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Most Common Civil Rights Violations

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.

According to the FBI, the most common civil rights violations are those that are done under color of law. Other common violations involve racial violence or hate violence. Let’s take a look at what they involve and how justice may be served in each case according to California civil rights laws.

Civil rights and Color of Law Violations

Color of law violations refer to crimes committed by one or more persons who use the power and authority given by a local, state, or federal agency to deprive someone of any rights that are protected by the law or Constitution.

This may include acts done by prison guards, police and other law enforcement officers, judges, public health facility care providers, and any other individuals acting as public officials. An example of a color of law violation is police misconduct.

The most common forms of police misconduct include unlawful arrest, racial profiling, and excessive use of force. Some of the civil rights or constitutional rights that are violated when a law enforcement officer commits misconduct may include but are not limited to:

  • Right to due process,
  • the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure,
  • Anti-discrimination rights (based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin),
  • Protection against cruel and unusual punishment,
  • Freedom of protest,
  • Freedom of assembly, and
  • Right to equal protection under the law.

There are plenty of remedies available to victims of color of law violations, including a civil rights lawsuit under Section 1983 to pursue monetary damages or an injunction.

Hate Violence

Expressions of hate violence include:

  • Written or verbal threats
  • Physical assault or attempted assault
  • Cross burning
  • Arson
  • Bomb threats
  • Disturbance of religious meetings
  • Property damage or vandalism
  • Hate-related graffiti

In California, the Ralph Civil Rights Act protects individuals in protected classes against hate violence or threats of violence. These protected classes include race, color, sex/gender, national origin, ancestry, religion, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, political affiliation, and other characteristics.

An example of what may be considered unlawful under this act is when a person assaults o threatens to assault another because they are perceived as or are a Muslim.

As this example shows, victims do not necessarily have to be in a protected class to pursue a lawsuit under this act. Such is the case when the perpetrator wrongly assumes that the victim is a part of a protected class.

An individual can pursue a lawsuit under the Ralph Civil Rights act to be awarded a restraining order, compensatory damages, punitive damages, civil penalties, and recovery of attorney’s fees.

Hire a California Civil Rights Attorney

No person who violates your civil rights should go unpunished. However, you need to be aware that filing a civil rights lawsuit is a complex process that needs the expertise that only an attorney can provide. This will help you achieve the best possible outcome and will put your mind at ease.

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.