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Call for a free consultation: 215.302.1999

Call for a free consultation: 215.302.1999

Civil Rights Violations

Civil Rights Violations

The United States Constitution guarantees every citizen certain basic civil rights, including the rights to life, liberty and property.

When a public employee acts intentionally or with reckless indifference to deny a private citizen his or her civil rights, the citizen has the right to sue the government and its employee for damages resulting from those constitutional violations. Civil right lawsuits against state and local governments and their employees are often called “Section 1983 lawsuits” because they are filed pursuant to Section 1983 of Title 42 of the United States Code (42 U.S.C. § 1983). This law was enacted as part of the Civil Rights Act of 1871 to protect African Americans in the South from the Ku Klux Klan.

Common examples of Section 1983 lawsuits include:

  • Prisoner abuse – Violent assault or other abuse of inmates by correctional officers, including the needless beating, kicking or striking of inmates by prison guards
  • Police brutality – Excessive force by police officers in discharging their official duties, such as using too much force in making an arrest or using force in a situation where it is unnecessary
  • False arrest – Misconduct in the arrest or detention of innocent persons by police officers
  • Malicious prosecution – Prosecutions of innocent people obtained as a result of fabricated evidence, coerced confessions or other misconduct by overzealous prosecutors or investigators
  • High-speed police chases – Police pursuits that cannot be justified on any legitimate law enforcement basis that result in the death or serious injury of an innocent bystander

Section 1983 litigation is
hard fought.

Governments vigorously defend their employees, often relying on a concept called “qualified immunity” that provides police officers, prison guards and other public employees with broad protection against civil liability. Individuals who suffer injuries caused by official misconduct require skilled representation. At Youman & Caputo, we understand the complexities of Section 1983 claims and are committed to fighting for substantial compensation for violations of their clients’ civil rights.

Youman & Caputo has recently been hired to represent the family of a 19 year-old who died tragically at Columbia County Prison shortly after being detained on an alleged probation violation. The Columbia County Coroner recently announced that he will be conducting a Coroner’s Inquest to determine the manner of death.

If you or someone you know has suffered a civil rights violation resulting in a serious injury, you should contact an experienced attorney with the expertise needed to handle a Section 1983 claim. Contact the Philadelphia civil rights attorneys at Youman & Caputo for a free consultation today.

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