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Can You Sue for Being Falsely Imprisoned in Michigan?

Can You Sue for Being Falsely Imprisoned in Michigan?

Yes. If you were wrongfully imprisoned in Michigan for a crime, you did not commit, you can sue the state for compensation under the Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Act. Here is how it works:

Who Can Sue?

You can file a false imprisonment lawsuit if you are convicted of a crime and sent to a state prison, and the state later found that you were not guilty. To sue, you need to show three key things:

  • You were convicted and imprisoned.
  • Your conviction was later overturned, or you were found not guilty in a new trial.
  • New evidence proves you did not commit the crime.  

Filing Your Claim

When you file your lawsuit, you must include proof of your conviction, the overturning of your conviction, and the new evidence that clears your name. You must also swear that your claim is true. After filing your lawsuit, you must send a copy to the Attorney General and the prosecutor from the county where you were convicted. They will have a chance to respond and challenge your claim.

Time Limits

You have three years from the date your conviction was overturned, or you were found not guilty, to file your lawsuit. If the state challenges the decision that cleared your name, this three-year period pauses until that challenge is resolved.

How Much Can I Get for a False Imprisonment Lawsuit in Michigan?

If you win a wrongful imprisonment lawsuit in Michigan, here is how much money you could get:

  • Compensation Per Year: Michigan law states that you can receive $50,000 for each year you were wrongfully imprisoned. If you were in prison for less than a year, this amount is divided into 365 days (about 12 months), giving you a daily rate.
  • Reimbursement of Certain Costs: If you had to pay the state for your time in prison (under the State Correctional Facility Reimbursement Act), you could get this money back.
  • Attorney Fees: The law also covers reasonable attorney fees you had to pay in seeking justice. These fees do not come from your award – the attorney gets this money in addition to what you receive. However, there are limits. The fees cannot be more than 10 percent of your total award or $50,000, whichever is less, plus expenses. Also, you must have paid your attorney these fees to recover compensation.
  • No Compensation for Other Convictions: If you simultaneously served time for another conviction, you cannot get compensation for that part of your imprisonment.
  • No Compensation for Injuries in Prison: This law does not cover any injuries you might have suffered in prison. You can pursue separate claims for those.

Contact a Michigan Attorney Now

Suing for wrongful imprisonment involves complex legal procedures and requires specific evidence and documentation. At Mueller Law Firm, our Michigan lawyers know this area of law well. We can gather the necessary evidence, file your lawsuit correctly, and represent you in court. We can also negotiate on your behalf and demand the full compensation to which you are entitled.

Remember, the law allows for your lawyer’s fees to be part of your compensation, so engaging a lawyer will not reduce the money you receive for your wrongful imprisonment. 

Contact us today to learn how we can help with a free initial consultation.