Category: Law

Who Do I File a Lawsuit Against If My Civil Rights Have Been Violated?

Discrimination is rampant in our society and comes in various forms. You could be discriminated against based on your race or country of origin. You can be sexually harassed or denied access to fair housing. All these are examples of civil rights violations which if you believe you are a victim, you may question your legal options or the best course of action to take. Here are essential points you need to know and the legal steps to take if your civil rights have been violated.

Examples Of Protected Rights Under Federal And State Laws

In a civil rights violation case, the first question you should always ask is whether the violated rights were a protected right. Civil rights laws do not cover certain rights . Although some civil rights violations may be legal, they do not fall under civil rights violation cases and cannot be pursued legally. For instance, your housing rights may have been violated under the following scenarios:

You applied for a house to rent or lease, but the landlord refuses your lease proposal or application because you are a dog owner. The landlord has a policy that does not allow pets on their property. Under such circumstances, although you may feel that your civil rights were violated, the landlord has a right not to allow pet owners to occupy their premises. As such, no legal claims may be filed against the landlord.

In another scenario, you are an African American or a person of mongoloid origin seeking accommodation. The landlord refuses your application due to your perceived country of origin or race. This is a civil rights violation that borders on racial discrimination. The federal and state fair housing laws prohibit landlords from violating the civil rights of prospective tenants based on their race.

Your Options In Case A Protected Right Was Violated

If your protected rights were violated, you have several legal options you can pursue, including:

Negotiating With The Other Party

You can opt to resolve the matter informally with the other party without pursuing legal action against them. For instance, if it was an employment kind of discrimination, you may negotiate with the employer to offer you severance pay in return for dropping legal charges against them.

File a Claim With the Government

In other extreme cases of civil rights violations where informal negotiations are not possible, you have the legal options to file a claim against the responsible parties with a government agency. You can file a complaint with a state or federal agency where the agency will take the necessary steps to reinforce your civil rights. The circumstances surrounding your case will determine if your complaint is brought before a state or federal agency.

File a Private Lawsuit

Another legal option you can pursue in civil rights violations is a private lawsuit. This is where you sue the responsible parties for all the harm you suffered when your protected civil right was discriminated against. You can file a private lawsuit in a state or federal court depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged discrimination or the laws about the alleged discrimination. The first step is usually to file a complaint with the court.

Work With an Experienced Civil Rights Attorney

Legal issues are generally complicated and can be frustrating to the victims. This is especially true if you have limited legal knowledge of the legal requirements for your case. As such, it is essential to contact a knowledgeable civil rights attorney at Friedman Levy in New York who is well-versed in the law. The attorney will evaluate your case, investigate the alleged discrimination, and help you overcome legal hurdles that may derail your case and ensure the best possible outcome.

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