The appellant in the case is Vicki Trees. She is a juvenile and is represented by her parents, Jerry L. and Jewell Trees. The appellee in the case is the K-Mart Corporation located in the town of Lake Park in Florida. Additional appellees in the case are Frank Cardinal, Frank Helm, and Paul Friedman.
A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said Vicki Trees was a plaintiff in a false arrest and malicious prosecution suit. She is appealing the verdict of the case, stating that the original trial court admitted evidence improperly that showed her participation in a collateral crime.
Ms. Trees, who was 17 at the time of the case, worked at K-mart as a cashier. Ms. Trees was arrested for shoplifting when a customer at the store was caught switching the price tags on items and claimed that Ms. Trees was part of the scheme. Ms. Trees was removed from the store in handcuffs by the police. A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said she was then taken to the police station where she was fingerprinted, booked, and charged with the crime of shoplifting. At the same time the customer who accused Ms. Trees of being a part of the scheme recanted her statement. The charges for shoplifting against Ms. Trees were then dropped. Ms. Trees then sued for being falsely arrested and prosecuted maliciously. The original jury in the case returned with a verdict in favor of the defense and now we have this appeal.
The principal claim made by Ms. Trees is that there was an error committed by the circuit court when they allowed evidence from a collateral crime to be submitted. About two years before the incident at K-mart, Ms. Trees was arrested for shoplifting at J. Byrons. She was booked by the police and served time by attending counseling sessions at Division of Youth Services. The defense counsel reasoned that the incident was relevant in this case for the issue of damages as Ms. Trees was seeking compensation for the stress disorder she stated was triggered by the second charge. A Nassau Sex Crimes Lawyer said the counsel made the argument that the lack of emotional problems from the first incident as well as the similarity of the arrests helped to disprove the current claim.
The trial court found that the similarity between the two cases was sufficient for the evidence to be submitted in this particular case. In collateral crimes the test for evidence to be submitted is relevance. There are two forms of relevance, legal and logical. In this case the evidence is attempting to prove whether or not Ms. Trees had suffered any type of stress disorder from the second arrest and if she had suffered from a similar stress disorder after the first arrest. A Queens Sex Crimes Lawyer said it was found that it was logically relevant to use the first case of shoplifting and arrest to determine whether or not her present claim for damages is true.
In this particular case we have looked over the evidence as it has been provided to us and we feel that Ms. Trees has not sufficiently demonstrated an abuse of discretion for the submitting of the particular evidence into the case.
After careful review of all the remaining appeal issues, we affirm the previous judgment in the case.
Stephen Bilkis & Associates offers several offices throughout New York City for your convenience. You may contact us at any time when you are in need of legal advice. We will be happy to set up a free consultation to determine what your next step should be legally.