they found three packets of marihuana, similar to the ones that the CI had obtained, and a twenty dollar bill that supposedly had been pre-recorded by Defendants. Although Defendants allegedly found these materials in Plaintiffs home, no other contraband was found, such as scales or empty plastic baggies and the cell phone that was allegedly used to make the drug deals. As a direct result of these false allegations, Plaintiff was charged with criminal use of a communication facility, of which he was found not guilty, delivery/possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, and simple possession of a controlled substance, which the DA nol-prossed, meaning no further actions were taken to proceed with the case. Plaintiff was released from jail following the rulings, spending, overall, two and one half years in jail for crimes that never happened.

On August 15, 2013, James, Schwartz and Associates, filed a civil complaint in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, in which our client is suing two Philadelphia police officers for assault and battery, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, defamation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle that was driven by a male whom Plaintiff did not know but paid $5 for a ride. Defendants initiated a traffic stop for an alleged traffic violation, whereupon the driver and the front seat passenger fled the scene. Our client, who had no reason to flee, exited the vehicle and began to walk toward Defendants. Without any warning, or legal cause or justification, one defendant punched our client in eye, causing him to fall. That defendant continued to physically assault our client, with no justification, until he stepped on our client’s face after he was already handcuffed, causing Plaintiff’s face to suffer a laceration that required four stitches to close. Defendants proceeded to arrest our client for being in possession of a stolen car based upon an allegation that he was the driver of the vehicle, even though they knew that he had exited the rear passenger seat. When Plaintiff asked why he was being charged, Defendants replied that since the driver got away, and Plaintiff could not identify him, “someone had to get charged.” Plaintiff was found not guilty of all the charges brought against him including, recklessly endangering another person, and fleeing or attempting to elude police. Plaintiff is seeking to recover damages for his attorney’s fees, hospital bills, and pain and suffering. He will seek punitive damages as well.

On August 20, 2013, James, Schwartz & Associates filed a civil action in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, on behalf of our client against four detectives from the Philadelphia Police Department for assault and battery, false imprisonment, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Our client was on her porch when she heard shots fired nearby. She quickly grabbed her children and ran inside. Plaintiff cooperated entirely with a detective who came to home and interviewed her. Nonetheless, Plaintiff was brought in the Police Administration Building for questioning. Although Plaintiff was told that her questioning would only take an hour, she was unlawfully detained by the defendant homicide detectives for nearly 24 hours during which time, Plaintiff was verbally abused and kept in unfit conditions, until she became physically ill. Although Plaintiff had told Defendants the truth about what she knew about the shooting, she was repeatedly called a liar and was told she “would not leave till she told the truth.” Plaintiff became so distraught that her blood pressure soared, forcing defendants to transport her to a hospital emergency room for treatment. She is seeking compensation for pain and suffering, as well as punitive damages.

James, Schwartz & Associates has also filed three more federal civil rights actions under § 1983 against the discredited narcotics officers, Liciardello, Betts, Reynolds, Speiser, Spicer, and Otto. This brings to twelve the number of our clients whose civil rights were violated by this crew.