Civil Defense and Indemnification

Defending New York law enforcement in civil lawsuits

Representation is also provided to officers when they are sued civilly for alleged deprivation of civil rights in connection with the performance of their duties. Upon service of legal papers, the Corporation Counsel's Office, who defends the City and NYPD, determines in the first instance whether to provide representation and/or indemnification to an officer. The firm's attorneys assist the officer during this crucial stage of the case and in matters where representation is declined by the City of New York, as employer, Worth, Longworth, & London, LLP, provides complete representation from inception through trial. The firm has an exceptional record in protecting our clients and their families from personal financial exposure and loss.

Because they are all former police officers or prosecutors, the attorneys of Worth, Longworth & London, LLP know that law enforcement agencies and their officers face many hazards daily.  The most obvious are the physical dangers of the job, but it does not stop there.  A police officer must also contend with the possibility of being named as a defendant in a civil suit.

Carrying out police duties is complicated and difficult.  While law enforcement professionals strive to minimize liability risks, they cannot anticipate and avoid every action that could precipitate a lawsuit.  Despite solid training and conscientious effort to exercise sound judgment, there is always the possibility that a law enforcement officer will make a mistake.  And sometimes, in our litigious world, people see an opportunity to extract monetary compensation for real or imagined law enforcement offenses.  A law enforcement officer may be sued for many kinds of alleged criminal and/or civil misconduct, including—

  • Abuse of power
  • Unlawful arrest
  • Assault and battery
  • Excessive force
  • Injuries involving patrol cars
  • Negligent performance of duty
  • Racial profiling
  • Racial slurs
  • Harassment
  • False imprisonment
  • Coercive sexual conduct
  • Malicious prosecution
  • Police dog bites
  • Civil rights violations
  • Discriminatory traffic stops

Such civil suits have the potential to damage careers and wipe police officers and their families out financially.  Typically, the plaintiffs will seek monetary damages, often beyond direct compensation for the injuries they allege.  Defending against these suits can be very time-consuming and expensive.


Police officers are not alone when they are faced with a civil lawsuit as a result of doing their duty as law enforcement officers.  Provided that they have not acted in a wanton, reckless, or malicious manner and have not violated the law or acted improperly outside their assigned duties, they are indemnified.  That means that they are protected from direct financial loss and expenses, including legal fees and court costs, involved in these suits.  The lawyers of Worth, Longworth & London, LLP are thoroughly familiar with all the regulations that apply in these cases and have a long record of successfully settling these matters.

Uniquely qualified to vigorously represent New York’s law enforcement

Law enforcement officers facing civil lawsuits rely upon the support and experienced legal counsel of Worth, Longworth & London, LLP.  Contact Worth, Longworth & London, LLP online or call the Manhattan office at (212) 964-8038 or the Long Island office at (516) 621-0007.