Civil Rights Lawsuits-1983 and Bane Act Claims
Every American has certain unalienable rights. These rights include life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These rights also include equal protection under the laws of California and the United States. When the government, or a private entity performing a government function, violates these rights—they must be held accountable.
One of the functions of government is to enact laws and enforce them. However, “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” One of the great principles of our form of government is the ability to regulate governmental entities and individuals in power through checks and balances. A powerful check and balance is the right to sue governmental entities and their employees. These include, but are not limited to:
- Government Officials
- Local Government Boards
- County Governmental Entities
- State Governmental Entities
- Police Officers
- Departments of Correction/Prisons
- Prison Guards and Prison Officials
- Any Individual or Entity Operating Under the “Color of Law”
The most powerful federal civil rights statute is 42 U.S.C. § 1983. California has its own civil rights statute entitled the Bane Act. Both laws allow individuals to pursue claims against the government for abusing its power and violating the rights of citizens. In the end, the government is equal to anyone in court. In a court of law the government is treated equally, must answer for what it does and will be punished if it or its employees have exercised their power inappropriately.
The most common situation leading to a civil rights lawsuit is when a law enforcement officer has abused his power. However, civil rights lawsuits are not limited to this scenario. Civil rights lawsuits may arise when the government fails to treat individuals equally or acts in such a way as to deprive a citizen the rights he or she is guaranteed under the constitution or state law. The wrongful taking of property or discrimination by the government based upon race, religion, national origin or sexual affiliation, also provide a basis for a civil rights lawsuit.
In the end, a civil rights lawsuit is about the vindication of rights. It is about holding someone accountable for his or her wrongful actions and showing them that they are not above the law. Often times, an individual’s number one concern is proving that the government or its employees treated them unfairly.
Civil rights claims brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 are usually heard in federal courts. As such, it is important that you have an attorney who is qualified to practice in federal court and has experience practicing there. It is also important that you have an attorney that is willing to take on the government and the challenges that come with suing it. The attorneys at the Piccuta Law Group, LLP have extensive federal court experience and experience bringing lawsuits against the government and its employees. Our attorneys are qualified to practice in all California state and federal courts. If you are a victim that has experienced an abuse of power by the government or one of its employees, you should contact the Piccuta Law Group, LLP today. Our attorneys are always available for a free consultation and will help determine if you have a case and if your civil rights have been violated.