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Types of Civil Rights Cases
Civil rights are foundational to a free society. These are basic human rights that guarantee equal social opportunities and equal protection under the law – regardless of your race, gender, national origin, color of your skin, religion, or other personal characteristics. The United States Constitution guarantees certain civil rights and liberties, which include:
- Freedom of speech
- Freedom of religion
- At freedom of assembly
- The right to privacy
- The right to vote
- The right to due process
- The right to a speedy and public trial
- Freedom from false arrest and malicious prosecution
- Freedom from cruel and unusual punishment
- The right to equal protection under the law
America has come a long way since our founding in the area of civil rights, but we still have a ways to go. Far too many of our citizens continue to have their legal rights violated, and this often happens to those who are most vulnerable among us.
If you or someone close to you has been denied their rights based being part of a protected class, this is a violation of the law, and there are legal remedies available. Attorney Kira Fonteneau understands this, and she has dedicated her career to standing up for those who may have a hard time standing up for themselves. Kira is a seasoned Alabama civil rights lawyer with a strong track record of success, both in state and federal court. She is a tireless advocate for her clients, and she fights hard to obtain justice on their behalf.
First Amendment Claims against Government Employers
The Constitution prohibits a government employer from discharging or demoting an employee because the employee supports a particular candidate.” Heffernan v. City of Patterson, 578 U.S. ___ Slip Opinion 3 (Jan. 19, 2016).
“When an employer demotes an employee out of a desire to prevent the employee from engaging in political activity that the First Amendment protects, the employee is entitled to challenge that unlawful action under the First Amendment and 42 U.S.C. § 1983….” Heffernan v. City of Patterson, 578 U.S. ___ Slip Opinion 3 (Jan. 19, 2016).
Sadly, government employee speech is protected only in certain time and places. When you speak, where you speak, and how you speak matters! When filling out your form, tell us the time and place you expressed your concern about government activity and who was in the room listening when you were talking and what you said, and how you campaign for your candidate.
There are many ways for government employees to assert First Amendment rights. Tell us what happened with the Who, What, Where, and When and one of our attorneys’ will respond to your inquiry and personally discuss your case.
Police Brutality and Misconduct
Excessive force or police brutality is a serious issue. While police do generally have a broad scope of power, they are not above the law. A police officer’s motivation or intention is not controlling. Even if an officer had good intentions, but their force was unnecessary, that is still considered excessive force.
Police officers are also not allowed to arrest someone without a warrant or a valid reason, commonly referred to as “probable cause”. In other words, the officer must have a good reason to believe that the individual committed a crime. Examples of civil rights violations in this area include planting false evidence or not following proper procedures to establish probable cause.
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured due to excessive force by police or you have been falsely arrested or imprisoned by the police, you may be able to file a civil rights lawsuit against them. Please call us for free consultation.
The police are not the only ones that sometimes abuse their power and in doing so violate another person’s civil rights. Prosecutors sometimes engage in this practice by initiating criminal proceedings against an individual, even though they know that there is not enough evidence to obtain a conviction. The state and federal governments have virtually limitless resources, and when they direct these resources to wrongly prosecute an individual, it can be very costly for the individual financially, even if they are ultimately acquitted of the charge against them.
In the worst cases, the end result of malicious prosecution is a wrongful conviction. When someone is wrongfully convicted of a crime, it can be a devastating event. A wrongful conviction can often mean heavy fines, extended jail time, and other long-term consequences. In in the most extreme instances, some individuals have even had their lives taken from them through capital punishment after being wrongfully convicted.
Sexual harassment is far too common in the workplace. In the 21st century, it has no place in our day-to-day lives. About 40% of women are subjected to some type of sexual harassment in the workplace, and this can happen to men as well. Some common examples of sexual harassment include sexually suggestive gestures and communication, offensive jokes, inappropriate, rude, or offensive remarks, repeated unwanted requests, quid pro quos (e.g., career advancement in exchange for sexual favors), unwanted physical advances, and sexual assault.
If you have been the victim of any of these, you do not have to accept this as part of the “work environment”. You have the right to take a stand and take legal action against those who perpetrate (and those who help facilitate) these types of behaviors.
Various forms of discrimination are among the most common civil rights violations. Individuals are routinely discriminated against in the workplace because of their race, age, gender, disability, or another protected class. Discrimination also occurs frequently outside of the workplace in numerous settings; such as when someone is refused admission to a school, denied the right to rent or purchase a home, or denied access to various programs, benefits, services, and facilities based on a protected class. There is no place in our society for discrimination, and those who are victims of it deserve justice.
Contact an Experienced Civil Rights Lawyer in Birmingham
Civil rights violations can come in many forms. And for those who have had these rights violated, there are various legal remedies available, which may include monetary damages. Attorney Kira Fonteneau is committed to fighting for you and helping ensure that the powerful in our society who trample on the rights of those who are most vulnerable are held fully accountable.