SB 378 Sec 83.002 - Self Defense

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inhouston
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SB 378 Sec 83.002 - Self Defense

#1

Post by inhouston » Wed Feb 21, 2007 6:15 pm

If I understand the text below correctly, I can recover all court costs and legal fees back from the guy I had to defend myself against?

Sec. 83.002. COURT COSTS, ATTORNEY'S FEES, AND OTHER
EXPENSES.
A defendant who prevails in asserting the affirmative
defense described by Section 83.001 may recover from the plaintiff
all court costs, reasonable attorney's fees, earned income that was
lost as a result of the suit, and other reasonable expenses.


What good is this? That means he can still drag me to court and put me through a long and expensive legal hassle? Is that what this means? He probably won't have any money to recover in the first place. How about a law that when your self-defense is justified, your attacker and family members have no legal recourse against you, even in a civil case. If anyone should be sued, it should the perpetrator and not me. I would have been minding my own business as a law-abiding citizen.

:deadhorse:

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#2

Post by seamusTX » Wed Feb 21, 2007 6:55 pm

It's useful because few attorneys would take a case on based on a contingency fee if this bill is passed.

Most criminals are indigent and could not pay a lawyer upfront.

- Jim


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Re: SB 378 Sec 83.002 - Self Defense

#3

Post by txinvestigator » Wed Feb 21, 2007 7:40 pm

inhouston wrote: How about a law that when your self-defense is justified, your attacker and family members have no legal recourse against you, even in a civil case. If anyone should be sued, it should the perpetrator and not me. I would have been minding my own business as a law-abiding citizen.

:deadhorse:
The standard of proof is different in Criminal and civil cases.
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Charles L. Cotton
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#4

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Wed Feb 21, 2007 8:16 pm

It is not possible to pass a statute that precludes someone from filing a suit. That would be unconstitutional. You have to prove your entitlement to civil damage immunity and this must be done in court. The State enjoys "sovereign immunity" which means you cannot recover damages from the State, but that doesn't prevent the suit from being filed. It does mean the State is going to win a summary judgment early in the process, not after a lengthy and expensive pre-trial discovery period. (The Texas Tort Claims Act waives sovereign immunity to a very limited extent allowing some suits to be filed.)

As a practical matter, no attorney is going to take a case he has no chance to win, unless it's for a political reason and that rarely happens. With SB378, a summary judgment would be filed and granted early on, so suits against a person justifiably using deadly force would not have much political value either.

Chas.


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Re: SB 378 Sec 83.002 - Self Defense

#5

Post by srothstein » Thu Feb 22, 2007 12:48 am

inhouston wrote:How about a law that when your self-defense is justified, your attacker and family members have no legal recourse against you, even in a civil case.
That is what the proposed law says. the problem is that it takes a court case to determine if your force was justified before they can determine that he has no recourse against you. Thus, the addition you were questioning that says that if you are correct, not only does he get nothing, but he has to pay you for all court costs and legal fees. I love the part about paying you for the time you took off from work for the hearing also. Icing on the cake, IMHO.
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Re: SB 378 Sec 83.002 - Self Defense

#6

Post by inhouston » Thu Feb 22, 2007 9:38 am

srothstein wrote:
inhouston wrote:How about a law that when your self-defense is justified, your attacker and family members have no legal recourse against you, even in a civil case.
That is what the proposed law says. the problem is that it takes a court case to determine if your force was justified before they can determine that he has no recourse against you. Thus, the addition you were questioning that says that if you are correct, not only does he get nothing, but he has to pay you for all court costs and legal fees. I love the part about paying you for the time you took off from work for the hearing also. Icing on the cake, IMHO.
As seamusTX wrote, "Most criminals are indigent and could not pay a lawyer upfront." I'm concerned that it will cost me a lot of money to make my case, and with nothing to recover from the criminal for it.

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Re: SB 378 Sec 83.002 - Self Defense

#7

Post by Mithras61 » Thu Feb 22, 2007 10:23 am

inhouston wrote:
srothstein wrote:
inhouston wrote:How about a law that when your self-defense is justified, your attacker and family members have no legal recourse against you, even in a civil case.
That is what the proposed law says. the problem is that it takes a court case to determine if your force was justified before they can determine that he has no recourse against you. Thus, the addition you were questioning that says that if you are correct, not only does he get nothing, but he has to pay you for all court costs and legal fees. I love the part about paying you for the time you took off from work for the hearing also. Icing on the cake, IMHO.
As seamusTX wrote, "Most criminals are indigent and could not pay a lawyer upfront." I'm concerned that it will cost me a lot of money to make my case, and with nothing to recover from the criminal for it.
The point is that since most criminals are indigent, the only way they can retain a lawyer is on contingency. With this law, the liklihood that a lawyer can win anything other than a summary judgement against them is severely reduced if it is a "good shoot." That means that very few lawyers will be willing to take it on contingency. Keep in mind that contingency means the lawyer will have to lay out thousands of $$$ for discovery and such before the actual trial even begins.

Would you be willing to lay out somewhere around $50K (or more) on the off chance that you'll get lucky and get past the initial motion for summary judgement so you can go to trial and spend MORE $$$ so that somewhere down the road you MIGHT be able to prove that the shooter was in some way negligent? :?:


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Re: SB 378 Sec 83.002 - Self Defense

#8

Post by inhouston » Thu Feb 22, 2007 12:20 pm

Mithras61 wrote:
inhouston wrote:
srothstein wrote:
inhouston wrote:How about a law that when your self-defense is justified, your attacker and family members have no legal recourse against you, even in a civil case.
That is what the proposed law says. the problem is that it takes a court case to determine if your force was justified before they can determine that he has no recourse against you. Thus, the addition you were questioning that says that if you are correct, not only does he get nothing, but he has to pay you for all court costs and legal fees. I love the part about paying you for the time you took off from work for the hearing also. Icing on the cake, IMHO.
As seamusTX wrote, "Most criminals are indigent and could not pay a lawyer upfront." I'm concerned that it will cost me a lot of money to make my case, and with nothing to recover from the criminal for it.
The point is that since most criminals are indigent, the only way they can retain a lawyer is on contingency. With this law, the liklihood that a lawyer can win anything other than a summary judgement against them is severely reduced if it is a "good shoot." That means that very few lawyers will be willing to take it on contingency. Keep in mind that contingency means the lawyer will have to lay out thousands of $$$ for discovery and such before the actual trial even begins.

Would you be willing to lay out somewhere around $50K (or more) on the off chance that you'll get lucky and get past the initial motion for summary judgement so you can go to trial and spend MORE $$$ so that somewhere down the road you MIGHT be able to prove that the shooter was in some way negligent? :?:
Hmmm ... duly noted. Thanks everyone. That makes me feel better.


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#9

Post by stroo » Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:33 pm

It would be better if you could collect from either the plaintiff or their ATTORNEY. That would cause their attorney to evaluate whether or not they had a good claim before bringing the case. Damages for loss of reputation would be even better.


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#10

Post by Patriot » Mon Feb 26, 2007 7:26 am

DELETED!! Oy!
Last edited by Patriot on Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#11

Post by txinvestigator » Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:14 am

Patriot wrote:Simply put, (IMHO) when the courts :smash: get involved in every aspect of our lives.... this country is doomed. The separation of powers are pretty much meaningless anymore, along with the Constitution!

God help us..... :cry:
I don't see how this relates to anything. Nor do I see how the Constitution is meaningless anymore. :roll:

Courts only get involved when you violate the law or a person sues you.

We might could argue that about the lawmakers.
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#12

Post by Venus Pax » Mon Feb 26, 2007 7:17 pm

Now that it is explained, this doesn't sound like such a bad bill.
Who do we call?
What bill is it?
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