Civil Remedies for Victims of Hate Violence
Discrimination is still a persistent social and cultural issue in the United States. However, there are laws in place that guarantee protection against discrimination as well as hate violence, which often go hand in hand. Hate violence can be defined as violent acts that are centered around some aspect of the victim’s identity, such as race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, among others.
If you fear being subjected to discrimination and hate violence or it has already happened to you, it can be useful to know that there are California civil rights laws in place to protect you and provide you with civil remedies.
California civil rights law
California legislation prohibits violent acts such as threats (either verbal or written), attempted or physical assault, property damage, vandalism. One of these laws, the Ralph Civil Rights Act, is there to help prevent intimidation and violence by guaranteeing the rights of individuals in protected classes. These protected classes include but are not limited to characteristics such as skin color, national origin, religion, race, disability, gender (including gender identity and expression), citizenship, sexual orientation, etc.
It is worth noting that the victim of a hate crime or violence does not have to be in a protected class per se. If the person perpetrating the violence wrongly assumes that the victim is in a protected class, they can still be held liable.
Remedies available under the Ralph Civil Rights Act
There are several civil remedies available to victims under the Ralph Act, including:
- Monetary damages: as this is a civil rights lawsuit, the plaintiff can demand compensation for medical bills related to any physical injuries sustained, wages lost, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and property repair (in the case of vandalism).
- Punitive damages: these additional damages aim to punish the defendant, even if you have been fully compensated.
- Restraining orders: following the restraining order, the liable party can be fined or jailed.
- Attorney’s fees: victims can also recover this cost of pursuing the lawsuit.
One of the most distinguishing features of this type of civil rights lawsuit is that it not only provides victims with the above remedies but also allows the recovery of a civil fine for the amount of $25,000.
Pursuing a lawsuit
Depending on whether you were the victim of violent acts or threats, certain points must be proved in court. An experienced civil rights attorney can walk you through what the process would look like and what you can expect to receive. No one should suffer from discrimination, harm, or threats of violence for simply being who they are.
More on Civil Rights:
- Most Common Civil Rights Violations
- Police Brutality and Section 1983 Civil Rights Lawsuits
- The Hurdle of Qualified Immunity in Civil Rights Lawsuits
- Pursuing Legal Action for Jail Abuse and Civil Rights
- The Benefit of Knowing Your Civil Rights
- What is a Plea Agreement? – civil rights attorney
- About Civil Rights
- Understanding Police Misconduct and Civil Rights Violations
- How to Pick a Civil Rights Lawyer for Police Misconduct Cases
Haddad & Sherwin LLP has a long, successful track record winning wrongful death and other serious civil rights claims for police and jail officer misconduct, throughout Northern and Central California. Call or email us for a free consultation.