Civil Rights Attorney in NJ
Committed to Representing the Legal Rights of People Who Have Had their Civil Rights Violated by Law Enforcement
Police and police departments exist to protect the safety of the community and are a necessary part of living in a civilized society that operates under the rule of law. Unfortunately, in some cases, the police that are charged with keeping us safe engage in illegal conduct that violates the constitutionally protected civil rights of the people that they have sworn to protect. These kinds of incidents can cause serious physical, emotional, and psychological injuries and often leave victims with a significant distrust of the police.
As a practicing criminal defense attorney, Ronald J. Brandmayr regularly meets clients who believe that their civil rights have been violated in the course of a criminal investigation or arrest. When these rights have, in fact, have been violated, victims are often able to bring a lawsuit against the state agency that violated their rights. Whether or not a particular person will be able to sue depends on a number of circumstances, so it is important for anyone that believes that his or her rights have been violated to speak with an attorney familiar with litigating civil rights claims against the government.
Individuals have the right be free from discrimination based on certain protected characteristics, including their sex, color, age, race, and religious affiliation. There are several state and federal laws that address discrimination in employment, housing, and access to public facilities. One law, in particular, 42 USC § 1983, is often used to bring claims against the government or its subunits for civil rights violations that occur due to the actions law enforcement or other state actors, commonly referred simply as “Section 1983.” Under this law, people who have been deprived of their civil rights by a person acting “under color of law” can bring a private action against the party whose actions resulted in the deprivation of rights. This law can be used to bring a claim against any government entity that discriminates against people for certain prohibited reasons. Some common scenarios that may result in a discrimination claim include the racial profiling and mistreatment of prisoners based on a dislike of a certain group.
1983 Claims Based on Police Brutality and Misconduct
Section 1983 claims also can arise from circumstances in which a person’s constitutionally protected rights are violated for reasons not having to do with race, religion, or other protected characteristics. Some of the situations in which a person may be able to bring a 1983 claim include the following:
- Law enforcement officers enter your home and destroy your property without a warrant or legal justification
- Police use unreasonable force that results in physical harm during the course of a criminal investigation
- You are arrested while engaged in constitutionally protected activity, such as engaging in a protest
- If you are in police custody and denied medical treatment
- If you are
without due process of law
Filing a lawsuit based on wrongful police conduct is a decision that should be carefully considered and can become a contentious and high-profile issue within a community. The reality of the situation is that police tend to protect and cover for each other and many people who have never been on the other side of wrongful police conduct find it unbelievable that police would act in a way that was in violation of the law. This is not to say that victims should not pursue legal action, but rather that the decision to do so should be not taken lightly. Victims should be prepared for a significant and long-term legal battle that will affect their lives for a significant period of time. In addition, these actions often require different units of the government to act in opposition to one another, a situation that can cause significant tension and conflicts of interest. For this reason, anyone that is considering taking legal action in response to a violation of their civil rights should do so with the assistance of an experienced civil rights lawyer.
Contact a New Jersey Civil Rights Lawyer Today to Discuss Your Legal Options
If you believe that your or your loved one’s civil rights have been violated, you should talk to an experienced lawyer immediately. New Jersey attorney Robert J. Brandmayr has been practicing law since 2002 and is committed to helping individuals who have suffered harm due to violations of their civil rights. To schedule a free consultation with Mr. Brandmayr, call our office today at 732-409-5195 or send us an email through our online contact form.