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Aggressive Lawyers for the Seriously Injured

Proving Correctional Officer Abuse (Rikers Island)

Rikers Island
By Michael LoGiudice
Founding Attorney

Prisoners have a constitutionally protected right against correctional officers using excessive force. They also have rights under the state laws of New York against unlawful assault and battery. Inmate abuse, despite these legal protections, is far from common. It happens in correctional facilities across the country and even right here in Rikers Island. If you have experienced abuse at the hands of a correctional officer in Rikers Island or you have a loved one who has been incarcerated in Rikers Island and has experienced such correctional officer abuse, it is important to note that you have options to enforce the legal protections afforded by both state and federal laws.

Proving Correctional Officer Abuse (Rikers Island)

Correction officers are authorized to use legitimate force or even violence if necessary in the face of unsafe and violent actions taken by an inmate. Correction officers can use physical maneuvers in order to defend themselves and others from an inmate who is becoming or being violent. Despite this authorization of use of force, corrections officers can only use an amount of force that is necessary to manage the situation effectively and safely. When the force used exceeds that which is necessary, it is considered to be an unlawful use of excessive force and, therefore, correctional officer abuse.

Inmates and former inmates who have suffered correctional officer abuse at Rikers island can bring a civil suit against the city for this abuse. It will ultimately be the court’s task to determine whether the actions of the correctional officer were, in fact, unlawful, or necessary in the face of a threat. In order to render such a decision, the court will weigh the facts and circumstances of the case. Every case is unique and will hinge on the evidence and arguments presented by each side. In the end, the court will decide if there should be legal liability for the injuries the inmate sustained.

In order to preserve their right to pursue a claim of abuse perpetrated by a Rikers Island correctional officer, inmates must submit a notice of claim to the City Comptroller’s Office within 90 days of the incidence of abuse. This time restriction applies to any other state law claims against the city. Once the claim is filed, any lawsuit based on the claim must be filed within one year and 90 days from the date of the incident.

The necessary proof to support a claim of correctional officer abuse will largely depend on the cause of action being brought. For instance, a negligent hiring claim will require proof that the prison failed to verify the credentials of a prospective correctional officer and whether or not the prospective correctional officer may pose a danger to inmates. If the claim is a personal injury claim based on an assault, then there will need to be proof that the inmate suffered serious injury due to a violent attack perpetrated by a corrections officer who was not justified to use such force.

Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one has suffered abuse at the hands of a Rikers Island correctional officer, now is the time to act. Do not delay in reaching out to Attorney Michael LoGiudice. Contact us today.

About the Author
Michael LoGiudice handles all personal injury and medical malpractice claims. He is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School (1997) and has many verdicts and settlements totaling in the tens of millions of dollars.
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