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Old July 14, 2013, 11:30 PM   #76
Bruno2
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One of the things I have been pondering is the verdict as explained by Omara ( I know Tom said no verdict discussion, but maybe this acceptable). Omara claims that the verdict established 2 things: 1) Zimmerman was acquitted of all criminal charges brought by the state and 2) Trayvon Martin committed aggravated assault on Zimmerman. Now , although Trayvon cant be tried and convicted because he paid the ultimate price for his criminal actions. However, being a minor I cant see how his parents aren't liable in a civil case. I don't know that Zimmerman will bring a suit, but he could certainly counter sue if not given immunity from civil action.

Another point being brought up was the homeowners Ins issue. A lot of policies will cover you off of your property. It isn't uncommon at all for HOI to cover someone who got in a fight on the golf course or at Walmart. Many A&B cases are brought on the civil side b/c HOI pays off like a slot machine in these cases.

Then there is the trust fund issue that was brought up ealier. Judges can undo all kinds of stuff in civil cases. They can determine that corporate protection is nullified as well as undoing tactics to hide or shelter funds and assets. When sued in a civil case it is not uncommon for an asset hearing to be held to determine what kind of money you have in your checking, savings,IRA, 401k or any other financial accounts. Also they plaintiff can ask about any electronics , property, furniture as well as anything else of value the judge might feel is reasonable to hand over for compensation. I sued a guy one time that didn't pay me for a job and he threatened with "his .45". I listed "his .45" on the asset summons in case I wanted it. Turned out to be a Hipoint so he got to keep it.

When assets are subpoenaed and are hidden or some type of deception is involved then the defendant can be found in contempt. I saw a judge in small claims put a 76 yr old man in jail for the weekend for not complying with the asset hearing .

The next couple of months will certainly be interesting too.
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Old July 15, 2013, 12:07 AM   #77
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The Brady Campaign has (of course) jumped into the fray. They were the most vocal opponents to the trend of SYG laws that started with Florida, and this is a prime opportunity for them to take a second crack at the issue.

Add in Mayor Bloomberg's stated intent to rally support for repeal, and we've got a real problem. They're winning on the AWB/UBC thing in several states, and this could be next.
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Old July 15, 2013, 12:39 AM   #78
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2 points....

If you go over the posts from a few months back, Gov Rick Scott(Florida-R), set up a special task force(led by Lt Gov Jennifer Carrol, a retired US Navy officer with a A+ rating from the NRA).
The task force findings based on several months of meetings, research, statements, open forums, etc said the Florida Stand Your Ground(gun laws) were okay & less violent crime occurred in FL after these laws were put into the books statewide.
Carrol later quit her post after a scandal not related to the Stand Your Ground task force report.

Id add that a defense atty & media advisor for Fox 35; www.myfoxorlando.com said on Sun, 07/14/2013 that she didnt think a DoJ/CRD case will go anywhere.
Her reasons were GZ & his family were under intense scrutiny by the FBI for weeks. These special agents couldn't find any solid proof of Zimmerman's racist or bigoted history. The DoJ wants to stay quiet but the reports & documents will surface at some point.

In my view AG Holder will let this run in circles then let it slip away like the Fast & Furious scandal.
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Old July 15, 2013, 06:50 AM   #79
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I don't think this is what the founding fathers intended by the concept of double jeopardy. It seems that the law is just looking for different things to call the same act so they can continue to try GZ. "Hate crimes" and "civil rights" suits are used as work arounds to the Constitution.

They seem to win even if they don't "win" the cases by punishing the individual financially

Just my two cents.
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Old July 15, 2013, 06:59 AM   #80
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Looking ahead, I see possibilites for the IT person to pursue wrongful termination for actually trying to follow the orders of the court that required him, (and others) to release information during discovery. I do not see him as a whistleblower! I see him as the only one trying to comply with the requirments of the court which was his job. Ditto for the previous Police chief, original prosecutor, and lead detective. Looks like they all had it right, in the begining! If I were them, I would not want my job back in that town. I predict Bankrupcy for Sanford, Florida.
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Old July 15, 2013, 07:42 AM   #81
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Sanford might have some liability for its non-standard release of evidence, and subsequent potential tainting of witnesses, but I doubt it - since Zimmerman was acquitted.

The actual decision to bypass the grand jury and press murder 2 charges was not made by Sanford nor Seminole County. Angela Corey, Special Prosecutor appointed to the case by Governor Rick Scott, did that after the local State Attorney, Norm Wolfinger, decided against pressing charges. Corey normally works Duval, Clay, and Nassau counties in the Jacksonville area.

I would assume most potential liability for prosecutorial misconduct (if such could be proven) would fall upon the State of Florida.
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Old July 15, 2013, 07:49 AM   #82
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Quote:
bikerbill

It's my understanding that Zimmerman has already sued NBC for the doctored 911 tapes ... don't know where the case stands
Yes this has already been filed and NBC requested a stay until after the trial was over, well it's over and now they will have to defend themselves.

NBCUniversal will start fighting Zimmerman’s defamation lawsuit over an edited 911 call from the night of the shooting. In March, NBC filed a request for a stay until the trial was over.

Link
http://www.deadline.com/2013/07/tv-n...uilty-verdict/
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Old July 15, 2013, 08:23 AM   #83
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The key for DoJ's pursuit of a civil rights/hate crime beef against Zimmerman will be in whether a gated condominium development can be defined as a public place.
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Old July 15, 2013, 09:17 AM   #84
Jim March
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We are now talking about three different possible court actions. One by one:

1) Martin family v. Zimmerman: very possible but Zimmerman's lawyers will try for protection under FL self defense law. No idea what'll happen there.

2) DOJ v. Zimmerman: not gonna happen. OK...the whole idea of federal civil rights violation charge after a state court aquittal came about because white juries often wouldn't want to convict a white guy of crimes against blacks or other minorities.

The DOJ can step in when a state or local government official commits a civil rights violation, because the various provisions of the Bill of Rights are now held to apply to state and local governments via the 14th Amendment. This is how several members of the LAPD were charged with violating Rodney King's civil rights.

However, this doesn't apply to Zimmerman who was a private actor.

There are other possible federal civil rights violations they could use, but all require a documented motive that features evil racist intent. And...no, sorry, they just do not have that.

3) Zimmerman v. NBC News (and possibly others?). This is VERY plausible as a win for Zimmerman. Zimmerman was not a public figure until the media made him one, so the public figure protections in slander/libel actions are not available.

This lawsuit was filed already, and NBC's main defense was, I kid you not, "well if he gets convicted that would be strong evidence that we didn't stretch the truth TOO much". On that basis they were able to put this civil lawsuit on hold until the criminal trial was over.

Welll....ooops. NBC done gambled and lost - big. My guess: they'll cut a check soon. A big one. More details here including exactly what they did:

http://m.washingtonpost.com/blogs/er...inst-nbc-news/

As one wit at the /law subreddit noted, NBC's fraud looks a lot like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSfrbqCQr78

There may be other news outlets at risk but NBC will be the first to fall.
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Old July 15, 2013, 09:59 AM   #85
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There is no way to stop the family from filing a civil action. Florida Statute 776.032 titled, Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.
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Old July 15, 2013, 10:02 AM   #86
motorhead0922
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimPage
I don't think this is what the founding fathers intended by the concept of double jeopardy. It seems that the law is just looking for different things to call the same act so they can continue to try GZ. "Hate crimes" and "civil rights" suits are used as work arounds to the Constitution.

They seem to win even if they don't "win" the cases by punishing the individual financially

Just my two cents.
^^^ This.

This is why we should fight federal laws that expand power, not just say "it's no big deal, that's already illegal."
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Old July 15, 2013, 10:23 AM   #87
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Please don't redo all the speculative parts of the trial. I deleted some of that.

Next time, it will be infractions. The staff is debating to keep this open you can make the decision easy for us if you don't remember:

Be warned... I meant what I said. The Verdict Is Not Up For Discussion. Violators will have their post deleted and will be banned for 7 days. Not Trial. No Notice. No Second Chances.
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Old July 15, 2013, 10:34 AM   #88
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Don P, I'm not sure if you read the linked statutes.

Here is 776.032

Quote:
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).
Here is 776.012

Quote:
776.012 Use of force in defense of person.—A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other's imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:

(1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; or

(2) Under those circumstances permitted pursuant to s. 776.013.
Boldface is mine.

Point being, since the Not Guilty verdict was predicated on self-defense, and the reasonable belief that force was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm, in theory Zimmerman should get legal relief from the state of Florida for legal costs and lost income, and should be immune from civil suit.

I think the state may try to claim that the jury did not find a need for self-defense, but simply did not think the state had a strong enough case.

I am not sure the state will win that argument, but I imagine that will be the crux of any immunity request initiated by O'Mara.
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Old July 15, 2013, 12:04 PM   #89
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3) Zimmerman v. NBC News (and possibly others?). This is VERY plausible as a win for Zimmerman. Zimmerman was not a public figure until the media made him one, so the public figure protections in slander/libel actions are not available.
That won't fly. Zimmerman shooting Martin made him a public figure because it was part of the public record.


I can only hope the Martin's get a competent lawyer to pursue the civil case. Lord nows the prosecutors were not.
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Old July 15, 2013, 12:06 PM   #90
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MLeake
...Point being, since the Not Guilty verdict was predicated on self-defense, and the reasonable belief that force was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm, in theory Zimmerman should get legal relief from the state of Florida for legal costs and lost income, and should be immune from civil suit.

I think the state may try to claim that the jury did not find a need for self-defense, but simply did not think the state had a strong enough case....
There are a number of things wrong with those statements:
  1. A verdict of "not guilty" is not an affirmative finding that the theory of the defense was correct. It is only a determination that the State did not meet its burden of proof.

  2. A verdict of "not guilty" can not, as a matter of law, be used in other proceedings to establish the truth of claims of the defense.

  3. There is no way that Zimmerman, based on the result, could, "...get legal relief from the state of Florida for legal costs and lost income..." --

    1. 776.032(3) provides for an award of attorney fees and other damages only when the defendant in a civil suit (not a criminal action) has established his entitlement to recovery.

    2. Any award under 776.032(3) would be the financial responsibility of the unsuccessful plaintiff in the civil suit (not the State). If the unsuccessful plaintiff doesn't have any money, the defendant will have to bear all his own expenses and financial losses.
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Old July 15, 2013, 12:38 PM   #91
Jim March
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That won't fly. Zimmerman shooting Martin made him a public figure because it was part of the public record.
I'm told otherwise but haven't looked it up yet.

The relevant US Supreme Court cases that establish whether or not somebody is a public figure are:

Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc.

Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts

New York Times Co. v. Sullivan

Start here for the relevant links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gertz_v...rt_proceedings

I'm curious now and am going to look this up later. Feel free to start without me .

I have first-hand experience with how sick the media can be with regard self defense issues:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossba...he_Debate_Show
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Old July 15, 2013, 01:11 PM   #92
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Frank, It is my understanding that Zimmerman can still fight for and possibly win immunity from civil suit in a separate hearing...

Brent
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Old July 15, 2013, 01:26 PM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim March
I'm curious now and am going to look this up later. Feel free to start without me .

Read your links, all seem silent on this issue except one, which mentions a single lawyer whose opinion is that high-profile defendants can be "limited" public figures.

It seems that a "particularized determination" must be made for a specific case, so I guess it's not cut and dry.
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Old July 15, 2013, 01:49 PM   #94
Frank Ettin
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Originally Posted by hogdogs
Frank, It is my understanding that Zimmerman can still fight for and possibly win immunity from civil suit in a separate hearing...
That's possible. This is pretty much uncharted territory. I'm not aware of this having come up much since States started to adopt civil immunity laws. I haven't seen a Florida case involving civil immunity yet either -- although a separate hearing has become common Florida procedure in criminal cases.

If I were representing Zimmerman in a civil suit, I certainly would try to dispose of it with a separate hearing on immunity.

But still, the acquittal in the criminal case doesn't necessarily, by itself, resolve the question.
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Old July 15, 2013, 01:53 PM   #95
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It will most likely result in considerable debate about stand-your-ground, but it shouldn't. This was never a stand-your-ground case.
+1

Glad to see someone else is saying that. I can't see how any of the old "duty to retreat" stuff applies to this case at all. I'm sure the anti-gun people want to bring up SYG as a legislative target but it wasn't an issue in this case.

Gregg
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Old July 15, 2013, 02:02 PM   #96
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One of the circumstances that could touch upon this is if O'Mara and West are successful in their pursuit of sanctions against the prosecution for misconduct during the trial. That will go a long way toward bolstering Zimmerman's claim that this case should never have been prosecuted in the first place.

One thing that already helps this claim in that respect is that the special prosecutor never took the case to a grand jury - it could be used to argue prosecutorial overzealousness and it's mindfulness of a very weak case.
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Old July 15, 2013, 08:09 PM   #97
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I did some very quick research on WestLaw on applying for immunity protection in a civil suit following acquittal in a jury case. I found no civil cases in Florida that cited to the Florida statue on immunity. I also did not find anything in the rest of the country, though I emphasize this was just a quick keywords type search. Based on the Florida statute as a whole, I think Zimmerman can raise it in a civil suit. He would have the burden of proving immunity by a preponderance of the evidence. The trial judge would make that determination.

Quote:
The Brady Campaign has (of course) jumped into the fray. They were the most vocal opponents to the trend of SYG laws that started with Florida, and this is a prime opportunity for them to take a second crack at the issue.

Add in Mayor Bloomberg's stated intent to rally support for repeal, and we've got a real problem. They're winning on the AWB/UBC thing in several states, and this could be next.
We need to remind those seeking repeal that the "stand your ground" defense was NOT used in this case. This was traditional self-defense.

On defamation of Zimmerman by NBC, I think Zimmerman would have an excellent chance of success even if he is considered to be a public figure for limited purposes. Under the NY Times v. Sullivan case, he would have to show actual malice or reckless disregard for the truth. The actual malice might be difficult to prove but reckless disregard for the truth should be relatively easy. They had the unedited tape and deliberately edited it to change the meaning and cast Zimmerman as a racist.
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Old July 15, 2013, 09:50 PM   #98
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I agree with most everything I have read in the thread to this point regarding the immunity. I have heard a lot of people claim that the cases coming about will more than likely set new precedents. Also , I know in my state that outcomes or transcripts from criminal hearings cannot be used in civil cases. In Oklahoma they don't have anything to do with each other. Is FL any different?
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Old July 15, 2013, 10:05 PM   #99
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Quote:
They had the unedited tape and deliberately edited it to change the meaning and cast Zimmerman as a racist.
I think he has a case, but most likely, NBC will fight a war of attrition and tie it up as long as possible. If something pushes them against the wall, they'll go for an out-of-court settlement with a hefty non-disclosure fee attached. They won't be significantly harmed, and Zimmerman won't be able to speak about it.

It's still a win; it's just not much like justice.
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Old July 16, 2013, 10:00 AM   #100
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Well if Civil and Civil Rights trials were not enough for GZ to worry about, now he may have the United Nations on his back.

J Jackson calls for the UN to investigate GZ for Civil Rights Violations.

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/...artin-shooting
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