Most people think that involving the police and the district attorney’s office are the only way to deal with domestic violence incidents. That is typically the case, but in some instances the civil justice system can assist the domestic violence survivor in obtaining compensation for the physical and emotional abuse caused by the defendant, while also punishing the defendant by obtaining punitive damages. Punitive damages are damages to punish the defendant.
The civil justice process can be an important tool to truly punish an abuser who receives a lenient sentence in criminal court. Unlike a criminal trial, the Jury in a civil trial decides if they are going to punish the offender by awarding the domestic violence survivor punitive damages. The Jury gets to speak for the community in deciding the reprehensibility of the defendant’s conduct and punishing the defendant by awarding the survivor punitive damages. This may result in the Jury punishing the defendant by awarding hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. The civil justice system may also hold others accountable for the abuse if they enabled it or permitted it to happen. (Click Here to Read New York Times Article Regarding Wealthy Lake Oswego Abuser and Morgan Stanely’s knowledge of it)
These are very nuanced cases with many obstacles. However, at times they are appropriate and should be brought. If you are a domestic violence survivor and you would like to bring a civil case against your abuser call Ross Law PDX at 503.224.1658. We are happy to provide crime victims and survivors a free case evaluation to discuss their options and the viability of bringing a civil lawsuit to seek compensation and punish the defendant.
PLEASE CALL THE POLICE IF YOU ARE IN DANGER! Please note as a civil law firm Ross Law cannot prosecute domestic violence abusers in criminal court. If you want to “press charges” or “send the abuser to jail” you need to call law enforcement or the District Attorney’s office. If you have questions regarding difference between a civil case and a criminal case, please read here. Please note that results may vary and this post may be considered attorney advertising.