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Should George be allow to sue the State IF?

Jon Slice

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Setting aside any bias for or against GZ or TM. Should GZ, when found not guilty, be allowed to sue the State of Florida since this statute exists?

776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.—
(1) A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force, unless the person against whom force was used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who was acting in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person was a law enforcement officer. As used in this subsection, the term “criminal prosecution” includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.
(2) A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use of force as described in subsection (1), but the agency may not arrest the person for using force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful.
(3) The court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by the defendant in defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff if the court finds that the defendant is immune from prosecution as provided in subsection (1).
 

MaggieD

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Setting aside any bias for or against GZ or TM. Should GZ, when found not guilty, be allowed to sue the State of Florida since this statute exists?

776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.—
(1) A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force, unless the person against whom force was used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who was acting in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person was a law enforcement officer. As used in this subsection, the term “criminal prosecution” includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.
(2) A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use of force as described in subsection (1), but the agency may not arrest the person for using force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful.
(3) The court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by the defendant in defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff if the court finds that the defendant is immune from prosecution as provided in subsection (1).

Maybe somebody would take his case, because, of course, one can sue for anything. The question is whether or not he can win. I don't think he can. It does give me pause that the DA decided not to go to a grand jury though. If he's found not guilty, one would have to ask: would the grand jury really have indicted him in the first place?

But. First things first. If I were a prayerful person, I think I'd be praying for him right now. I hope he's found not guilty. I feel very sorry for the guy.
 

joko104

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No, because a probable cause finding was made by a court for the arrest warrant. He was not arrested until that was obtained - ie he was not arrested on the spot and only after that court issued warrant.

If found not guilty, he has a hell of a suit (in theory) against MSNBC, LA Times, NY Times, numerous persons in the media and some other people who stated as fact he is a "murderer" or that he "murdered" TM. However, few courts - even if an entirely legitimate lawsuit - would rule against such media powerhouses.

Also, #3 is about if GZ is sued, not if GZ sues the state.
 

Oceandan

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I'm not a lawyer and I don't want to be a lawyer, however, as I read that I would say yes! I would hope he does. The state, which brought this case not based on legal grounds but purely the "race baiters" should be held responsible.
 

joko104

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Maybe somebody would take his case, because, of course, one can sue for anything. The question is whether or not he can win. I don't think he can. It does give me pause that the DA decided not to go to a grand jury though. If he's found not guilty, one would have to ask: would the grand jury really have indicted him in the first place?

But. First things first. If I were a prayerful person, I think I'd be praying for him right now. I hope he's found not guilty. I feel very sorry for the guy.

Your evolving opinion on the case has been interesting to watch. OMG, you actually are thinking your way thru it. I'm not sure you are well suited for this Martin-Zimmmerman board. I mean, this is about LOYALTY TO YOUR TEAM!

:lol:
 

joko104

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I think the OP misunderstands what that statue says. I think it is to protect GZ against a frivolous civil suit against him.
 

Aunt Spiker

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Setting aside any bias for or against GZ or TM. Should GZ, when found not guilty, be allowed to sue the State of Florida since this statute exists?

776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.—
(1) A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force, unless the person against whom force was used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who was acting in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person was a law enforcement officer. As used in this subsection, the term “criminal prosecution” includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.
(2) A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use of force as described in subsection (1), but the agency may not arrest the person for using force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful.
(3) The court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by the defendant in defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff if the court finds that the defendant is immune from prosecution as provided in subsection (1).

Why do you presume it's a lawsuit type approach? Perhaps, when things go wrong, it's just a matter of filing request forms, etc - within certain criteria.

I find it hard to believe the state would set itself up for suits when it 776.032-3 already states they'll be reimbursed.
 

Jon Slice

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I think the OP misunderstands what that statue says. I think it is to protect GZ against a frivolous civil suit against him.

The OP has been studying Fl. Statutes 790 & 776 and all case law in relation to them and giving the Florida Concealed Weapon or Firearm License class since 1999 and is also a sworn LEO. He understands the statute quite well.

776.032 was deigned to protect those using force or deadly force in self defense. The Statute states that one is immune from "Criminal" or civil prosecution if it is determined that the guidelines under 776.012 had been followed. If GZ is found not guilty then it will be due to evidence collected by the SPD which determined just that prior to the charges being brought against him. Since the SPD had already cleared him through the gathering of evidence, witness statements etc. which will be part of the evidence clearing him in a trial proceeding then by Statute 776..032 it was against State Statute for the State to charge him in the first place.
 

Captain Adverse

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Setting aside any bias for or against GZ or TM. Should GZ, when found not guilty, be allowed to sue the State of Florida since this statute exists?

776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.—
...(2) A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use of force as described in subsection (1), but the agency may not arrest the person for using force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful.
(3) The court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by the defendant in defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff if the court finds that the defendant is immune from prosecution as provided in subsection (1).

Why do you presume it's a lawsuit type approach? Perhaps, when things go wrong, it's just a matter of filing request forms, etc - within certain criteria.

I find it hard to believe the state would set itself up for suits when it 776.032-3 already states they'll be reimbursed.

The statute protects him from arrest absent probable cause. Since there was some evidence at the time challenging his claim of self-defense, a court issued an arrest warrant finding probable cause. Thus the prosecution was within the law.

Section (3) protects the defendant from a civil trial if either the investigation or a criminal trial finds that he was acting in self-defense. This is important because otherwise a victims relatives can sue in civil court for wrongful death even if a defendant is found not guilty in a criminal case.

That's because a civil suit is an action for damages, not for criminal punishment. For a good example, look at O.J. Simpson. He was found not guilty in criminal court, then was sued for wrongful death in civil court and found liable for millions in damages. Another thing to remember, civil court has a lesser standard of "preponderance of the evidence" to determine liability. That means if the jury finds it is more likely than not a defendant did what he is accused of, he loses.

This law protects him from civil action if he was found not guilty by reason of self-defense (or never charged because an investigation found it was self-defense).
 
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joko104

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The OP has been studying Fl. Statutes 790 & 776 and all case law in relation to them and giving the Florida Concealed Weapon or Firearm License class since 1999 and is also a sworn LEO. He understands the statute quite well.

776.032 was deigned to protect those using force or deadly force in self defense. The Statute states that one is immune from "Criminal" or civil prosecution if it is determined that the guidelines under 776.012 had been followed. If GZ is found not guilty then it will be due to evidence collected by the SPD which determined just that prior to the charges being brought against him. Since the SPD had already cleared him through the gathering of evidence, witness statements etc. which will be part of the evidence clearing him in a trial proceeding then by Statute 776..032 it was against State Statute for the State to charge him in the first place.

You are just wrong:

1. The FINAL decision of the police was "probably cause" - and two officers swore to it - and a judge then concluded there was probably cause. GZ was not arrested on a police-decision. He was arrested on a Court warrant. It is the Court/judge who had GZ arrested. And judges are absolutely immune no matter how wrong - always. So your argument ends there. BUT

2. The statute is NOT about the right to sue the state or police:

It reads: (3) The court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by the defendant (ZIMMERMAN) in defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff (someone who sued Zimmerman) if the court finds that the defendant (Zimmerman) is immune from prosecution as provided in subsection (1).

There is NOTHING in that statute that says GZ may sue the police or the state, and in their affidavits and court finding of probably cause, they met the standard anyway.

In addition, finding GZ "not guilty" does NOT met the requirement of a court finding that GZ was immune from prosecution. In fact, the court has already ruled in the arrest and prosecution order that he is not immune. That's all ancient history.
 

Captain Adverse

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You are just wrong:

1. The FINAL decision of the police was "probably cause" - and two officers swore to it - and a judge then concluded there was probably cause. GZ was not arrested on a police-decision. He was arrested on a Court warrant. It is the Court/judge who had GZ arrested. And judges are absolutely immune no matter how wrong - always. So your argument ends there. BUT

2. The statute is NOT about the right to sue the state or police:

It reads: (3) The court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by the defendant (ZIMMERMAN) in defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff (someone who sued Zimmerman) if the court finds that the defendant (Zimmerman) is immune from prosecution as provided in subsection (1).

There is NOTHING in that statute that says GZ may sue the police or the state, and in their affidavits and court finding of probably cause, they met the standard anyway.

In addition, finding GZ "not guilty" does NOT met the requirement of a court finding that GZ was immune from prosecution. In fact, the court has already ruled in the arrest and prosecution order that he is not immune. That's all ancient history.

Umm, I think I said it better. ;)
 

Jon Slice

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GZ was cleared by Bill Lee, the Chief of the SPD prior to all the media BS. He was not charged by the SPD. He was charged by the State of Florida 44 days later.
 

Captain Adverse

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GZ was cleared by Bill Lee, the Chief of the SPD prior to all the media BS. He was not charged by the SPD. He was charged by the State of Florida 44 days later.

Perhaps, but according to early reports the lead Investigator Chris Serino of the Sanford, Fla. Police Department wanted the 28-year-old Zimmerman arrested. According to that same report it was the State Attorney's Office that originally said there was not enough evidence to lead to a conviction. Trayvon Martin lead investigator wanted George Zimmerman arrested the night of the fatal shooting - Crimesider - CBS News

It was the Florida Special Prosecutor who decided that the evidence was sufficient to go to trial. Again, there was some evidence indicating his self-defense claim was untrue, and it appears the local police investigator thought so as well right from the start. A warrant was sworn out on probable cause, and he was taken to trial. So, the legal action was within the bounds of the statute you quoted.
 

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Yes, Zimmerman should sue the state of Florida for allowing him to have a gun permit. Obviously the state is incompetent.
 

Sarcogito

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I don’t care about this particular case, but I believe that ANYBODY who is arrested or charged or prosecuted by the State, who has their life turned upside down, who incurs legal expenses in their defense, and ends up being found not guilty should be entitled to full compensation by the State.
 

spanky

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I don’t care about this particular case, but I believe that ANYBODY who is arrested or charged or prosecuted by the State, who has their life turned upside down, who incurs legal expenses in their defense, and ends up being found not guilty should be entitled to full compensation by the State.

Like OJ?
 

Sisyphus

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>>> Setting aside any bias for or against GZ or TM. Should GZ, when found not guilty, be allowed to sue the State of Florida since this statute exists?

776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.—
(1) A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force, unless the person against whom force was used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who was acting in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person was a law enforcement officer. As used in this subsection, the term “criminal prosecution” includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.
(2) A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use of force as described in subsection (1), but the agency may not arrest the person for using force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful.
(3) The court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by the defendant in defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff if the court finds that the defendant is immune from prosecution as provided in subsection (1).

Sure; any of us can sue anyone at any time for anything. The question is whether it's actionable, or merely frivolous. And in the Zimmerman case, there's simply nothing that's actionable. He was held with PCD. He was allowed to be bonded out on bail. He's been given a fair trial, with adequate legal representation.

Thus, no rights, of any kind, that I can think of, have been violated. Ergo, no actionable basis for a suit.
 
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