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Filing a Lawsuit for Interference with Your Civil Rights

This content about civil rights was written by a third party and does not represent the views or opinions of Haddad & Sherwin LLP, nor should it be construed as a complete and accurate statement of the law or as legal advice.  For better information about this topic, please contact Haddad & Sherwin LLP.

The majority of the civil rights we are entitled to are those guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution, federal law, and state law. These rights include the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures by police officers, the right to bear arms, free speech, and the right to vote, just to name a few. Knowing exactly what those legal rights are and how to exercise them can help you identify a third party’s interference with them.

Thankfully, there is legislation in place for cases such as these, including the Tom Bane Civil Rights Act. So what does this act allow you as a plaintiff?

Tom Bane Civil Rights Act

Under the Bane Act, you can pursue a claim for damages and relief for the interference or attempted interference with the exercise of your constitutional rights and others provided by law. Said interference can present itself in the form of violence, threats of violence, coercion, and intimidation. Essentially, it means that the defendant:

  • Attempted to prevent or actually prevented the plaintiff from doing something he or she has the right to do by law
  • Forced the plaintiff to do something he or she was not required to do by law
  • By improper means. This act of interference is either spiteful or deliberate.

Any individual can pursue a Bane claim, and they are usually common among cases of hate crimes and police misconduct. Additionally, it is irrelevant if the person responsible for the interference is a private citizen or a law enforcement agent. In fact, this type of claim can also be filed against corporations and the government.

What you can recover

Since claims under the Bane Act are civil claims, you are entitled to monetary damages. These damages include medical bills, mental and emotional distress, lost wages, loss of consortium, and others. The Bane Act calls for this compensation to be a minimum of $4,000, which can be tripled by the decision of the jury.

On top of that, you may also be able to recover attorney’s fees, injunctive relief, a restraining order against the defendant, punitive damages, and a civil penalty of $25,000.

Act now

A California civil rights attorney can help you if you feel there has been some sort of interference with your rights. If that is the case, you may be able to pursue a valid claim to recover damages. A proper evaluation of your case, including what laws apply and who is responsible for the harm you suffered, will let you know what your legal options are, ensuring the best possible outcome for you.

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.

This content was written by a third party and does not represent the views or opinions of Haddad & Sherwin LLP, nor should it be construed as a complete and accurate statement of the law or as legal advice.  For better information about this topic, please contact Haddad & Sherwin LLP.