The Civil Rights Act of 1871 is a federal statute, numbered 42 U.S.C. § 1983, that allows people to sue the government for civil rights violations. It applies when someone acting “under color of” state-level or local law has deprived a person of rights created by the U.S. Constitution or federal statutes.

Examples of 1983 Civil Rights Violations include:

  • Unlawful Arrest and/or Seizure
  • Excessive Force/Police Brutality
  • Deliberate Indifference to Medical Needs
  • False Imprisonment
  • Malicious Prosecution
  • Suppression of Speech

A civil right is an enforceable right or privilege, which if interfered with by another, gives rise to an action for injury. For example, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the right to freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the freedom of assembly. The Fifth Amendment protects against double jeopardy and the right against self-incrimination. The Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to a counsel, the right to confrontation, and speedy trial. The Eighth Amendment protects against cruel and unusual punishment.

Under the Delaware State and Federal Constitutions, we are entitled to due process, equal treatment under the law and the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures to promote the enjoyment of life, liberty, property, and protection. If you believe your civil rights have been violation, please contact my office for a consultation.

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