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Lawyers Will Be Lawyers: Sutherland Partner Sues for $1.2 Million Over $35 Fine

Fox Washington, D.C.'s Metropolitan Police Department messed with the wrong guy back in 2008 when they asked Phil Fox to move his car. According to the Blog of Legal Times (via the ABA Journal), Fox -- who clerked for Supreme Court Justices Reed and Powell, and served as Deputy Chief of the Justice Department's Organized Crime unit in the 70s -- is now suing the District, and two police officers, for $1.2 million.

Fox's suit challenges the constitutionality of the District's "Post and Forfeit" procedure. As described in greater detail on the BLT (and in Fox's complaint), Fox got into a bit of a dispute with the officer that had asked him to move his car and ended up getting arrested for disorderly conduct. (They had to call out the Segway cops, who "swarmed" the scene.)

Upon being taken to the station, Fox was asked to fork over $35 and sign a "Post & Forfeit" form, which essentially amounts to paying a fine without admitting guilt or having a conviction on your record. Seeing as how the only other alternative was being sent to lockup, he complied. Now, two years later, having had his arrest record expunged, he's suing, and seeking class status on behalf of all arrestees forced to pay what his lawyer called a "bribe sanctioned by the government of the District of Columbia."


Posted by Eric Lipman on December 20, 2010 at 10:34 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)


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