Understanding What Your Civil Rights Include
In order to understand whether your civil rights have been violated or not, you must first understand what your civil rights are. Civil rights are the protection from unfair treatment and discrimination and right to receive equal treatment in the following settings:
- Public accommodations
- Educational facilities
- Law enforcement interactions
Protection of the basic right to fair treatment encompasses treatment by law enforcement, educators, court officials and any other public or private affiliate and pertains to treatment based on race, gender, sexual identity, appearance, age, disability, religion, or national origin. There are also “civil liberties” that are sometimes confused with civil rights, that include:
- The right to vote
- The right to freedom of speech
- The right to privacy
- The right to remain silent
- The right to a fair trial
- The right to marry
Violations of Civil Rights
Understanding the difference between civil rights and civil liberties provides a framework to understand when a civil right is violated. There are many types of civil rights violations that can be handled through informal negotiation, filing a claim with the state or federal government, or a private lawsuit in civil court.
Examples of civil rights violations are:
- You are an African American male and you apply for a job at your local grocery store. The employer requests to know your race and then denies you from an interview based on race alone. This is a violation of your civil right to fair and equal consideration in employment arenas.
- You are a white male with extensive tattooing on your neck and face. You are pulled over for a routine traffic stop (failure to come to a complete stop at a stop sign) and the law enforcement officer pulls you out of your vehicle, and slams you onto the hood of your car, splitting your lip in the process. This is a violation of fair treatment.
- You and your spouse are of middle eastern decent and are both employed, with moderate to high income. You apply for an apartment knowing that you make more than enough to qualify and have excellent credit scores. You are denied based on national origin and race, as the landlord says that he wants only Caucasian tenants.
- You are a disabled veteran who is wheel chair bound. There is an opportunity for a promotion at your place of work and you are not considered for the position based on physical disability.
- You are a trans-male and are denied service at a diner and asked to leave because of your appearance and identity.
Regardless of the nature of the violations, you are entitled to pursue justice via whichever avenue you choose. If you are seeking a civil lawsuit, you must first file a complaint through your state government. The complaint will either be handled by a state or federal agency, dependent upon the details of your case and the claim filed. Once you have filed a claim through your local government agency, you can then pursue a lawsuit. Your best bet is to discuss your actions with a civil rights attorney who will have your best interest in mind. Our team of civil rights lawyers at May, Rammell & Wells can work with you to build a strong case and to make sure that you take the appropriate steps as you seek justice.
Trust Us for Professional Legal Counsel
Our experience provides clients with the peace of mind that they are not facing the system alone, and that their complaint is valid. We Don’t risk the outcome of your case by going it alone. Let our professional, skilled, and confident attorneys in Pocatello help you with your civil rights violation claim and lawsuit.
Request a free consultation at (208) 623-8021.