Civil Rights Litigation
Legal Claims Based on Violations of Civil Rights
Every person has certain civil rights stating how he or she may and may not be treated at the hands of government officials. When a police officer uses excessive force, or a county official removes a child from its parents without proper authorization, then such actions may be a violation of civil rights.
At the Northern California Law Offices of Johnson & Johnson, we investigate claims of civil rights violations at the hands of government employees. And whenever the circumstances show a violation of government authority and consequent physical harm or violation of a person’s Constitutional or parental rights, we are tireless advocates on behalf of our clients. If you believe you or a family member has suffered a civil rights violation, we encourage you to contact our office for a free initial consultation.
The Law Offices of Johnson & Johnson practices primarily in the areas of criminal justice and juvenile law. Since 1993, our attorneys have defended clients accused of criminal acts, represented children accused of delinquency and represented parents accused by Child Protective Services of abuse and neglect. In our years of advocacy, we have gained in-depth knowledge of the way these government systems are supposed to operate — and we have seen the sad consequences of police or CPS/CFS misconduct.
Our work on behalf of clients with claims of civil rights violations is a direct outgrowth of our work in criminal defense and juvenile law — and we are stronger advocates in civil rights violation cases because we understand the criminal justice and juvenile justice systems so well.
Some Examples of Civil Rights Violations
A successful civil rights violation claim requires not only improper or illegal action by a government employee, but also demonstrated harm to the victim — for example, physical injury, emotional injury, property damage or deprivation of parental rights. The reality is that the harm must be fairly substantial in order for a civil rights violation lawsuit to succeed.
Some examples of the types of civil rights violations we have seen over the years include:
Police misconduct and excessive force: The law states that a police officer must respond to aggressive behavior with action that responds adequately but not excessively to the aggressive behavior. There is a proper spectrum of police response. When a police officer uses a Taser or a baton on a suspect who is only resisting verbally, that may constitute illegal police brutality and a civil rights violation. In some cases officers may even resort to using force that is not even minimally justified.
False arrest: If a police officer detains a person without reasonable cause for too long a period of time, the detention may be a civil rights violation. In some instances a person may be arrested without a warrant when not having committed a crime. This could lead to a claim for false arrest in violation of the 4th amendment.
Fourth Amendment violations: Illegal searches and seizures sometimes cause physical injury, emotional injury or property damage to an innocent bystander. For example, if police officers execute a search warrant on the home of a suspect’s family member, without reasonable cause to believe the suspect lives there or is present at the time, and if people are injured or property is damaged during the search, that may be a violation of civil rights. Execution of a bad warrant could also be violation of civil rights. Illegal searches in routine traffic stops or entry into your home without a warrant are other examples of 4th amendment violations.
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- What Challenges Are There In Winning A Case Against The Police?
- Is Taser And Stun Gun Abuse Considered A Violation Of My Civil Rights?
- How Do You Work With Medical And Forensic Experts To Defend Clients Wrongfully Accused Of Child Abuse?
CPS/CFS misconduct: More often than we would like to think, Social Workers and Law Enforcement Officers will remove a child from a home without a proper court order and without legal justification or evidence that the child is in imminent risk of serious bodily injury. The parents and the child who is removed from the home will each have claims for constitutional violations in cases involving unlawful removal. Often these claims are a combination of actions between CPS/CFS and law enforcement.
If you believe you may have a valid claim for violation of your civil rights at the hands of police officers or social workers, we urge you to contact our office for a free and confidential initial consultation with a knowledgeable lawyer. We have offices in Walnut Creek, California, and we represent clients throughout the entire state of California.
We have successfully litigated claims against many government agencies, large national corporations prominent employer defense law firms. With our skill, energy, resources, education and training — we are capable to litigate your claim against anyone. We take the time to listen to the facts and circumstances of your case and carefully evaluate how we can help you understand and fight your case.
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