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Civil Rights Attorneys

Civil Rights Law

A civil right is an enforceable right or privilege, which if interfered with by another gives rise to an action for injury. Examples of civil rights are freedom of speech, press, and assembly; the right to vote; freedom from involuntary servitude; freedom from excessive force by the hands of the police; deprivation of due process and the right to equality in public places. Discrimination occurs when the civil rights of an individual are denied or interfered with because of their membership in a particular group or class. Statutes have been enacted to prevent discrimination based on a person's race, sex, religion, age, previous condition of servitude, physical limitation, national origin, and in some instances sexual preference.

Police officers generally have broad powers to carry out their duties. The Constitution and other laws, however, place limits on how far police can go in trying to enforce the law. When police officers exceed their legal authority, the victim of the misconduct may have recourse through federal and state laws. A primary purpose of the nation's civil rights laws is to protect citizens from abuses by government, including police misconduct. Civil rights laws allow attorney fees and compensatory and punitive damages as incentives for injured parties to enforce their rights.

A statute known as Section 1983 is the primary civil rights law victims of police misconduct rely upon. The law is called Section 1983 because that is where the law has been published, within Title 42, of the United States Code. Section 1983 makes it unlawful for anyone acting under the authority of state law to deprive another person of his or her rights under the Constitution or federal law. The most common claims brought against police officers are false arrest (or false imprisonment), malicious prosecution, and use of excessive or unreasonable force.

The evidence supporting your claim is the most important element in a police misconduct suit. If you have been the victim of police misconduct, contact our civil rights attorneys immediately so that valuable evidence does not disappear. Take photographs of any injuries or damage caused by the police, and set aside clothing or other objects that was torn or stained with blood from the incident. If you aware of any witnesses to the misconduct try to obtain their contact information including name, address and telephone number.

There are certain time deadlines in which file to civil rights complaints. In addition, there are certain deadlines in which to notify a Connecticut municipality or the State of Connecticut of the intention of bringing a civil rights lawsuit. Missing any of these time deadlines can be fatal to the viability of the civil rights lawsuit.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.