Prosecutorial Misconduct Website - To Expose Prosecutorial Corruption and Related Loss of Constitutional Rights and Explain What Victims Can Do to Fight Back and Change the System

Forfeiture Statutes for Ex Parte Attachment by Prosecutor/Government of Criminal Defendant's Assets Used in Alleged Criminal Enterprise; Litigation Techniques for Opposing Attachment and Obtaining Return of Attached Family Property

Initial Publication: 9/23/98; Last Update: 12/16/08 21:33pm

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After years of working on the problem of prosecutorial abuse, I have come to the conclusion that it is very difficult to overcome in a typical case of abuse. Once in a while, some relief can be obtained, but not often enough. The only way to deal with the problem, as I see it, is political. You need to run for office with the promise to voters that if you are elected you will try to appoint a "Town Attorney General" or "City Attorney General". This is like having a new sheriff in town, not one with a gun, but one with the money and legal authority to go into court to protect the rights of individuals against the ever-increasing loss of many of their rights, including the loss of rights through prosecutorial abuse.

This may be your first time to my website, looking for information to help yourself or a member of your family who is the victim of prosecutorial abuse. Victims of prosecutorial abuse not only include the criminal defendant, but includes the defendant's family members, as well.

What I will ask you to and every other victim of prosecutorial abuse to do is to take the abusive criminal-justice system away from the abusers by you, the victim, in two distinct ways:

FIRST: Create an Email List of Residents and Small Businesses in the Community

Before describing the main event, I want to describe a preliminary event that you can organize, which will help you achieve the primary (SECOND) event described below. This FIRST event is to create a new medium for your community to provide the information to residents and local businesses that the local media do not provide, either because they are owned by the major corporate interests, or because they are afraid of losing advertising they have (or hope to get) from major corporations such as Wal-Mart, other top 100 retailers, and other major corporations.

I can't overemphasize how important it is to create a permissive e-mail mailing list for your community. The list must be "permissive" (i.e., with the explicit permission or authorization of each member of the list - to avoid charges of illegal "spamming", with a link put into each communication enabling them to remove themselves from the list with no hassle). The permissive e-mail mailing list becomes your own newspaper to promote the interests of the community, which generally are not the interests of the persons or corporations which own your local commercial media.

The size of your community is obviously a factor. I am not suggesting that you create an e-mail mailing list for New York City, Detroit, Los Angeles, Tulsa or other large city. Instead, I am talking about towns and villages (even small counties) having a total population of 25,000 or less. I'm currently working with one town of about 12,000 population, and 3,000 homes. If it takes an average of 15 minutes per home, then 3,000 homes would require 750 hours of work. If someone wanted to fund this at a minimum wage level (say, $6/hour), the cost of creating the list would amount to $4,500, a lot less than purchasing the local newspaper for $500,000 or $1,000,000 or more.

This new medium for your community would be a permissive e-mail mailing list consisting of the e-mail addresses for most if not all of the residents and small businesses in your community. The small business addresses can be obtained from the local Chamber of Commerce, or by stripping the addresses from its website. Always remember not to spam, and that you need approval from the business or resident before adding the e-mail address to your community permissive e-mail mailing list.

Obtaining the e-mail addresses of residents is more difficult. Whereas businesses are confined to business areas and can be reached by foot or bicycle within 1-5 days for most communities in the United States, residents are scattered over an area perhaps 20 times the size of the area dedicated to businesses, with much greater time involved in creating the desired list.

My suggestion is to find groups of interested persons, such as unemployed persons, seniors, individuals employed only part-time, persons on public assistance, college students, high-school students, church members (especially churches catering to minorities and the poor). They can do the needed leg work, if they can be shown how the permissive e-mail mailing list can and would be used to further their specialized interests. In other words, try to share the workload by putting together a coalition of interested local groups to provide the people you will need to put the list together.

Before giving you some pointers on what you can do to create the list most effectively, I want you to understand how the list would help to cure the problem that brought you to this website.

Prosecutors are elected through backing by the local press (or a major part of it) and they have ready access to the press after they are elected, so that the local press prints almost anything offered by the prosecutor and his/her office. On the other hand, the victims of prosecutorial abuse are not able to get their story told, for a variety of reasons, but mainly because the disclosure of prosecutorial abuse would make the prosecutor and his/her mouthpiece (the local press) look bad, and cause a major reduction in the ability of the local publications to mislead voters about what is going on in the community.

A permissive e-mail mailing list including the e-mail addresses of most residents and small businesses in the town or village would enable the owners of the list (perhaps you and a coalition of groups discussed above) to create your own "newspaper" or equivalent (really, a weekly newsletter) to send to the list providing information of value to them that the local media ignores. What type of information? Well, how about prosecutorial abuse and the damage that it is causing to your community. You might get a local college professor of economics to estimate the damage done to the community if 20% of the prosecutions are unjustified, and done solely to enhance the political career of the prosecutor and/or his/her assistant prosecutors.

What else could you say in the newsletter? How about explaining to your list members how Wal-Mart's low prices are causing the town and county to see its valuable jobs being transferred to China and other countries with substantially lower wages. How about telling residents and small businesses that they could have FREE broadband service, FREE healthcare coverage, REDUCED real estate taxes (for owners) and REDUCED rent (for tenants). You have never seen anything like that in any of the local media, have you?

The purpose of the permissive e-mail mailing list is to have a way to get a sufficient number of people in your community informed at the same time to be able to get them to take action that would be of benefit to them and the rest of the community. An occasional item in the local newspaper (especially when the item is incomplete, and has no followup) is basically worthless. You need to have control of the medium to be able to provide repeated information about the problem to be able to educate the local community members. There is a saying about advertising, "The more you tell the more you sell!" Also, as to the efficacy of advertising the radio salespersons will tell you that recency and frequency are important factors. You have to keep repeating the message because not everyone understands the message the first time they hear or read it. The first time there may only be 1% of understand the message. The next 2-10 times might bring the understanding level up to 25%, and thereafter with repetition you can bring the understanding percentage to much higher levels, to be able to prevail in a contest (such as election) where those issues are raised.

Also, email will help you identify and motivate candidates for local office; help to market their candidacy to the local residents and small businesses; and help to motivate local voters to vote these candidates into office.

Pointers on Creating the Permissive E-Mail List for Your Community

  1. Have a written form authorizing the addition of the resident's or businessperson's e-mail address to the list, including the person's name, address, town, ZIP Code, date of authorization, signature line for signature; and instructions for returning the form by email (after being scanned); by mail or given to the person who gave the form to the signer.
  2. Create a war room somewhere to treat this as a battle, with breakdown of residents and businesses into categories, such as by area, or by being known to specific people, or by having the email address and only need to get permission, or by bicycle route or foot route
  3. Try to get organizations to use their email list to solicit members for you, which will give you a head start
  4. Consider raising money to pay unemployed, senior, underemployed or students to gather signatures on the authorization form at so much per signature (after you verify that the email address works, and that there is no demand to be removed from the list after you send the first email to the new subscriber; you might want to pay anywhere between $.25 and $1.00 (perhaps more) per subscriber.
  5. Try to meet with organizations and encourage each person in the room to get 10 authorizations (subscriptions) for you
  6. After you have a certain number of names on the list, try to get each member of the list to get 10 additional authorizations (subscriptions) for you
  7. Work with the owners or editors of the lesser media in the area, or ones that are independently owned, if they are willing to risk loss of advertisers by getting involved with your list-creation efforts
  8. Go to unemployment and public assistance offices to try to find interested people to subscribe
  9. Work with local organizations such as churches to have computers, assistance and email addresses for people in the community who lack a computer, email adddress or computer skills - and try to market this through signs in stores owned by persons on your list
  10. Get college students and high school students a lesson in practical politics by getting them involved; they need to understand Part II, perhaps, to motivate them sufficiently to help out in creating the Part I list.
  11. Communicate with me, Carl E. Person, for any insight or help I can give to creation of your community "permissive e-mail mailing list; you can reach me by email at
  12. Look at the first of a series of websites I am creating -- -- which makes use of permissive e-mail mailing lists to achieve similar political objectives. will keep you abreast of my more recent websites, as they come online.

With this said, now look at my SECOND point.

SECOND: Run or Get Someone to Run for Local Office

The second thing that you can do is to either run for elective office yourself, or encourage the right person (such as a friend, relative, associate or neighbor) to run for local elective office (such as for council, mayor, selectperson or similar office for running of a town or village) in your own town, village or county (or in a nearby town, village or county - even if you don't live there - residency requirements can be overcome in many instances in court).

You should run on the 16 election-issue platform I have set up for this purpose (whether the candidate is you, me, or someone else you can encourage to run). See my website and 16 election issues at Website for Candidates for Local Office - 16 Election Issues.

At your request, I will try to come in to your town (at my own expense) to campaign for you or other person running on my 16-point platform (or a substantial part of my platform, including the "Town Attorney General" part).

Once elected, you or other candidate running on my platform should do what you can with the other members of the town council to have me or another similarly qualified attorney as "Town Attorney General" for your town, village or county. The Town Attorney General is to ensure that the rights of the residents and small businesses of your town are enforced against the major corporations and others that have been systematically depriving your town of its jobs, its services, its higher-paying jobs, its standard of living - and sending the assets of your town to foreign countries. There are legal ways to stop this from occurring and to recover damages for the community for jobs already stolen. The Town Attorney General knows what to do and should be appointed to do his/her job, for the benefit of you and the other residents of your community, including its small businesses.

If this takes places, your town will lose its abusive criminal prosecution system. Abusive prosecutions are, as you known, very costly to the town and its residents, destroying the personal and economic lives of the victims, and imposing huge, wholly needless costs on the community, just to give overzealous prosecutors a win record against victims who have no money to fight, and who are bound to lose because of the prosecutorial advantages that, in New York City, enable federal prosecutors to put their criminal defendant victim (felony defendant) in jail 99.5 to 99.8% of the time. This is not a fair criminal justice system. It is corrupt, abusive, oppressive and can be stopped at the local level of government, by the appointment of a civil prosecutor ("town attorney general") who will sue large corporations for the injuries they have been inflicting upon the residents and small businesses of your town, and to distribute the lawsuit recoveries to the residents and small businesses of your town, to the extent of perhaps $5,000 to $20,000 per year per family on the average or, better yet, to pay for healthcare and dental care and free broadband service to all residents and small businesses in your town. With this wholly predictable consequence for a small town or village that appoints a town attorney general, a criminal prosecutor becomes a relic and had better watch out or the criminal prosecutor may wind up squaring off against the civil prosecutor in his/her role of enforcing the civil rights of you and the other members of your community.

I hope that by now you see the potential of what I'm talking about. The best way for you to fight prosecutorial abuse is to help me get someone into your town who can do what you need to have done, which is to have legal representation to enforce the rights of individuals and small businesses against the illegal conduct of major corporations and others who disregard the law and hurt your community in their never-ending effort to strip your community of its jobs and other wealth, and send the jobs to other, low-wage countries, while asking you to continue buying their high-priced products. This has got to come to an end. Appoint a town attorney general to show you how to protect your town or village from losing whatever jobs it still has, and how to bring back many good jobs to your community. Study my 16 election issues with this in mind. There are things we can do in your town, but we need to get into politics to accomplish what needs to be done. This means that YOU need to run for office on my 16-point program and get the ball rolling.

When we have the first community in the U.S. appointing a town attorney general, and the residents of the town start seeing better jobs, free healthcare, free dental care and free broadband service, you and I know that nearby communities will demand the same thing, and by that time you and I will know that we are on a winning course to taking back our country.

You can make this happen, and I'm here to help.

Please look at my town attorney general website, at My Town Attorney General Website and then look at my election issues website, if you haven't done so already, at My 16-Point Election Issues Website and then look at my website for my first political race in the real world, for New York Attorney General (Green Party) at Website in Support of My 2006 Candidacy for New York Attorney General. [Note: The 2nd Circuit refused to grant an injunction putting me on the ballot.]

Now, I've said what you really need to know, and I invite you to continue reading the rest of my discussion of what you can do to fight the prosecutorial abuse which brought you to my website.

Having said all the above, let me introduce myself. I am Carl E. Person, an antitrust and civil rights litigator in federal and state courts for more than 40 years. I have created the concept of the Town Attorney General, both in a book, Saving Main Street and Its Retailers ( and in an Off-Broadway performance ( My picture, in costume for the presentation, is at Carl E. Person in Costume of U.S. Solicitor General and the SEAL for the Office of Town Attorney General (designed by Glen Brandt) may be seen at Seal for the Town Attorney General

Fighting the Prosecutorial Abuse Is Difficult, and Usually Non-Successful

I have outlined in my four related websites (;;; and the various things which a lawyer could try to fight prosecutorial abuse in a specific case. In actual fact, when tried, the results generally are not favorable, although I strongly suspect that wealthy defendants with power law firms can get greater mileage using the techniques I outline than typical criminal defendants, who have no money and often inadequate or unwilling counsel (burdened with too many cases and the knowledge that whatever they do will probably be a waste of time, and antagonize the prosecutor, who in our new criminal justice system has become the judge and jury for most defendants). But this is not what I want to discuss with you.

How You Can Reduce Prosecutorial Abuse in Your Town

The time you (and your lawyer) spend in trying to overcome prosecutorial abuse is generally wasted, and I recommend that you spend the time trying to change the system which encourages prosecutorial abuse. The criminal prosecutors achieve or expect to achieve fame, fortune and power by racking up criminal-case victories regardless of the guilt or innocence of the accused under existing principles of law. They readily learn that the way to become elected or appointed to Congress, the state or local Legislature, a judgeship, district attorney or U.S. Attorney position or other governmental office, is to get and publicize convictions, and to maintain that they are just in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary in too many cases.

The consequences for the overzealous prosecutor is too often the sought-after fame, fortune, power and political position, but the victims (including virtually everyone in the community) are left to pay the bill for wrongful incarceration, excessive criminal proceedings, destroyed families, wrongfully-confiscated property depriving a newly-accused defendant of the funds to defend himself/herself, wrongfully-impoverished families requiring governmental assistance, loss of skilled workers, loss of voters needed to strike a more just political balance in the country, and various other consequences which need to be explored by the press and book authors.

The way of halting this ever-increasing trend of prosecutorial abuse with resulting evils (directed against individuals, I might add, not against corporations which are difficult to put in jail) is to switch the emphasis from criminal to civil, from criminal prosecutor to civil prosecutor or what I have named a Town Attorney General, or "Little Eliot Spitzer". As most of you know, Eliot Spitzer was New York's elected State Attorney General who (until elected and sworn in as New York's newest Governor) was enforcing laws against major corporations that the federal government chose not to enforce. In 2004, Eliot Spitzer brought or threatened lawsuits against various financial corporations and others that resulted in payment to Spitzer's Attorney General Office of $2.3 billion in settlements, or $115 per resident of New York State.

In a small town, a "Town Attorney General", when bringing meritorious lawsuits against corporations that are injuring the town, should be able to have settlements after deducting expenses of litigation amounting to about $5,000 to $10,000 per family in the town, more than enough to provide FREE healthcare and eliminate property taxes for all residents of the town.

If you, as a prospective voter, heard two candidates in your town running for mayor, and one of them said he/she has a plan to obtain FREE healthcare and the elimination of property taxes for all residents in the town, and the opposing Mayor wants to have another Wal-Mart or two to come into town, who would you vote for?

Why not be the candidate for mayor and make your argument as the main part of your campaign that you are going to appoint a Town Attorney General, and move the town into civil law enforcement against invisible corporations rather than criminal enforcement against hapless residents who wind up victims and represent huge present and deferred costs to the community to prosecute, incarcerate, feed, clothe, provide medical care, and take care of the family members who wind up as indigents and problem families for the town.

I have a ready-made campaign and campaign website for you with my 16 election issues, at My 16 Election Issues Website for Local Elections. I'm also willing to help you campaign in your town or village (or even a nearby or distant town or village - we can go into court to strike down local residency requirements in many cases).

By doing this you would be able to fight back against the prosecutorial abuse, and actually have a pretty good chance at getting elected to the town's governing body. Then, you would be in a position to have the town appoint me (or some other antitrust and civil rights litigator) as town attorney general, to start a program of enforcing the various rights of the residents and small businesses of your town that are not being enforced by the federal and state Attorneys General, or any federal or state agency, or even by your town, village or county (because traditionally the enforcement of such rights have been through federal or state officials or agencies). Now, with the federal and state governments being an adjunct to the corporate interests that supply the campaign funds, protection for the residents of your town has got to come from the town itself, through a legal officer I have named and described as the "Town Attorney General".

I can help your candidacy. You can call upon me to come into town and put on my show, Town Attorney General Meeting (at no cost to you, the town, or the audience) to explain what I (or another qualified lawyer) could do for the town as Town Attorney General. I describe this presentation or performance in my Town Attorney General website.

The Town Attorney General, if appointed, will create an economic revolution for your town and relegate abusive, over-zealous criminal prosecutors to a minor role, if not defendants in a civil rights suit to enjoin such conduct. The Town Attorney General will fight to enforce the rights of the residents and small businesses of your town instead of trying to put too many of the residents in jail for excessive sentences, and at excessive, wholly unnecessary costs and injury to the community.

This is what you and I can do to stop prosecutorial abuse.

Carl E. Person, "Town Attorney General" and (unsuccessful) Candidate for NY Attorney General (2006)


Forfeiture Statutes for Ex Parte Attachment by Prosecutor/Government of Criminal Defendant's Assets Used in Alleged Criminal Enterprise; Litigation Techniques for Opposing Attachment and Obtaining Return of Attached Family Real Estate, Bank Accounts and Other Property; Focusing on Prosecutorial Abuse and Misconduct


Purpose of Website

The purpose of this website is to:

Index and Quick Links to Website Material

  1. Suing a Prosecutor Immediately May Be the Only Available Way a Victim Can Expose and Offset Attachment and Forfeiture Abuse by a Prosecutor
  2. Advantages of Maintaining a Bona Fide Civil Lawsuit to Fight Prosecutorial Abuse and a Crippling Asset Attachment by the Prosecutor
  3. If You Don't Sue Now, You May Lose Right to Sue Later, under the Statute of Limitations
  4. New York's Forfeiture Statute, Forfeiture of Proceeds of a Crime, CPLR Sections 1310-1352
  5. Use a Civil Rights Lawyer to Sue the Prosecutor
  6. Legal Research: Whether Legal Fees Can Be Obtained Out of the Attached Property, by Court Order, to Enable the Accused to Properly Defend His/Her Property and Person
  7. The Best Defense Strategy May Be to Sue the Prosecutor Immediately, Take Advantage of Prosecutorial Wrongdoing and Errors, and Deprive the Prosecutor of the Pot of Gold Which Created the Incentive to Create Criminal Charges against the Defendant in the First Place
  8. There May Be No Right of Counsel to a Defendant in a New York Forfeiture Action [as a Purported "Civil Action"]
  9. Related Prosecutorial Abuse Websites
  10. Checklist of "Rules" to Review When Trying to Offset an Illegal Attachment
  11. Decisions on the Constitutionality of the New York Forfeiture Statute
  12. Miscellaneous Forfeiture Decisions
  13. [UNDER CONSTRUCTION] Websites with Text of Other Forfeiture Statutes
  14. A Suggestion for Blake's Defense Attorneys - Possibilities of Prosecutorial Abuse to Be Checked Out by the Defense for Robert Blake in the Alleged Murder of Blake's Wife
  15. Forfeitures Are Used by Prosecutors Only against Small People and Their Family Members, Not against Arthur Andersen and Its 1,700 Partners and Their Family Members

    Suing a Prosecutor Immediately May Be the Only Available Way a Victim Can Expose and Offset Attachment and Forfeiture Abuse by a Prosecutor

    You would think that somebody is watching the prosecutors, but this is not so. The judges are not kept informed on the work of a prosecutor as it progresses. Legislators are less knowledgeable. The press only knows and publishes what the prosecutors tell them (and disregard what victims have to say about prosecutorial excesses).

    Any committee of the courts having jurisdiction to punish a prosecutor for violation of the rules regulation lawyers would generally tell the complaining victim that the matter is currently in litigation (through the criminal proceeding of which the attachment is an important component) and will do nothing until the prosecutor stops beating you up (i.e., until after the criminal case is over because you have been forced into pleading guilty), at which time your guilty plea confirms to the existing supervisory system that the prosecutor did nothing wrong.

    Because the victim is coerced into taking a plea to avoid getting a trial and longer sentence, the prosecutorial abuse has no remedy after the guilty plea is entered by an innocent person. The acknowledgment of guilt through an allocution (in which the criminal defendant falsely swears to committing a crime he did not actually commit) together with the rest of the plea agreement which gives the prosecutor most of the victim's assets by contract (coerced though it may be), puts the victim in jail and wholly disabled by agreement and doctrines of law to now say that he/she was the victim of a prosecutorial, felonious mugging.

    Accordingly, if a victim does not go into court IMMEDIATELY to oppose the prosecutorial abuse, the victim will probably never have the chance.

    So, one "rule" to add to a list of "rules" is for a victim of prosecutorial abuse to sue the prosecutor as quickly as possible, but with the understanding that such action will be considered as extremely hostile action by the prosecutor, who will at all times be considering what type of reprisal could be taken (even though reprisal would be a violation of the federal civil rights act).

    The New York forfeiture statute follows, which is a long statute governing attachments and forfeitures of real estate, bank accounts and other property which the government claims was part of a felonious, criminal enterprise.

    A person whose property is being attached under the statute should read the statute carefully to develop ideas on how to fight the attachment. This is another "rule" for our checklist.

    RETURN TO: Index and Quick Links to Website Material

    Advantages of Maintaining a Bona Fide Civil Lawsuit to Fight Prosecutorial Abuse and a Crippling Asset Attachment by the Prosecutor

    Warning! - The first thing to mention is that there are disadvantages to maintaining a frivolous action against a prosecutor, and a defendant should take great pains to ensure that any suit against his/her prosecutor for prosecutorial abuse is not just meritorious, but highly meritorious. Being merely or barely meritorious could be a recipe for disaster, in both the civil and criminal court proceedings. This statement about highly meritorious does not relate to the civil litigation needed to offset the attachment action. Any meritorious defense should be presented, even if the defense is borderline. Actually, with enough substantial defenses, the civil attorney would probably want to drop out the barely meritorious defenses, as unnecessary and which probably would be the focal point of the prosecutor's reply and oral argument.

    With that warning out of the way, let's take a look at some of the advantages which a highly meritorious civil action could have for the criminal defendant:

    1. Bring the prosecutorial misconduct to the attention of the persons in the same office supervising the errant prosecutor;
    2. Create adverse publicity for the prosecutor, the prosecutor's supervisors, and the top prosecutor (whether District Attorney, U.S. Attorney or other title);
    3. Create monetary exposure of the individuals named and the government agencies for the wrongdoing, which increases the cost to the prosecutor of maintaining the criminal proceeding against the defendant;
    4. Create much higher costs in terms of money, paralegal time, attorney time, and supervisory time to defend the action, which is not in the ordinary course of business for the prosecutor's office;
    5. Such civil action becomes the squeaky wheel which needs attention, preventing or detracting the office of the prosecutor from committing its prosecutorial abuse on the number of persons it would desire to "justice" into favorable publicity, forfeitures, and jail time (often amounting to 98% of the defendants being selected for "justicing");
    6. Creating a milieu in which the prosecutor has some of the same problems as the defendant, to require the prosecutor to want to settle the matter on terms not as favorable as the prosecutor could otherwise demand and get;
    7. The filing of the prosecutorial abuse action is an event which is real from the standpoint of the press, because it gives the details in a document filed in court which the press can use to do a story; merely calling a reporter to tell the reporter about prosecutorial abuse has no chance in the world of getting any space or time; but a well-crafted complaint charging prosecutorial abuse has more than a 50% chance of being reported, which is a pretty high percentage;
    8. Don't forget that the discovery you get as a defendant in the criminal proceeding is delayed, incomplete, and generally meager, with substantial holes or protections from disclosure (such as witness statements, given only a few minutes or hours before the trial commences - remember, for 98% of the defendants, there is no trial, they take a plea, so there is no discovery. Also, there is no discovery of expert witnesses in any way comparable to the discovery available in a civil suit;
    9. Discovery in the civil action can be most useful in the criminal matter, especially when obtained early enough to be able to encourage a global resolution of all matters;
    10. Although the prosecutors violate the law all the time (such as the law which prohibits the use of the criminal process to achieve payment of a civil obligation), you and your attorney must be very careful concerning the way in which you present the civil case, and to ensure that you are not representing it as any type of leverage in any other litigation; the existence of all actions will be known to all concerned, but avoid mixing them up, but listen for one word: "global", which usually is accompanied by the word "settlement";
    11. The existence of civil litigation will allow you to serve subpoenas and take depositions to get at facts which you could not otherwise obtain, useful in the criminal action;
    12. The existence of civil litigation and related civil liability will cause the defendants to be quite circumspect in their future dealings relating to your case, for fear of confirming the alleged activities, and preventing new activities of the same type from being added to the civil complaint;
    13. Civil litigation appoints you as a prosecutor of the prosecutor, and there is no other person in the U.S. who has that role; prosecutors have "prosecutorial discretion", which means that they are free to ruin lives at their own discretion, in pursuit of their ambitions, without any reasonable fear that anyone can do anything to stop them, because of the doctrines of (i) prosecutorial discretion; (ii) prosecutorial immunity; and (iii) grand jury secrecy -- all of which makes it difficult in the criminal proceeding to get at the real source of your problem; the civil action will enable you to find out what happened, and allow you to fight back.

    RETURN TO: Index and Quick Links to Website Material

    If You Don't Sue Now, You May Lose Right to Sue Later, under the Statute of Limitations

    The 5th Amendment is not the only interplay between related criminal and civil litigation. The statute of limitations, which prohibits a person from maintaining a claim for money and certain other relief more than so many days, months or usually years after the claim has "accrued". "Accrued" means after one could first bring suit on the claim.

    Minors are protected because they have an extended right to sue under statutes of limitations until a period which ends sometime after they reach their majority, so that a cause of action (or "claim") of a 1-year infant against a prosecutor remains viable for two decades or so.

    But the same is not true as to the individual claim of the parent(s) against the same prosecutor for the same allegedly unlawful acts. The parents have to sue within a much shorter period, and the period depends on (i) the type of claim under appropriate state or federal statutes of limitations; (ii) the type of defendant (such as a state, local or federal agency, private individual, or union), (iii) the capacity of the defendant (whether as an individual or as a governmental official); (iv) whether the claim is legal (for money) or equitable (for injunctive or other "equitable" relief; and (v) availability of doctrines which extend the statute of limitations, such as (a) lack of notice of facts to understand the cause of action existed, (b) fraud, (c) flight of defendant from jurisdiction to avoid being sued -- just to name three possibilities for extending the statute of limitations.

    Thus, it is of the utmost importance to bring suit as soon as possible to prevent loss of all or part of the claims which have accrued by reason of prosecutorial misconduct and abuse.

    Thereafter, there may arise issues as to whether the case can be maintained simultaneously with the criminal proceeding, and to the extent a court decides that it cannot proceed at the same time, the court would probably stay such portion while permitting the rest of the civil action to proceed.

    It seems important to have a different judge on the civil case, to avoid having all of the criminal and civil issues handled by one judge (especially the criminal judge), and instead to have the opportunity for diversity and competition in the litigation area, so that a judge acting only with the civil case can see the case as a civil one before him/her, and rule appropriately.

    This diversity of judges is available, for instance, when the criminal proceeding has been commenced in state court; the related civil case probably should be commenced in a federal district court, which prevents the two cases from being assigned to the same judge.

    If, however, the prosecution is in federal court, one should consider bringing the civil action in state court, except that the state court may not have the jurisdiction to handle all the issues to be presented. And in any event, if filing the civil suit in federal court, one should think of selecting a different district court, if possible, and to avoid stating that the criminal and civil cases are "related", which automatically would assign the civil case to the assigned federal judge on the criminal case.

    In one of my cases, the prosecutor with full awareness of the previously-existing civil case, commenced its federal criminal cases in the same federal district without stating that the two cases were "related", which is a precedent of sorts, for anyone wanting to use that as a precedent.

    In summary, bring your civil suit immediately, and then sort out the arising problems (including 5th Amendment problems) later.

    RETURN TO: Index and Quick Links to Website Material

    New York's Forfeiture Statute, Forfeiture of Proceeds of a Crime, CPLR Sections 1310-1352

    In 1984, the New York legislature enacted a comprehensive statute permitting prosecutors and other government agencies to secretly (without notice to the property owner) attach the property of a person being accused of a crime (even though the accusation is also kept secret).

    This procedure, comparable to slipping a prize fighter a knockout drug a few minutes prior to a prize fight, is intended to prevent a person accused of a crime from having the financial resources needed to fight the prosecutors (funded with taxpayers' money and previously confiscated property), so that the accused has no realistic opportunity to do anything but plead guilty.

    This has contributed to the United States having the highest rate of incarceration among developed countries, and has created an industry of imprisoned slaves working for pennies an hour for some of the major companies in the United States. I guess we should be thankful that there is a way to keep these jobs in America, because without this form of slave labor the jobs would undoubtedly be sent to some other country which has a comparable labor rate for its own type of slaves.

    The New York statute has 44 sections. To have a quick look at the statute, click on New York Forfeiture Statute, CPLR Sections 1310-1352

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    Use a Civil Rights Lawyer to Sue the Prosecutor

    After all the money a criminal defendant has spent on a criminal lawyer, it will not be easy to get a criminal defendant to decide that a suit against the prosecutor should be brought by another attorney, generally one with experience handling civil rights litigation (which means employment termination cases in most instances).

    The reasons for taking on another attorney to do the required job are lengthy, but need to be reviewed, to enable you to understand the lay of the land.