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Hartford CT Attorneys

Civil Rights Attorneys in CT

Connecticut Lawyers practicing in the area of Civil Rights

Claims Involving Law Enforcement / Official Misconduct

Attorney A. Paul Spinella began his civil rights practice as a young criminal defense lawyer representing clients subjected to illegal police conduct. Since its inception, Spinella & Associates has focused its practice in the area of law enforcement misconduct and civil rights litigation. Spinella & Associates have brought innumerable police misconduct cases against various police departments throughout Connecticut and neighboring states, as well as numerous claims against State Marshals, correctional officials, prosecutors, state police and municipal officers, and law enforcement officials of all kinds when necessary to vindicate abuse of citizens.

Law enforcement officers are like the rest of us. Most are fair and competent, but a small number are not. Unfortunately, the minority can cause a great deal of damage to the public they are chartered to protect. You may be entitled to protection and compensation under our nation's civil rights laws, which effectively appoint private attorneys as public attorneys general to ensure that the rights of private citizens are not violated by public officials.

Spinella & Associates have won significant jury verdicts and obtained countless settlements in cases involving police and municipal misconduct. We are known throughout Connecticut as having experience in such cases and in fighting especially hard to vindicate the rights of people who have been the subject of such misconduct. Our office makes full use of the existing federal civil rights statutes in pursuing, vindicating and deterring police and municipal misconduct.

As such, criminal attorneys, who do not handle official misconduct cases themselves, refer such claims on a regular basis to Spinella & Associates. Police claims are routinely referred early on since it is important that experienced Connecticut police misconduct attorneys work hand in hand with the criminal attorneys on a particular case so that the manner in which the criminal case is handled will not jeopardize a successful outcome in the related subsequent civil case. Moreover, early referral of police cases frequently helps aid in a successful outcome in the criminal case.

In addition to bringing misconduct cases on the part of the plaintiffs harmed by the public officials, we have also represented numerous police officers in employment and civil rights matters. Spinella & Associates strive to ensure that the average citizen who is a victim of a civil rights violation has a place to go to make the violator pay.

Other Civil Rights Areas of Practice

Over the years Spinella & Associates has expanded their civil rights practice to include a wide range of matters involving constitutional violations of every kind.

For example, we are presently handling cases involving wrongful imprisonment on behalf of citizens incarcerated illegally for lengthy prison terms; challenges to the entire system of money bail on behalf of wrongfully imprisoned pretrial detainees; illegal home invasion claims by building officials; and land use litigation matters involving various issues such as a successfully resolved claim on behalf of hundreds of homeowners denied full-time use of vacation homes.

Over our past years of practice, Spinella & Associates has brought and won important cases that have shaped Connecticut civil rights law in areas such as preventing jail suicide; curbing excessive use of force and deadly force by police officers and departments; ensuring that prisons are properly designed to promote the health and safety of prisoners; discouraging illegal and overzealous searches of residential dwellings; and safeguarding against illegal stops, arrests and searches of citizens. The civil rights attorneys at Spinella & Associates have exposed department-wide policies that have served to encourage and promote constitutional rights of citizens throughout the state.

The following is some representative examples of cases prosecuted by our firm:

  • a claim brought on behalf of a suburban homeowner who was brutally beaten in his own home in view of his family and children after exiting his bathroom where he had removed his dentures before retiring for the night. This home invasion was conducted by a SWAT team of eight police officers without a warrant upon suspicion of marijuana use by the client's minor child following a search of the family garbage; no criminal charges were ever brought;
  • a substantial verdict obtained against a large Connecticut municipality in a wrongful death case where a young man was shot by two police officers who claimed our client tried to run them down in his car; the police testimony was discredited through use of expert testimony by a reconstructionist who relied on extensive deposition testimony of the officers and other exhaustive evidence developed by our firm;
  • a wrongful imprisonment case successfully resolved on behalf of a young man who spent 22 months in jail before being acquitted of narcotic offenses based upon a fraudulent police warrant affidavit and report;
  • a death case brought on behalf of the estate of a young woman who was arrested and held in the police station prior to her arraignment where she was left in her cell to die in her own vomit after screaming for help while suffering from drug withdrawal;
  • a jail suicide case where police and prison officials incarcerated a known suicidal young man in an agitated mental state; instead of abiding the pleas of family members to hospitalize him they locked him in a cell and ignored his pleas for help. Subsequently he hung himself with his shirt; jail officials then cut him down and, incredibly, left him sitting in his cell again pleading for help, following which he hung himself a second time resulting in his death.

Our CT civil rights firm continues to grow as this area of practice becomes increasingly specialized with few competent attorneys dedicated to this area of the law which requires a strong belief that the law is a noble profession necessary to ensure civil liberties and not merely a business.

To learn more about our firm and whether we can assist with your claim, please call us at 860 728-4900.