If you are a potential police shooting victim, it is important to understand
the timeline of filing a lawsuit in California. Depending on whether you
choose to pursue state law or federal civil rights causes of action or
both, there are different timelines for filing your claim.
For state law claims against an officer(s), government tort claims must
be filed within 6 months from the date of the incident. On the other hand,
if pursuing federal civil rights causes under the 4th Amendment and 42
USC 1983 then a lawsuit must be filed within 2 years from when it happened.
We typically file both state and federal causes of action in federal district court.
After filing the state and federal causes of action in federal court, the
defendants need to be served with a copy of the complaint. After service,
defendants typically answer the lawsuit. Once all parties have answered
the complaint, the Court sets the schedule for discovery and trial. The
trial is routinely set approximately 1 year away. In the meantime, discovery
begins with exchanging documents and interrogatories and then depositions
of parties, key witnesses, and experts.
It is important that victims act quickly as these timelines can pass quickly
without them being aware until it's too late! If you believe that
you have a claim for a police shooting in California, please contact our
experienced attorneys who can help guide you through every step along
this legal process.
Contact us for a free consultation.
Scott D. Hughes is a police shooting lawyer practicing in State and Federal Court.