Violations of civil rights often result in the victim of the civil rights violation filing a lawsuit against the person or persons responsible for any harm suffered.
A civil rights violation can take many forms.
Sexual harassment, race discrimination, disability discrimination are only a few examples of civil rights violations.
If you believe you have been a victim of a civil rights violation, you can file a lawsuit.
Before beginning the process, there are a few things that you should know about filing a lawsuit for a civil rights violation.
Certain types of discrimination and civil rights violation cases require that the victim file a claim with a federal or state agency before filing a lawsuit. These agencies, such as the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), serve as a primary resource for victims of civil rights violations.
For the most part, government agencies do not act as an advocate for either party when trying to resolve conflicts, but rather a neutral fact-finder working to find resolution through investigations. For the certain types of discrimination and civil rights violations that require you to file a complaint with a government agency, you can only file a private lawsuit after obtaining permission to sue from the government agency.
Make sure that you follow the guidelines that each agency imparts, such a time limits and what needs to be included in the complaint.
When you are ready to file a lawsuit, the first consideration should be whether to file at the federal or state court level.
You may have the option to file at either level, or a statute may determine what government level you can file under. Also, if you filed a claim with a government agency, that agency will most likely direct you towards your next course of action.
A civil court case will result in which the person claiming the civil rights violation (the plaintiff) attempts to prove that the opposing party (the defendant) is responsible for the civil rights violation and any damage suffered.
If you have suffered a civil rights violation and are unsure of how to file a lawsuit or ultimately need representation in civil court, contacting an experienced civil rights attorney is the best way to ensure your case receives the attention it deserves.