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As Reported In:

WylieLaw Client v. New York City Police Department; City of New York; State of New York; New York State Dept. of Corrections; New York State Dept. of Probation; the Assigned Counsel Plan of New York; Robert Collini, Esq.; Probation Officer K. Range; Supervising Probation Officer P. Schuyler Miles; New York City Dept. of Probation Branch Chief J. Imbasciani; 50 unknown and unnamed employees of the city of New York; and 50 unknown and unnamed employees of the State of New York

Causes of Action

False Imprisonment - Violation of Civil Rights - §1983 Violations - Legal Malpractice

Recovery

$165,000

   

Court

United States District Court, Eastern District of New York

Judge

Honorable Sterling Johnson, Jr.

Description

A WylieLaw Client, a security guard and native of Puerto Rico, was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped by the police. The WylieLaw Client claimed that without probable cause, New York City police stopped the vehicle, searched it, and collected identification from each of the vehicle's passengers. The WylieLaw Client's name was returned with an outstanding probation violation warrant. Over a period of five weeks, the WylieLaw client appeared five times in Brooklyn Supreme Court and each time his appearance was waived by his appointed counsel. The WylieLaw Client, who did not speak English, was being held in a remand status due to his alleged probation violation. Six weeks after being arrested, the WylieLaw Client pleaded guilty to a probation violation, although he was not on probation and had never been arrested in Brooklyn. He was sentenced to one to three years.

The WylieLaw Client contended that many "red flags" were overlooked, including double New York State Identification numbers and notice of a deportation proceeding to the Dominican Republic (although the client is an American citizen). The WylieLaw Client contended that no one followed up on the red flags and he was never fingerprinted. He also claimed that his criminal lawyer, defendant Collini, failed to properly communicate with him, consented to remand, waived his appearance, overlooked the red flags, did not conduct an investigation, and eventually convinced him to plead guilty to a violation of probation although he was not on probation.

The WylieLaw Client brought this suit in the Court of Claims and in Federal Court asserting five counts of §1983 violations, one count of common law false imprisonment, negligence including infliction of emotional distress, and legal malpractice. The WylieLaw client claimed that he was eventually able to communicate that he had not committed any crime and his fingerprints were taken, compared to the probationer's fingerprints, and he was released.

Defendant Collini would have contended that through a translator, the Judge offered the WylieLaw client a sentence of one to three years on a plea bargain, that the client agreed to the offer, and that he never stated that he was not the man who had an outstanding warrant against him. Defendant Collini also would have contended that in his eight months in jail, the WylieLaw client never notified him that he had never been arrested before or that he was not the person sough on probation violations. Defendant contended that the WylieLaw Client was being processed for early release when a check was run on his fingerprints and it was determined that he was not the right person being sought for probation violations.

Injuries

Post-traumatic stress disorder. WylieLaw client contended that he suffered eleven months of unlawful and wrongful imprisonment.
Experts:

Plaintiff's Experts

Dr. Alan Perry, Psychologist
Martin Adelman, Esq., Criminal Attorney

Result

The matter settled for a total payout of $165,000. Defendant Collini paid $2,500 and The City of New York paid $162,500 on behalf of all other defendants.