Civil rights laws protect the individual from improper government intervention into a person’s life and liberties. These laws are many, complex and constantly evolving. Civil rights laws cover a wide assortment of rights and freedoms recognized and guarantee every United States citizen and resident by federal, state and local laws and constitutions. For example, citizens and residents have freedoms associated with their speech, assembly, association and the right to practice a religion of their choice, to their life, liberty and personal privacy; and to equal access to a public education, to the courts, to public facilities, services and housing; equal and fair treatment by law enforcement and the courts; as well as the right to vote. When those rights are violated, especially by state and local governments, employers, officials or representatives, there are remedies available in federal court.
The various civil rights include not only freedoms, but also the right to be free from discrimination in the availability and exercise of those freedoms. “Discrimination” results when an individual’s, group’s, or a business or governmental entity’s preference or prejudice fosters conduct or a practice that obstructs or hinders another’s equal access or exercise of guaranteed civil rights or freedoms. Obviously, not every infringement of another’s civil rights or freedom amounts to illegal discrimination. The civil rights laws make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of one’s membership in a protected class. One may not discriminate or adversely impact another on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, disability or national origin. Generally speaking, discrimination against a protected class of citizens that interferes with the exercise of voting rights, the right to assemble, freedom of speech, religion, or association or with equal opportunities to education or housing brings civil rights laws into play.
Despite the best efforts of individuals, businesses and governmental entities to comply with the civil rights laws, lawsuits or administrative charges occur. Such charges and lawsuits can have significant consequences, and our experienced legal team can help you seek monetary recovery when someone violates your civil rights.
Please call for a free consultation if you believe you have been the victim of any of these types of violations:
- Governmental decisions or proceedings which result in loss of property without proper notice to you or providing you an opportunity to be heard.
- When a student is improperly removed from school, abused, assaulted, illegally restrained or inappropriately secluded by teachers and/or administrators.
- Political retaliation, discrimination or termination.
- Retaliation for arrest as a result of exercising free speech rights or criticizing the police or other government officials.
- Governmental officials violating citizens’ rights such as when prisons, child protective agencies or any other governmental official violates the constitutional rights of a person.