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“Section 1983” lawsuits involve citizens suing governmental actors that deprived them of rights under the United States Constitution and federal law. The bases for these actions range from restrictions upon free speech rights under the First Amendment, to discharge of an employee for racial or sex-based reasons in violation of the Equal Protection clause, to denial of adequate medical treatment afforded by the Eighth Amendment. But Section 1983 more commonly arises in the context of improper police searches and use of excessive force, which implicate the Fourth Amendment. In terms of civil rights violations, one of the more famous examples of an excessive force Section 1983 claim came about after the southern California riots in 1992, when trial lawyer, Federico C. Sayre, successfully sued the Los Angeles police department and its officers in a multi-million dollar lawsuit for severely beating Rodney King.
The Civil Action for Deprivation of Rights Act, known as “Section 1983,” was enacted as part of the Civil Rights Act of 1871. In relevant part, the Act reads: Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer's judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable. 42 U.S.C. § 1983. It is not a source of substantive rights. Rather, the Act provides a vehicle or private remedy for the vindication of rights.
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Hostile work environments are usually created by those who are in a position of authority. Whether that is your boss, superior, or a co-worker who has your same position, these individuals are more prone to make inappropriate demands in the workplace. The reason for this is that there is more contact with the individual than other co-workers.
Discrimination commonly arises as bias in hiring, promotion, job assignment, termination, compensation, retaliation, and various types of harassment. Except for constitutional laws that apply to governmental employers engaging in discriminatory practices, anti-discrimination laws consist of federal and state statutes.
While most law enforcement officers excel in their critically important role within our society some step over the line during encounters with the people they protect. Whether it’s during an arrest, traffic stop, or while walking down the street, each moment and officer interacts with a citizen can be tense.
Have your civil rights been violated?
We have extensive experience investigating and prosecuting civil rights violations. When you hire our firm, we will advance all costs associated with representing the client.