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Ways to Determine If Your Civil Rights Are Being Violated

Posted by Thurston Lopes | Aug 02, 2018 | 0 Comments

Obstructing another individual's civil right is a violation of Federal Law. There are a substantial number of individual rights that grant equal treatment of individuals in circumstances involving access to education, equal housing, rights to purchase property of all types, employment, and even when considering the process of being accused of a crime or offense, among many others. It's important that you recognize how to determine if your civil rights are being violated.

What Is a Civil Rights Violation?

civil rights violation refers to an offense that occurs as a result of the use of force or the threat of force by the offender against a victim. For instance an assault committed because of the victim's race or sexual orientation. An individual who has been accused of a civil rights violation may be prosecuted based on multiple federal and state civil rights statutes which include laws that forbid bias crimes and hate crimes. Common civil rights violations include: law enforcement misconduct, hate crimes, religious interference, slavery rings, and healthcare access interference.

Types of Civil Rights Acts

42 U.S.C. Section 1983:

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. . .

42 U.S.C. Section 1982:

All citizens of the United States shall have the same right, in every State and Territory, as is enjoyed by white citizens thereof to inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real and personal property.

Fair Housing Act: The fair housing act, also known as FHA, provides protection against housing discrimination. FHA forbids housing discrimination based on disability, race, religion, and family status. Following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the FHA was established in 1968.

Americans With Disabilities Act:

The Americans with disabilities act, also known as ADA, forbids discrimination based on disability in areas of employment, public accommodations, transportation, and government. Individuals who are determined to be disabled have or are thought to have a mental or physical impairment that significantly restricts major life activities, such as learning, talking, walking, and seeing.

Age Discrimination Act of 1975: The age discrimination act forbids discrimination of an individual based on age in areas of government assistance, health care services, housing, education, and rehab programs. While this rule prohibits age discrimination, there are age restrictions that are allowed under certain circumstances. Age restrictions are allowed if the age distinction is mandatory for participating in a specific activity effectively or there are factors aside from age that have a significant correlation to the activity at hand.

Race Discrimination

Race discrimination occurs when you are treated adversely due to your race. For instance, racial profiling targets specific racial groups based on the idea that certain groups are most likely to commit crimes more than others. With racial stereotypes, there are judgments placed on members of racial groups that prejudiced individuals usually use to justify discrimination against minority groups with regard to education, housing, and employment. This is seen in various aspects of our society as over-deterrence in policing of minorities for minor infractions and prejudicial sentiments abound in practice in most of Georgia and other southern states especially with the political climate of the moment. If you experienced racial discrimination, a civil rights litigation lawyer in metro-Atlanta and Marietta, GA, can guide you through the process.

Examples of Discrimination

Example 1: A black man is arrested and charged with a minor offense such as vagrancy or loitering and obstruction of a police officer by a local police department. This accused black man is substantially injured, jailed, and made to face trumped up charges. The case is prosecuted and the officer does not appear at trial once an experienced criminal defense attorney like Attorney Lopes has investigated the officer(s) involved and determined that the department should not have hired the officer(s) due to a history of false arrests and trumped up charges.  The trial court has no choice but to dismiss the charges, and at this time a malicious prosecution and civil rights case is ripe and may exist against the local police department and its supervisory personnel, the city or county, and the individual officer(s) involved, as depends of governmental immunity.

Example 2: An African-American works for a company.  This individual is made to feel inferior and is passed up for opportunities, often training a white lesser qualified individual that eventually becomes his or her superior. This minority individual is passed up for raises and eventually complains to management, and losses hours and receives less money.  He or she is confronted with a hostile work environment, and he or she is eventually set up for termination and prosecution due to a missing item or loss of property or a physical altercation on the premises of the employer.  The criminal case against the individual is prosecuted in the local court, and the matter is eventually dismissed due to insufficient evidence.  At this time a malicious prosecution and civil rights case is ripe and may exist against both the employer and the individual employees involved.

Example 3: An African-American comes to a local area hardware store near closing time.  He or she is told they are closing and denied entry.  However, while in the parking lot they observe a white individual enter the store after they were told that the store is closing. At this time a civil rights action exist against the store for denial of an equal property right of all citizens in America to purchase personal property.

What You Should Do

If you believe that you have been the victim of a civil rights violation, it's recommended that you consult with an experienced civil rights lawyer in metro-Atlanta and Marietta, GA. Call The Lopes Law Firm at (404) 589-9000 to request a consultation. We can and want to help you!

About the Author

Thurston Lopes

For over 20 years, Thurston Lopes has served the Metro Atlanta area. He has a passion for what he does, and works to ensure that all clients receive approachable, responsive representation. Credentials Mr. Lopes received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Hampton University in 1989, an...


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