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No Constitutional Rights for Undocumented Immigrant Accidentally Shot by Police, Says Grand Jury

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There is a landmark case that is being challenged in Southaven, Mississippi, over constitutional rights. Ismael Lopez, an undocumented immigrant, was accidentally shot by police on July 24th, 2017. After a lengthy court battle, a Grand Jury ruled in favor of the city, saying the police officer and city were exempt from any guilt because of the immigration status of the person who was shot. The city argued that Lopez had no constitutional rights due to his undocumented status. The ruling attempts to set a new precedent, claiming that the U.S. Constitution does not protect undocumented persons. Lopez was shot in his mobile home park in Southaven, Mississippi. Police knocked on Lopez’s door by accident, instead of their intended domestic assault suspect, and began shooting. Lopez had already died from a gunshot wound to the head by the time paramedics had arrived.

The Constitution typically protects people under these circumstances. The Fourth Amendment protects U.S. citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures, and the Fourteenth Amendment provides equal protection for all citizens under the law. The attorney for the police officer involved in the shooting as well as the city, Katherine Kirby, successfully argued that Lopez lacked protections under these amendments. The Lopez family attorney, Wells, has argued that all people on United States territory have constitutional rights, giving Lopez rights through the 14th Amendment.

A motion from court documents explained this idea, stating that Ismael Lopez’s lack of citizenship in the United States when he was shot voids these rights. As a result, it said, there was no legal grounds for this case based on his status as undocumented. Lopez was a 41-year old auto mechanic who also mentored teens and fixed friends and neighbors’ cars for free.

The family of Lopez filed a civil action lawsuit in response to the jury’s decision and is seeking $20 million in damages for his wrongful death. The civil lawsuit was filed in June 2019. Attorneys have stated that Claudia Linares, Lopez’s widow, will be unable to sue due to her status as an undocumented immigrant. Murray Wells, the attorney for Linare, says that this interpretation of the Constitution that excludes non-citizen residents impedes the process of due process and for what the Constitution stands. He continues by saying that he was disgusted by the decision of the Grand Jury. Attorneys also accused Linares of not actually being married to Lopez, which was disproved by her attorneys when they filed her 2003 marriage certificate. There has been controversy over the city’s accusations towards Linares and her lawyer asked the judge to consider sanctioning the city for their actions.

“This could lead to a slippery slope effect that could affect similar cases. Such a ruling goes against past rulings that state that all persons in the United States, including undocumented immigrants, are protected by the U.S. constitution,” says immigration attorney Natalia Segermeister of Price Benowitz LLP. This controversial ruling could potentially be sanctioned under Federal rules of procedure.

A multi-lingual talent head, Jimmy is fluent in languages such as Spanish, Russian, Italian, and many more. He has a special curiosity for the events and stories revolving in and around US and caters an uncompromising form of journalistic standard for the audiences.

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When Might You Need a Construction Lawyer?

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Ever wondered what a construction lawyer does? Here’s everything you need to know.

If you’re involved in the construction industry, you might want to put a good construction lawyer in your address book. These are the people that represent you when you accidentally cross a boundary. For example, if you knock down the wrong wall and somebody’s property starts sinking, then you need a construction lawyer. There are many reasons you might need a construction lawyer if you work, end the building trade.

We investigated construction law to put together this quick start guide just for you. So here’s all you need to know about hiring and firing a construction lawyer and about what they do in the first place.

What Does a Construction Lawyer Do?

Construction lawyers are a specific type of lawyer. They are found in the building trade, where they work with industry experts to handle residential, commercial, and industrial legal advice and disputes.

Construction lawyers spend their day helping residents settle boundary disputes. In addition, they can assist you in debt recovery and other construction claims. Sometimes they may have to go to court on their clients’ behalf and effectively represent them against litigation. In the corporate world, a construction lawyer will argue a company’s right to land or defend its land use.

Not all construction lawyers handle all aspects of the law in this area; some stick to residential or some stick to commercial disputes. Therefore, we would advise you to tailor the type of construction lawyer you hire to the type of construction law you need. So, if you need a construction lawyer Sydney which specializes in retail establishments, don’t hire one that typically deals with home boundary disputes.

When to Hire a Construction Lawyer?

As an individual, you would call in a construction lawyer to build a new home. You might call them if you were extending your old home and weren’t sure about your property boundaries. You would seek a construction lawyer for legal advice if someone else built something on your land without your permission.

In the corporate world, construction lawyers are typically used to represent a corporations’ interests. For example, corporations may seek legal advice before they go ahead and approve the building of a new office block or new facilities. They may even seek legal advice before investing in new bricks and mortar buildings to make sure they are making a sound investment.

In the building trade, construction lawyers are often used to defend building companies from litigation. They may also be consulted when a client doesn’t pay, and legal action must be taken. Construction lawyers work both for the customer and the property owner or builder. Anyone can form one when they need legal advice.

Do you need a Lawyer?

If you think you need a construction lawyer, call around for free consultations before committing to buying. Look for one with helpful reviews and a history of success.

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