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Old July 15, 2008, 09:06 AM   #68
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Join Date: March 28, 2000
Posts: 4,055
Actually that depends on the state you live in and where the shooting takes place. In Delaware there is a law that says you may only be sued if you are convicted. If Self defense is ruled justified, or you are no billed, or not arrested, the perp CANNOT SUE YOU period. Thats Factual information.
Be careful about that. I'm not familiar with the Delaware law on this. However, I am familiar with the MA law, and while it provides a defense against a lawsuit, it does not prevent one:
Chapter 231: Section 85U. Death or injury to unlawful dwelling occupants; liability of lawful occupants

Section 85U. No person who is a lawful occupant of a dwelling shall be liable in an action for damages for death or injuries to an unlawful occupant of said dwelling resulting from the acts of said lawful occupant; provided, however, that said lawful occupant was in the dwelling at the time of the occurrence and that he acted in the reasonable belief that the person unlawfully in said lawful dwelling was about to inflict great bodily injury or death upon said occupant or upon another person lawfully in said dwelling, and that said lawful occupant used reasonable means to defend himself or such other person lawfully in said dwelling. There shall not be a duty on said occupant to retreat from such person unlawfully in said dwelling.
This does not prevent a lawsuit but it does provide a possible defense. From the law, you can see the types of arguments that the plaintiff's attorney would use: 1) you were not in "reasonable belief" that the perp was about to inflict grave bodily injury or death upon you, 2) you did not use "reasonable means" to defend yourself.

Some of these laws might either prevent a lawsuit from being filed or result in them being thrown out quickly. Others, such as the MA law shown above, provide less of a shield.
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