By Christopher Zoukis
A New York landlord who was subjected to a warrantless arrest for alleged wrongful eviction was awarded $25,000 by a jury for false arrest.
Landlord Barsiasa was accosted by NYPD officers in his home. The officers were responding to claims made by Barsiasa's tenants that he had turned their water off in an attempt to illegally evict them. Barsiasa told the officers that the water was temporarily shut off for a leak repair. As the officers handcuffed him in front of his wife and children, Barsiasa asked for an arrest warrant. The officers said that they didn't need one, and allegedly threatened to have his children removed by Child Protective Services as they carted him off to jail.
After spending the night in jail, Barsiasa hired Stanley Shapiro and Kevin Canfield of the New York City Law Offices of Stanley K. Shapiro to sue the city. In his suit, Barsiasa claimed false arrest and psychological distress. The City argued that the arrest was proper, and that the officers did not threaten to take away Barsiasa's children.
On January 30, 2007, after a one day trial, the jury came back with a verdict for Barsiasa. They awarded him $25,000 in damages for his emotional distress.
Case: Barsiasa v. City of New York, Queens County Supreme Court, Case No. 015951/1999 (January 30, 2007)
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