Violation of Civil Rights Examples
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 familial 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 a specific length 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.
- 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 represent clients throughout the entire state of California.