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(Slate)   Bad: Man spends a decade in jail for a murder he didn't commit because of police misconduct. Better: a panel awards hims a $5 million settlement. Fark me: of which he is very unlikely to get a single dime now that Detroit has filed for bankruptcy   (slate.com) divider line 89
    More: Sad, police misconduct, Dwayne Provience, Detroit, jury, murders, convicts, Buick Regal, unsecured creditor  
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4067 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Dec 2013 at 6:14 PM (31 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-12-13 05:20:24 PM
Depending on details of state law and the settlement contract, he might either have a claim against the police officer or he might be able to persuade the bankruptcy court to allow him to pursue a claim against the police officer.

For example, suppose the agreement says "Detroit pays Dwayne $5 million to settle claims that officer Scumbag framed him for murder. Dwayne agrees to drop claims against Scumbag as an individual." Then the court might void the entire contract, rule Dwayne's potential claim against the city discharged in bankruptcy, and leave Scumbag on the hook. On the other hand, Scumbag might have immunity under state law, leaving Detroit as the only potentially liable party. Then he's out of luck, along with everybody else depending on Detroit for pensions, accounts receivable, and so forth.
 
2013-12-13 06:06:23 PM
ouch.
 
2013-12-13 06:08:11 PM

ZAZ: he might be able to persuade the bankruptcy court to allow him to pursue a claim against the police officer.


Yeah, but that police officer probably has very little in the way of assets. Which makes a good case for police officers having to carry private malpractice insurance the way that doctors do.
 
2013-12-13 06:19:55 PM

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: ZAZ: he might be able to persuade the bankruptcy court to allow him to pursue a claim against the police officer.

Yeah, but that police officer probably has very little in the way of assets. Which makes a good case for police officers having to carry private malpractice insurance the way that doctors do.


[imokaywiththis.jpg]
 
2013-12-13 06:21:03 PM
Doesn't the department carry insurance for these type of claims? Or is it that departments of a certain size self insure?
 
2013-12-13 06:23:39 PM
Maybe he can settle with the city for a brand new 6000 SUX car.

/Biatches, pay.
 
2013-12-13 06:23:48 PM
Good thing 60 years of Union thievery didn't happen.  Slate KNOWS the poor union angle is dead on arrival so I applaud their change of focus.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-12-13 06:25:50 PM
Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich

Where I live cities often have insurance against negligent acts of city employees. I'm not sure whether it would pay out in cases like this where the allegation is worse than ordinary negligence. I know there have been similar claims, I just forget how much was covered by insurance and how much by taxpayers.

If you mandated private liability insurance around here the union would demand the city pay the premium and the arbitraror would side with the union. The result would be less efficient than mandating the city to buy group insurance for police misconduct.
 
2013-12-13 06:27:55 PM
Jesus Christ this city is a shiathole
 
2013-12-13 06:28:04 PM
Super Fark Me: The IRS says that since he's been awarded $5 million, he owes $2.5 million in taxes.

Super Duper Fark Me: Since he can't pay, they throw him into prison...

/The Aristocrats!
 
2013-12-13 06:28:22 PM
If the city cant pay could he go after the county or state instead?
 
2013-12-13 06:28:49 PM
Lot of employees are f'd out of their pension they worked decades to get. Lots of people are being f's over.
 
2013-12-13 06:29:50 PM
Maybe they can work something out. Perhaps a free shot at one of the people who screwed him over, his choice.

Though since Detroit is broke, he'll have to provide the bullet.
 
2013-12-13 06:30:03 PM
This is what pisses me off about our criminal justice system.  Unlike some of the criminal justice systems in Europe whose goal is primarily to get at the "truth" and for justice really to prevail, ours is dominated by the district attorneys, police, getting convictions at all costs, including trying a defendant, or copping a plea with the defense attorney to plead guilty instead of risk of heavier punishment by going to trial; when there is evidence that the defendant may not be guilty.  There is just little concern on the part of the cops and DA's that an innocent man may face many years in prison or life in prison for a crime that he did not commit.  Just get the conviction, that's all that matters.  And to top it off, when the shiat hits the fan and years later the evidence is becoming public that the person may be innocent and the DA may have known that all along, what does the DA do, stall the case even more and keep the guy in jail even longer.
 
2013-12-13 06:30:06 PM

ZAZ: Depending on details of state law and the settlement contract, he might either have a claim against the police officer or he might be able to persuade the bankruptcy court to allow him to pursue a claim against the police officer.


I don't think I have ever heard of an individual cop being successfully sued for actions under color of law.
 
2013-12-13 06:30:20 PM
Easy, just claim a city building then auction it off to the highest bidder
 
2013-12-13 06:32:52 PM
Maybe he can convince the bankruptcy court looking the city's case to give him a slice.
 
2013-12-13 06:34:32 PM
This was a settlement.  Since Detroit is reneging on its part of the settlement, the case can be reopened and it will go to a jury.  He's not out of the money, just delayed.

The bankruptcy trustee will probably find it cheaper to pay him then to fight it in court and most likely lose big.  He can put pressure to speed up the payout by reopening the case.
 
2013-12-13 06:35:40 PM
If he is owed it he might be able to actually have the ability to squat on some piece of detroit public land and claim it against the debt they owe.
 
2013-12-13 06:36:24 PM

steamingpile: Easy, just claim a city building then auction it off to the highest bidder


The city owes him $5 million. If he claims every building the City of Detroit owns, and sells them all at fair market value, that still leaves him about $4.95 million short...
 
2013-12-13 06:37:44 PM

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: ZAZ: he might be able to persuade the bankruptcy court to allow him to pursue a claim against the police officer.

Yeah, but that police officer probably has very little in the way of assets. Which makes a good case for police officers having to carry private malpractice insurance the way that doctors do.


That is a good idea.
 
2013-12-13 06:37:52 PM

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: ZAZ: he might be able to persuade the bankruptcy court to allow him to pursue a claim against the police officer.

Yeah, but that police officer probably has very little in the way of assets. Which makes a good case for police officers having to carry private malpractice insurance the way that doctors do.


Police officers are insured by the same polices that cover the police department. When the cops get sued, it's always the insurance company that runs the legal defense.
 
2013-12-13 06:38:14 PM

Revek: If he is owed it he might be able to actually have the ability to squat on some piece of detroit public land and claim it against the debt they owe.


Police Station?

Heh, no, they are all protected by the bankruptcy court.  He'll get paid, either by going to trial or by the trustee to avoid that.
 
2013-12-13 06:39:11 PM

ZAZ: Depending on details of state law and the settlement contract, he might either have a claim against the police officer or he might be able to persuade the bankruptcy court to allow him to pursue a claim against the police officer.

For example, suppose the agreement says "Detroit pays Dwayne $5 million to settle claims that officer Scumbag framed him for murder. Dwayne agrees to drop claims against Scumbag as an individual." Then the court might void the entire contract, rule Dwayne's potential claim against the city discharged in bankruptcy, and leave Scumbag on the hook. On the other hand, Scumbag might have immunity under state law, leaving Detroit as the only potentially liable party. Then he's out of luck, along with everybody else depending on Detroit for pensions, accounts receivable, and so forth.


As pointed out, if the officer has no assets all he would get is a paper judgment.  Also, the officer would likely go bankrupt in any event leaving Dwayne in the exact position he's in now plus legal costs.
 
2013-12-13 06:42:11 PM

haemaker: This was a settlement.  Since Detroit is reneging on its part of the settlement, the case can be reopened and it will go to a jury.  He's not out of the money, just delayed.

The bankruptcy trustee will probably find it cheaper to pay him then to fight it in court and most likely lose big.  He can put pressure to speed up the payout by reopening the case.


Good point.
 
2013-12-13 06:44:50 PM

haemaker: Revek: If he is owed it he might be able to actually have the ability to squat on some piece of detroit public land and claim it against the debt they owe.

Police Station?

Heh, no, they are all protected by the bankruptcy court.  He'll get paid, either by going to trial or by the trustee to avoid that.


A park.  A closed city work.  A old police station.  Hire debt collectors.  Robocall the crap outta their listed phones.   The possibilities for semi legitimate trolling are mind boggling.
 
2013-12-13 06:48:04 PM
I have a solution.  The money should come out of the paycheck (or pension) of every cop and prosecutor involved.
 
NFA [TotalFark]
2013-12-13 06:49:32 PM
I've always heard you still have to pay court judgments regardless of bankruptcy filings.
 
2013-12-13 06:49:34 PM
5 million for nearly a decade in the slammer? That works out to nearly half a million per year. That ridiculous.
 
2013-12-13 06:49:56 PM

Mad Canadian: Super Fark Me: The IRS says that since he's been awarded $5 million, he owes $2.5 million in taxes.

Super Duper Fark Me: Since he can't pay, they throw him into prison...

/The Aristocrats!


I don't think money from a lawsuit is taxable, as it's intended to "fix" something that was "damaged" by another. In other words, it's not considered income, because it's paying for replacement of something damaged or lost due to the actions of another. In this case, the loss was 10 years of his freedom.
 
2013-12-13 06:53:08 PM
I just got a brilliant idea.  Expand what I posted about this particular situation.  For any case where the police are found to have been involved in misconduct, the payout is taken from ALL police officers employed at that precinct, even if only one or two cops are actually guilty.  When your check suddenly gets fifty bucks lighter each month for the next ten years, maybe you'll stop turning a blind eye to the crimes committed by your "brothers".
 
2013-12-13 06:53:23 PM

MJMaloney187: 5 million for nearly a decade in the slammer? That works out to nearly half a million per year. That ridiculous.


Really?  How so?
 
2013-12-13 06:55:09 PM

The Dog Ate My Homework: Police officers are insured by the same polices that cover the police department.


Imagine a scenario in which officers maintain individual policies. Instead of filing a lawsuit against the city, I file a lawsuit against the officer. Lets say that officers has also had numerous other lawsuits against them. The insurance company decides that Joe the Cop is a large risk because of a history of abuses. They raise rates on him to the point he can no longer afford to be a cop, and he goes into burger flipping or something.

Compare that with the current system where you file a complaint with the city, Joe goes on unpaid leave, the union makes sure that he keeps his job, in two weeks he's back on the job, and if you're lucky, you might get a small payout.

It's good ol' fashion conservative economics.
 
2013-12-13 06:55:51 PM
And... I was wrong. Apparently, "compensatory" damages awarded by a court are usually not taxable, while punitive damages are. And there's been lawsuits over what constitutes "compensatory" and what constitutes "punitive."

Regardless, I don't think you can be taxed until you've actually received the money...
 
2013-12-13 06:59:42 PM

MJMaloney187: 5 million for nearly a decade in the slammer? That works out to nearly half a million per year. That ridiculous.


It's not only to replace lost income. What sort of monetary value do you place on your personal liberty- Your ability to travel, to associate with whomever you choose, to engage in "relations" with your wife, to take your kids to the park, to watch school plays, to attend funerals and weddings... everything a free person takes for granted. What is all that "worth" to you? You CAN'T place a value on it- the value is infinite. The courts just try to make it hurt a lot less.
 
2013-12-13 06:59:52 PM
On the bright side, he lives in Detroit - so he can buy a house for $40.
 
2013-12-13 07:03:51 PM

MJMaloney187: 5 million for nearly a decade in the slammer? That works out to nearly half a million per year. That ridiculous.


Depriving an innocent person of their freedom should be expensive.
 
2013-12-13 07:04:40 PM

MJMaloney187: 5 million for nearly a decade in the slammer? That works out to nearly half a million per year. That ridiculous.


Yes, it should be 3x that much. Try it: stay in a cage for 10 years having done no wrong, sent there by corrupt cops, and see what it's worth.
 
2013-12-13 07:08:39 PM
I was under the impression that bankruptcy did not protect you from legal penalties.
 
2013-12-13 07:08:42 PM
Why hasn't the cop been charged?  He knowingly surpressed evidence that got the wrong man convicted.  If that isn't a crime, it should be.
 
2013-12-13 07:10:24 PM

enry: Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: ZAZ: he might be able to persuade the bankruptcy court to allow him to pursue a claim against the police officer.

Yeah, but that police officer probably has very little in the way of assets. Which makes a good case for police officers having to carry private malpractice insurance the way that doctors do.

[imokaywiththis.jpg]


Who'd want to take a crappy paying (compared to doctors) job if that was required?
 
2013-12-13 07:15:03 PM

OgreMagi: I just got a brilliant idea.  Expand what I posted about this particular situation.  For any case where the police are found to have been involved in misconduct, the payout is taken from ALL police officers employed at that precinct, even if only one or two cops are actually guilty.  When your check suddenly gets fifty bucks lighter each month for the next ten years, maybe you'll stop turning a blind eye to the crimes committed by your "brothers".


Punish the many for the crimes of the few?

Sounds like the same logic as gun control.
 
2013-12-13 07:15:58 PM

OgreMagi: I just got a brilliant idea.  Expand what I posted about this particular situation.  For any case where the police are found to have been involved in misconduct, the payout is taken from ALL police officers employed at that precinct, even if only one or two cops are actually guilty.  When your check suddenly gets fifty bucks lighter each month for the next ten years, maybe you'll stop turning a blind eye to the crimes committed by your "brothers".


The problem with that idea is that suddenly you'll have cops unable to make ends meet on a paycheck that would normally support them. This will lead to further corruption. Also, it gives a greater incentive to ensure that bad cops don't get caught.
 
2013-12-13 07:19:26 PM
Detroit was running a welfare state with generous wealth transfers. I thought that was the ideal system?

Now they are out of money and everyone is getting screwed over.
 
2013-12-13 07:22:09 PM

BetaFlame: I was under the impression that bankruptcy did not protect you from legal penalties.


If it's a settlement contract in lieu of suing, the bankruptcy can void the contract, forcing the original lawsuit to continue.

The bankruptcy guy, knowing this, may decide to not void this particular contract, since this would be cheaper than paying out for the resultant lawsuit.
 
2013-12-13 07:32:16 PM
They should just let him kill one cop involved with no consequences for each million they don't pay. It is win/win.
 
2013-12-13 07:41:48 PM
AngryDragon


Jesus Christ this city is a shiathole
Democrat utopia.
 
2013-12-13 07:56:01 PM
Can't someone just get him a movie deal with points on the back end?
 
2013-12-13 07:58:51 PM

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: ZAZ: he might be able to persuade the bankruptcy court to allow him to pursue a claim against the police officer.

Yeah, but that police officer probably has very little in the way of assets. Which makes a good case for police officers having to carry private malpractice insurance the way that doctors do.


Or maybe cops shouldn't do things where they need to have insurance?
 
2013-12-13 08:07:33 PM

Truther: Who'd want to take a crappy paying (compared to doctors) job if that was required?


I'm not convinced Officers earn less than, say, Internists where I live.

Regardless, very few people actually are in a position to choose between the two jobs.

Becoming a Doctor requires about ten years of training after high school, while becoming a Police Officer sometimes requires a two year public safety degree.
 
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