Notable Cases

Notable Cases

The following is a listing of important civil rights, police misconduct and criminal cases that have been litigated or are currently being litigated by Gregory A. Samms P.A.

  • This is a Federal action where a Miami-Dade Officer shot and killed an unarmed mentally ill man in front of his family. The County was sued under theories of municipal liability, while the individual police officer were sued for excessive force under 42 U.S.C. ‘1983. The case was litigated in my of counsel capacity with the law firm of Patino & Associates. Responsible for all the federal strategy on the claims against the county and the individual officer. This case settled for six figures.

  • This case involved a teenager who was falsely accused of being in an after school fight.  Officers placed him in a chokehold causing him to lose consciousness and be rushed for emergency medical attention.  The district court initially found for the defendants.  Attorney Samms appealed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and won the case which subsequently settled favorably for the defendant.

  • This case involved two brothers who were vacationing in Miami Beach.  After getting in an altercation earlier in the night, the two young men went looking for their assailants and one of the brothers placed a hanger under his shirt.  The men were confronted by Miami Beach officers who fired on them believing the hanger was a firearm.  One of the brothers was killed.  The matter was settled favorable on behalf of the estate and the surviving brother.

  • This case involved a tenant of an apartment in Overtown Miami who returned from breakfast to find that he had been locked out of his apartment by property managers who did not follow legal eviction proceedings.  The property managers announced that they were in fact City of Miami Police Officers and if Mr. Peery returned he would be arrested.  Mr. Peery went to the police department to report the illegal eviction and to find out if the property managers were in fact police officers.  They were confirmed as such and Mr. Peery was instructed to call new police officers and return to the scene.  When he did so, he was arrested as a trespasser and placed in jail for 21 days.  All of Mr. Peery’s furniture and belongings were given away or thrown out by the police officers.  The City of Miami was sued for false imprisonment and conversion.  The case settled favorably in favor of Mr. Peery.

  • The defendant was charged with carrying a concealed firearm. Attorney Samms, after investigation of the case, believed that the search was unconstitutional due to an illegal search by police of the defendant’s vehicle. A Motion To Suppress Physical Evidence was filed and granted by the court. All charges were dismissed against the defendant without the necessity of trial.

  • This is an action which alleged violations of Federal Constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. ‘ 1983. Mr. Richard Beatty was a mentally disturbed Vietnam war veteran who was shot 14 times by City of Miami Police officers. Undersigned was the lead counsel and cooperating attorney with the ACLU. This action ended favorably with a settlement on behalf of the surviving daughter of the decedent. As a result of this lawsuit, the City of Miami adopted CIT, (Crisis Intervention Team), training for their police force. Since the City adopted the training, the rash of killings of the mentally ill that preceded Mr. Beatty’s death by City of Miami Police officers has ended.

  • The case alleged civil rights violations against a Miami Dade County police officer under 42 U.S.C ‘ 1983 for excessive force and an unconstitutional arrest, along with state tort violations, committed against two black youths. The individual officer wrongfully used excessive force against one of the youths then improperly arrested the youths to cover up his illicit conduct. The case was settled favorably on behalf of the plaintiffs.

  • This case involved a homosexual white male who was physically assaulted and battered by City of Miami Beach Police Officers. The officers while committing the excessive force made derogatory remarks regarding the plaintiff’s sexual orientation and the fact that he was a public defender. The complaint alleged municipal liability and individual liability under 42 USC ‘ 1983. The case ended favorably for plaintiff with a monetary settlement.

  • This action alleged unconstitutional policies and customs against the Fort Pierce police department. Multiple customs were attacked. The department had a custom of arresting black citizens who were on public sidewalks for trespassing. The department also manually gouged subjects in the eyes with O.C. spray without training and in derogation of proper protocol for the use of O.C. spray. Finally, the department did not adequately investigate complaints of excessive force which led to improper actions of individual police officers being conducted with impunity. This case was tried to verdict and the jury found the City of Fort Pierce liable for unconstitutional customs and practices and awarded damages to Plaintiff. As a result of the lawsuit the Fort Pierce Police Department no longer forces black citizens to move from public sidewalks under threat of arrest. The practice of gouging subjects with O.C. spray in the eyes has also ceased.

  • This is an action where three black males were physically assaulted by City of Miami Beach Police Officers while standing outside of a restaurant on Miami Beach. The three men were inappropriately pepper sprayed, beaten and arrested without probable cause. The complaint alleged allegations of assault, battery and false imprisonment for each of the named plaintiffs. The case was settled favorably on behalf of plaintiffs.

  • This case involved an 81 year old black male who was physically assaulted by a City of Tallahassee police officer. The complaint alleged municipal and individual liability under 42 U.S.C. ‘ 1983, as well as state torts against the individual officer. The case was settled favorably on behalf of plaintiff.

  • This case alleged excessive force against the City of Miami Beach and individual police officers for the shooting of Plaintiff, Steven Jacob Cook. Undersigned Counsel was hired as a legal consultant for the firm of Heise, Markarian who were counsels for the plaintiff. Undersigned counsel was paid to review the case and assist the firm, which was not experienced in police misconduct litigation in bringing the case to settlement or trial. The case was settled favorably on behalf of plaintiff.

  • This case involved two City of Miami Beach Police Officers who physically assaulted an African American woman who they arrested for disorderly conduct. Allegations included counts of violations of civil rights laws pursuant to 42 USC ‘ 1983 on an individual and municipal basis. The case was settled favorably on behalf of plaintiff.