Civil Rights Attorneys

civil rights attorneysYour civil rights are guaranteed privileges and rights that cannot be interfered with or denied by another. Examples of fundamental civil rights include the right to vote, the right to equality, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and the right to assembly. The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution–the Bill of Rights–contain the constitutional origins of what Americans consider the basis of our enforceable freedoms and rights.

Citizens seek the assistance of a civil rights attorneys when their civil liberties, as described in the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, are violated by an individual or other entity. Complicated by rules of interpretive law and constitutional law, civil rights violations are best handled by experienced civil rights attorneys who have specialized knowledge of civil rights case law and judicial processes guiding litigation of a civil rights violation.

Types of Civil Rights Violations

Actionable civil rights violations involves the threat or use of force occurring in:

  • Misconduct, excessive force or abuse by law enforcement personnel
  • Prison abuse
  • Hate crimes
  • Unlawful searches and seizures
  • Cruel and unusual punishment
  • Employment discrimination
  • Religious discrimination
  • Obstruction of your right to bear arms, right to due process, right to freedom from self-incrimination and the right to have a lawyer represent your civil rights case

Constitutional amendments concerning civil rights laws that protect people of any race, color or gender began with the establishment of the Thirteenth Amendment of 1865 abolishing involuntary servitude and slavery in the U.S. This amendment was ultimately followed by the Civil Rights Act of 1866, the Fourteenth Amendment, the Fifteenth Amendment and one of the most important additions to the Bill of Rights, the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (For more information about newer civil rights amendments, see Federal Civil Rights Statutes).

Statute of Limitations for Filing a Civil Rights Case

Each state has their own statute of limitations limiting the time you have to file a civil rights lawsuit. In Hawaii, you have 90 days to file an employment discrimination case and one year to file a housing discrimination case. No specified time limit has been ascribed to other types of civil rights complaints.

Hawaii civil rights attorney Davis Levin Livingston strongly urges anyone who thinks they have had their civil rights violated to contact him immediately to schedule a free consultation. The sooner your civil rights lawsuit is initiated, the greater your chance for receiving the justice and compensation you deserve.

Compensation for Civil Rights Lawsuits

Litigants suing government or other authoritative entities for civil rights abuses and winning their case will be awarded with “injunctive relief”, monetary compensation or both. Injunctive relief is indicated when the court orders a defendant to cease discriminatory or other specific behaviors against the plaintiff. This kind of legal resolution is commonly implemented when the plaintiff is harmed by actions perpetrated by the defendant for which money cannot completely compensate the plaintiff.

You may also receive special damages, general damages and punitive damages if the court finds your civil rights have been violated.

Civil Rights Attorneys Specialize in Defending Your Constitutional Rights

Davis Levin Livingston and its partners have made a life-long commitment to ensuring that civil rights and civil liberties are protected. Partners Mark Davis and Michael Livingston have both acted as staff and volunteer attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union; Partner Stan Levin is the former lead litigation attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii.

The firm has litigated extensively on behalf of individuals whose first amendment freedom of speech has been limited by government action. Cases in which the firm has recently been involved include the following:

  • A class action lawsuit settled on behalf of Hawaii prisoners who were wrongfully detained after having been found innocent of charges brought against them.
  • A class action lawsuit settled on behalf of protesters who wanted to peacefully demonstrate at an international meeting of the World Trade Organization.
  • A class action lawsuit settled on behalf of hand billers who were distributing commercial leaflets in Waikiki.

Civil Rights – In The News