Can I take legal action against a courthouse if I was charged for fees after being arrested on an invalid warrant?

UPDATED: Nov 2, 2011

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Can I take legal action against a courthouse if I was charged for fees after being arrested on an invalid warrant?

I paid a ticket weeks ago but was arrested because the courthouse didn’t process it properly and released a warrant 3 days after the payment had actually been made. Because the courthouse released a warrant they weren’t supposed to, I missed a days work, payed $40 bail-fee, and $150+ to have my car taken out of Impound. All of this occurred because of the courthouse’s mistake (release a warrant for non-payment when I had in fact paid). Do I have a right to legal action?

Asked on November 2, 2011 under Criminal Law, Massachusetts


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Possibly you have a basis to seek damages for what happened to you. What need to be done is that you first have to submit a claim under the tort claims act against the county clerk and wait to see what the response is.

If the claim is then denied, you then can file your action for the damages that resulted due to the court clerk's mistake with respect to the ticket you received but paid for. I suggest that the action would be properly brought in the small claims court since the damages that you have written about seem to fall within the jurisdiction of this court.

Good luck.

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