Puglise Law Firm represents individuals in civil rights cases against governmental agencies and entities, employers, and police departments, including, but not limited to, police misconduct, Section 1983 actions, constitutional violations, excessive force, false arrest and false imprisonment, international litigation and human rights, and civil rights violations in the workplace.
Civil rights are enforceable rights or privileges, which if interfered with by another gives rise to an action for damages. Common examples of civil rights include freedom of speech, press, assembly, the right to vote, freedom from involuntary servitude, and the right to equality in public places. Civil rights violations or discrimination occurs when the civil rights of an individual are denied or interfered with because of their membership in a particular group or class. Both federal and state constitutional law and statutes have been enacted to prevent discrimination based on a persons race, sex, religion, age, previous condition of servitude, physical limitation, national origin and in some instances sexual preference. There are many federal laws designed to protect individuals from civil rights violations. The equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment provides that no state “shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of the citizens of the United States . . . [or] deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, [or]deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” See U.S. Const. Amend. XIV. In addition, Congress has passed numerous laws that are specific to civil rights enforcement. For example, federal law protects individuals from discrimination based on race in making and enforcing contracts, participating in lawsuits, and giving evidence. 42 U.S.C. § 1981 (affording equal rights under the law);see also 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (providing civil action for deprivation of rights); 42 U.S.C. § 1985 (prohibiting conspiracies to interfere with civil rights); 18 U.S.C. § 241 (making illegal conspiracies against the rights of citizens); 18 U.S.C. § 242 (forbidding deprivation of rights under color of law). The most prominent civil rights legislation since reconstruction is the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits discrimination based on “race, color, religion, or national origin” in public establishments that have a connection to interstate commerce or are supported by the state. See 42 U.S.C. § 2000a. Public establishments include places of public accommodation (i.e., hotels, motels, trailer parks, etc.), restaurants, gas stations, bars, taverns, and places of entertainment in general. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and subsequent laws also declared a strong legislative intent and policy against discrimination in public schools, colleges and universities. Title VI of the civil rights act prohibits discrimination in all federally funded programs. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination where the employer is engaged in interstate commerce.
In addition, Congress has passed numerous other laws dealing with employment discrimination. Courts, particularly the United States Supreme Court, play a critical role in interpreting the nature and scope of civil rights and constitutional protection. State constitutions, such as California’s Unruh Act, statutes and municipal ordinances provide further protection of civil rights. Finally, the existence of civil rights and liberties are recognized internationally by numerous agreements and declarations, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, for the general protection of human rights.
Because Puglise Law Firm represents most of its clients on a contingency basis, we have a personal stake in ensuring the maximum recovery for our clients. Our firm levels the playing field by aggressively litigating each case and providing personal legal attention to every client. If your civil rights have been violated, please contact us.