View Full Version : Sue Your Attacker?

Brian Pfleuger
May 5, 2009, 01:46 PM
Ok, so I suppose you can sue for anything, but could you win?

Insert your favorite SD scenario....

The question is, when the smoke clears, the shooting is found to be justified... can you sue your attacker? Recover legal fees? Damage to property? Mental anguish/suffering? Compensation for injuries?

Sure, most of the dirt bags don't have two stones to rub together but, in theory, could you / would you win?

May 5, 2009, 01:53 PM
Yes I can and would sue... It won't cost me one red cent (well maybe a few bucks to file) and I would easily be awarded the pain and suffering, mental anguish, and property damages... Not gonna hold my breath but if the BG (assuming he lived) ever hits the lottery or inherits money he gets to see my ugly mug taking my piece first...:D But after soaking up the shotgun rounds he won't likely ever be healthy enuff to retaliate...

May 5, 2009, 02:10 PM
You can sue anyone for any reason you can convince a lawyer to sue someone for you (unless you can do it all yourself).

Question is... does the dirt bag have anything worthwhile? If he's trying to steal from you does he have any money you could win in a lawsuit and actually recover?

May 5, 2009, 04:43 PM
I would sue his "Beneficiary";)

May 5, 2009, 04:48 PM
Can you imagine collecting his life insurance that his wife or kids expected to get, after he tried to break into your house and you stopped him? :p

Or taking his property through legal channels to liquidate? The car (and its $5000 rims), other valuables in his home? Even the home itself, if he was a dumb enough home owner to attempt a break in or violent crime?

Imagine the media circus behind such a case. You'd be fighting the ACLU for sure, as well as NAACP, La Raza or some other group backing the guy's family.

May 5, 2009, 05:06 PM
I would let them keep the rims.:barf:

May 5, 2009, 05:10 PM
I would definetly sue, but I don't think I could take his life insurance money away. His wife and kids didn't do anything

May 5, 2009, 05:14 PM
Sue the people who got them out of prison.

May 5, 2009, 05:19 PM
+1 Yellowfin;)

May 5, 2009, 05:49 PM
I have decided to re-think my post... Did he see me in my "seasonal girly clothes"?

May 5, 2009, 06:11 PM
(and its $5000 rims) I'd put 'em on my quad. 28" spinners... cool!

I think you can sue these people and I actually wouldn't have problem suing a BG that attacked me. His family? I dunno.... hate seeing kids grow up lacking... I dunno.

May 5, 2009, 06:41 PM
Most attackers aren't exactly lottery winners and you'd probably just be ******* your money away.

May 5, 2009, 06:51 PM
There have been cases where the BG was injured while burglarizing homes and have successfully sued the homeowner for damages.

May 5, 2009, 07:54 PM
There have been cases where the BG was injured while burglarizing homes and have successfully sued the homeowner for damages.

Correct, but that the BG may have a claim against the homeowner does not negate any claims the homeowner may have against the BG. So you can sue and be counter sued, or vice versa. Isn't tort law fun :D

May 5, 2009, 08:48 PM
like others have said, the BG never has anything. Remember, even Al Kapone had no assets.

May 6, 2009, 10:11 AM
BGs are 'suite proof'.

After you have paid your attorney $$, even if you win a judgment it must be collected.

No large seizable assets = suit proof

May 7, 2009, 10:38 AM
What needs to be done first, is to file a criminal complaint against the BG. If he assaulted you, attempted to rob you, shot at you, etc., sign a criminal complaint, and follow up with police and prosecutors. At the same time (relatively), file a civil complaint. You can usually use the criminal complaint as leverage in the civil complaint. Courts are usually considerate in letting the criminal complaint go forward, and holding the civil complaint until conviction (if there is one).

Now, if the BG is dead, he/she can't be tried, but the complaint is not expunged.

As to his wife and kids, too bad. He should have been home, or working at a legal job. You are under no obligation to be altruistic, especially if you've been financially or physically harmed. You and your loved ones and family come first.

May 7, 2009, 11:48 AM
You can usually use the criminal complaint as leverage in the civil complaint.

While you can use the same evidence, unless he pleads guilty the criminal conviction is not in and of itself very useful.

May 7, 2009, 02:03 PM
Brickeyee wrote: While you can use the same evidence, unless he pleads guilty the criminal conviction is not in and of itself very useful.

Agreed. I'm making some assumptions here for the purposes of the discussion.

Civil actions rely on a preponderance of evidence (50% +). The more crap you can throw at the BG, the more likely you are to win a civil action.

May 8, 2009, 10:01 AM
The more crap you can throw at the BG, the more likely you are to win a civil action.

And after spending time and money, and even winning a judgment you have to collect.

If you have money you hold assets in certain ways to protect them.

If you are poor you have nothing to take.

How many of these guys use public defenders for the criminal case?

May 8, 2009, 12:28 PM
can you sue a Dead guy?? Anyone who breaks into my house while Im there aint gonna make it out on his own 2 feet. The meat wagon will get called to get this corpse off my floor before it stains.
There aint alot of crime around here for some reason.
It might have something do do with the spent brass on the driveway, or the 200 pound dog and several smaller ones running around my yard.
Id sue the family just to recover the cost of expended ammo, it is after all a bit spensive these days.
We got the castle law here. you break in someones house here, expect to die.

Frank Ettin
May 8, 2009, 01:12 PM
The real problem is that it doesn't make any sense to sue someone with no money. You can win, but you'll never collect a dime.

And you won't be able to find a lawyer to take the case on a contingency fee arrangement, because he will know that you won't be able to collect, so he won't get paid. Lawyers really hate not getting paid.

Brian Pfleuger
May 8, 2009, 03:22 PM
The real problem is that it doesn't make any sense to sue someone with no money.

Well, that issue keeps coming up but I have to say that it is clearly not always true.

1) It is especially not true (many times) in the case of "active shooters". They are quite often "regular" people who simply snap, lose it, however you want to put it. They may have significant assets.

2) The dirtbag who does have nothing may get an inheritance or win the lottery.

3) If your willing to spend the money then it could be done, quite simply, as revenge. I'm not saying I condone such a thing but you could simply try to make sure that the memory of what the guy did to you stays with him FOREVER. Garnished wages maybe? Judgement on the credit report? Don't know the rules on this stuff.

Frank Ettin
May 8, 2009, 06:37 PM

I stand by my comments. The first thing you want to ask yourself when you are considering suing someone is, "Does he have any money"?

How much are you willing to spend for revenge. If a pay day is uncertain or speculative, a lawyer won't handle your case on a contingency fee basis. You're going to have to be paying a lawyer something like $250.00 an hour or more, plus various costs -- like court reporter fees for depositions, process server fees, court filing fees, private investigator fees, etc. A plaintiff case through a bench (non-jury trial -- if you ask for a jury in a civil case, you have to pay the jury fees) can easily cost $50,000 to $100,000.

Of course, there is a real possibility that your defendant will simply default, giving you the win. Now you only have to prove your damages (which don't, in a civil tort case, include your attorneys). So in the event of a default, your lawyer's bill may only be $5,000 to $7,500 or so. What you get for that will be a piece of pay that says the guy you sued owes you some amount of money. Is the worth it to you?

If you want to try to collect, first you'll need to find any assets he might have. To do that, you'll usually have to hire a private investigator (that's one of the bread and butter activities for PIs in the real world) -- more expense.
As far as garnishing wages, if the BG is dead or in jail, he doesn't have any wages to garnish.

Of course, on occasion, the BG has some money or a real likelihood that he will have some in the future. Look at OJ. But the first question to ask when you're considering suing someone is "Does he have any money"?

May 14, 2009, 03:30 AM
I'm not a lawyer and nothing I say hereafter should be considered legal advice. But as a general rule, I'd say Sue the BG. I'd never fail to sue just because the bad guy doesn't have any money TODAY, because I wouldn't know what he may have TOMORROW. What I'd want to get is a judgement against the BG. Every state has its own particular statute of limitations restrictions on how long a judgement is good for. In some states (like Virginia) it used to be 20 years, and then you could go through a process that would extend it another 20 years if you had to. It may still be that way. I don't know. But I know a lot can happen to reverse a mans financial fortunes in 20-40 years. In Virginia, it used to be that once you sued and got a judgement, you could turn it into a lien against the judgement debtors real estate by doing what was referred to as "docketing" that judgement. There were two different courts in the courthouse in the county I'm thinking of. One was called General District Court. I forget what the other was called but it was a higher court and that's where you had to get General District Court judgements "docketed" (if you wanted your judgement to be a lien against the judgement debtors real estate.) Once you "docketed" your judgement, your lien priority against his real estate came right behind the last pre-existing mortgage or other real estate lien that was already against the property, and it came next in priority before any new mortgage or lien. So, any lender who wanted to lend new money on that property after a judgement attached, unless his loan was collateralized by a pre-existing credit-line-deed-of-trust, had to consider your judgement just like it was a previous mortgage, and had to pay you out if he wanted to be ahead of you in lien position on that property. In the event property you had a judgement lien against was sold while your docketed judgement was in force, if all the prior mortgages and other liens ahead of you got paid out from the proceeds of the sale, and if there were still enough money left over, your judgement lien had to be paid out too before the seller ever realized any benefit for himself. Also very importantly, if a judgement debtors Mama or Daddy died and left their home to him, a docketed lien in that county attached to that property too, and the debtor couldn't sell that property either without paying off the mortgages and liens against it,) before he realized anything for himself from the sale. As I recall, this was all "county specific". You had to have your judgement docketed in the the county where the property was physically located in order for a judgement to attach as a lien on any property a debtor owned in that county. But you could get a General District Court judgement in one county and then "docket" it in the higher court in another county where the defendant owned property. And, you could do this in several counties simultanously. For example, if you learned that your debtor had a beach house in another county, you could docket your judgement in that county, and at the same time, if you could find out where a judgement debtors parents or grandparents owned property (that he/she might one day inherit) you could docket your judgement in that county too, and hope they died before your judgement elapsed. I don't guarantee any of this to be true today, or true in your state, this is just the way I remember it used to be in Virginia 10-20 years ago, and anyway, each state is different and yours may have very different procedures. But most of them probably have something very much like this.

May 14, 2009, 05:00 AM
Careful mate, any would be crims on here could sue you for slander and deformation of charactor for even thinking of posting this thread :eek:

Dont worry, you can pay them in pizza's (just slip in a few green shrimps & let the other end do the talkin') :barf::D