The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

Pretty Pleading: Victims Record Cop, Get Arrested, and Sue

What’s a tort in a tort? A supertort?

Quick vocabulary lesson: a tort is an action that you can sue over, such as battery, slander, or false imprisonment. A tortfeasor is someone who commits a tort.

According to the Courthouse News Service, Benjamin Perez and Bobby Milton were hanging out with friends when another friend rolled by on a motorcycle. The two-wheeled friend was heading south on Chicago Avenue.

Captain Kevin Navarro was headed north, in the southbound lane, in a marked Police SUV. Boom.

The two friends took out their phones to record the cop and the accident scene. They were immediately arrested. One was thrown off of his own motorcycle and slammed onto the ground before the cuffs were slapped on.

What was their crime? According to the duo, there was none. They were charged with battery, resisting arrest, and assault, but were acquitted.

In the meantime, they were allegedly strip-searched and interrogated. The police tried to force them to delete the videos off of their phone. One of them gave up his password, after being threatened with a felony offense if he did not comply. The other didn’t.

The cops were probably just looking out for taxpayers’ money and trying to ensure that the department’s auto insurance premiums didn’t go up. But they seem to have gone a little overboard.

Perez and Milton’s complaint seeks damages for false arrest, excessive force, unlawful search, conspiracy, false imprisonment, battery, and malicious prosecution.

That’s quite the list. We cover those types of claims regularly, so let’s take a look at a commonly-overlooked aspect of personal injury law: the pleading. The pleading in this case is one of the most well written and formatted complaints that this blogger has ever seen.

For those of you looking for an example on how a legal pleading should be done, as opposed to how it should not, take a look at it. Well-formatted documents lend a bit of extra credibility to the case.

This police brutality case, as well as the sexual harassment and assault case in the second pleading, at least from the alleged facts, seem to have merit. This case, however, seems more legitimate, in large part because of the professionalism displayed by the paperwork.

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