Able to be sued for use of hollow point? - Page 6
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Thread: Able to be sued for use of hollow point?

  1. #51
    To the OP, no someone cannot sure you just for using HollowPoints, .50 cal., or anything else. They can sue you for shooting them and then try to make the case that the damage you caused was execssive becaused you used some "exotic, unusual or overly powerful" weapon. The can also try to paint you as out looking for trouble because of the gun or ammo you used. However all of this depends on you shooting them in the first place. In other words if they can't sue you if you use cheap WWB ammo from wally world then they can't sue you because you used some ammo that cost $5 per round. They must begin with the basics and then expand on that. They can try to convince a jury that because you carried a $1,500 Kimber with custom grips and used special ammo instead of a .380 Hi-Point with FMJ that you were out looking for someone to shoot and it might or might not work.

    As for the Castle Doctrine protecting you from a lawsuit, that is Internet hearsay and does not apply in real life. I have not heard of one state yet that actually defines how case actually falls under the CD. There was a recent case in SC that wound up in the State SC where they ruled that in that case the original trial judge had the ability to dismiss the case on the basis of the CD. This is the closest that I know of in any case where any actual guidelines were given on how to rule that a person is protected by the CD laws.

    Take for instance you shoot someone in your home. The police and DA decide that you were justified and it fell completely under the CD. There is nothing in the laws to prevent the family of the dead person from suing you and claiming that the 10 Ga shotgun with 000 buckshot was excessive and you could have simply wounded him with the baseball bat lying on your coffee table. When it goes to a judge he can dismiss the case or let it go to a jury. There is nothing to prevent it from going right on through and could even wind up in the Supreme Court. When it is over and the Supreme Court rules in your favor then not only will you be resolved of all blame but the plantiff will be responsible for your legal bills. Good luck on collecting. Second there is no guarantee that the SC will rule in your favor (Stranger things have happened) even though the police and DA agreed with you. You will not be found criminally liable but lose in the civil case.

    The point is that the Castle Doctrine laws provide a descroiption of a "good shoot" but no actual means to determine when the law applies other than the courts. Just like with the hollow point ammo they can't sue you for using hollow point ammo but can try to use it to influence the jury.

    Now if you still think I am wrong about the Castle Doctrine laws of your state please read them carefully before calling me an idiot on this. As in the previous post in America anyone can sue anyone for just about anything. It doesn't mean they will win or make it to trial but they can file the suit.

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  3. #52
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    11
    Castle laws by definition apply in the criminal law arena only, and provide an "excuse" or justification for the use of deadly force. However, some Castle laws are better than others and actually include immunity from civil liability as well. It would be nice if this feature was uniformly incorporated into the Castle Doctrine of all states adopting such statutes.

  4. #53

    Unhappy getting sued

    It does not matter what kind of ammunition you use, if you use a firearm to shoot someone you can expect to be sued. They can be a wanted felon, rapist, etc., it doesn't matter......they can sue you, or if they are killed, their family can sue you. Anytime you use a firearm you can expect to explain why you chose to use deadly force in court. The "shot" person or family has nothing to lose, they will claim they were a victim. If you use a firearm, get a lawyer immediately.

  5. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by shermr View Post
    If you use a firearm, get a lawyer immediately.
    Some would say it would be better to already have one on retainer if you carry a firearm for personal protection.

  6. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by G50AE View Post
    Some would say it would be better to already have one on retainer if you carry a firearm for personal protection.
    how do you do that?

  7. #56
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    South Carolina/Charleston
    Posts
    2,388
    Hey FN: Also remember that in SC, if it is considered a "good shoot", you are immune from civil liability--ie: no one can sue you. That does not mean they cannot bring a suit, but IMO (which does not really mean diddly squat), immunity means exactly that. Someone can sue but it aint goin far. As far as Castle Doctrine is concerned the terms "presumed imminent danger by a reasonable person" goes a long way to proving you innocent especially if the only other person is the slimebucket. IMO (more diddly squat) unless you shoot someone in the back, especially if he is leaving your home (even if he is carrying the family treasures), you have a good shoot under Castle Doctrine--again it comes down to evidence and dispositon of prosecutor. Case law in SC tends to favor the homeowner in almost every instance. Personally, if I am on a jury and the only shot causing death was in the back and at your front door, you have to do a lot of convincing to me that you were in imminent danger. I am also sure that the old wives tale about dragging him back into the house will not work.

  8. #57
    Yes, you can be sued, but then you can ALWAYS be sued, by anyone, for anything, whether there's any merit to the lawsuit or not. The question is whether they will win. If you let the courtroom argument be about hollowpoints, you are more likely to lose. Make the argument about whether you were justified in shooting the perp or not. Shooting automatically assumes the possibility, even the likelihood, of killing someone, so if you were justified to take the risk of killing someone, then the tool you used is irrelevant; hollowpoint, knife, baseball bat, whatever. If you have to address the use of hollowpoints, you can point out that a hollowpoint is a good way to keep rounds from going through the perp and through walls and creating unintended collateral damage; it is a realistic and practical way to reduce risk to innocent bystanders, and that's why police use them.

  9. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by kelcarry View Post
    Hey FN: Also remember that in SC, if it is considered a "good shoot", [b]you are immune from civil liability--ie: no one can sue you.[\b] That does not mean they cannot bring a suit, but IMO (which does not really mean diddly squat), immunity means exactly that. Someone can sue but it aint goin far. As far as Castle Doctrine is concerned the terms "presumed imminent danger by a reasonable person" goes a long way to proving you innocent especially if the only other person is the slimebucket. IMO (more diddly squat) unless you shoot someone in the back, especially if he is leaving your home (even if he is carrying the family treasures), you have a good shoot under Castle Doctrine--again it comes down to evidence and dispositon of prosecutor. Case law in SC tends to favor the homeowner in almost every instance. Personally, if I am on a jury and the only shot causing death was in the back and at your front door, you have to do a lot of convincing to me that you were in imminent danger. I am also sure that the old wives tale about dragging him back into the house will not work.
    You are correct on being immune from civil liability but the wrong on them not being able to sue. Yes you can be sued but if it is found that it falls under the castle doctrine laws then you are immune from liability. Two totally different things. Also remember than the criminal and civil portions of the findings under this law are two different things as you can be found criminally liable and not liable in civil courts or the other way around.

    SC Judicial Department

    In the above case the judge in the original trial dismissed the charges after pre-trial evidence was submitted ruling he was entitled to immunity under the act. The state appealed to the SC on the basis that the judge did not have the ability to dismiss the case without hearing testimony in the trial. The Supreme Court sided with the judge. As far as I know this is the first case in SC that gives any direction on who can make a determination of immunity under the CD. A very interesting read if you get the chance.

    It may be that the SC Supreme Court knows the intelligence level of the states lawyers but their published opinions are much easier to read and understand than those of some other states. :)

  10. #59
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Western Prince William County, VA
    Posts
    203
    You can be sued for pretty much anything providing there are no laws to the contrary. In my state, whether or not you choose to use quality SD ammo (read that as effective expanding rounds or hollow point if you'd rather), make modifications to your trigger, use night sights, or anything else of the type is not going to be an issue in a criminal trial. As a lawyer knowledgeable in these areas once told me, the 800 pound gorilla in the room is going to be whether or not your actions were excusable.

    In Virginia, we have what is known as an affirmative defense. Your attorney is going to put you on the stand and ask you, "Mr. Smith, did you shoot Mr. Jones?" to which you'll respond, "Yes sir, I did". He is then going to ask, "Under the same set of circumstances, would you do so again?" to which you would reply, "Yes sir, I would". This is going to make a zealous prosecutor's task to show negligence or anything of the sort pretty darned hard since you just admitted that you did what you did deliberately and would do it again.

    Now IF the perp or his family try to sue, they are going to have a very hard uphill battle on their hands to prove you are somehow at fault for the his actions. I have asked a county sheriff candidate and a commonwealth's attorney if they see many cases of law suits filed against someone who was judged to have acted within the scope of the law and both said it was very rare in Virginia. Yes, it can happen, but not very likely or common place.

    As far as ammunition is concerned, use the best you can find and afford. Do your research, stay current, and apply some good common sense. And for God's sake, don't listen to people who obviously don't know what they're talking about or are so full of crap they hardly know which end the rounds comes out of. Read, learn, research, and pay attention to those who can offer valuable information. Making a mistake with the choice of SD ammunition or if the time comes when you must use it could cost you more than money. It could cost your life or your freedom.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?
    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

  11. #60
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Overland Park, KS
    Posts
    286

    Self defens ammo

    In the class I took they only recommended hollow points. The best way to avoid trouble is to call your loval police department and ask what ammo their officers use and go with that.

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