Can I sue the police for violating my rights?
Question & AnswerCan I sue the police for violating my rights?
1. Decide if suing is the right option
A lawsuit isn’t always the best option. Here are some reasons you may not want to sue in court:
- you have to pay court fees
- if you lose, the court could order you to pay some of the defendant’s legal costs
- it’s more complicated and a lot more work for you, especially if you don’t have a lawyer
- it usually takes time
- if you win, it’s up to you to try to collect the money
There are other options you can try to resolve complaints about the police:
- You can try to deal with the issue directly with the police agency involved, or you can file a complaint with the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIRPD).
- If you have that the police did something they shouldn’t have done, you may be able to have the police charged in criminal court.
- If you were discriminated against on the basis of race, sex, disability, or another prohibited ground, you may be able to start a human rights complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.
Think about your options carefully before suing the police. Filing a lawsuit can be expensive and take a lot of time. Talk to a lawyer for advice if you aren’t sure that suing is the best option for you.