Common Violations of Civil Rights Under Section 1983: Understanding Your Rights

Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act of 1871 is a powerful provision that allows individuals to seek justice for violations of their constitutional rights by government officials or entities. Freeman & Patel has extensive experience in handling Section 1983 cases in federal court, understanding the complexities involved in litigating under this provision. By exploring common violations of civil rights under Section 1983, we aim to empower individuals with knowledge about their rights and potential legal remedies.

Excessive Use of Force

Excessive use of force by law enforcement officers and assault by corrections officers in prisons and jails are significant concerns regarding violations of civil rights. In 2020, The Washington Post, documented 1,021 cases of police shootings involving civilians in the United States. Section 1983 provides a legal avenue to hold these officers accountable and seek justice for the violation of constitutional rights, such as the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.

False Arrest and Unlawful Detention

False arrest and unlawful detention are also common violations of civil rights under Section 1983. Individuals may be unlawfully arrested or detained without probable cause, leading to significant harm and infringement upon their liberty. These violations can cause distress, damage reputations, and disrupt lives.

Section 1983 allows individuals who have been falsely arrested or unlawfully detained to seek remedies and hold responsible parties accountable. By pursuing legal action, individuals can seek compensation for the harm they have suffered and work towards preventing future violations of civil rights.

Violation of Free Speech and Expression

Freedom of speech and expression are fundamental rights protected by the First Amendment. However, there are instances where government officials or entities may attempt to suppress or retaliate against individuals for exercising their right to free speech.

Section 1983 provides a legal recourse for individuals whose free speech rights have been violated. This can include cases where individuals have faced censorship, restrictions, or adverse actions as a result of their speech or expression. By leveraging Section 1983, individuals can protect their constitutional rights and challenge unconstitutional restrictions on their ability to freely express themselves.

Inadequate Medical Care in Prisons and Jails

When individuals are in the custody of government entities, such as prisons or jails, they retain certain constitutional rights, including the right to adequate medical care. Inadequate medical care in prisons and jails is a pervasive issue, with numerous cases of preventable deaths and substandard healthcare. Section 1983 allows individuals to hold government officials responsible for denying or providing substandard medical care that results in unnecessary suffering or harm. By asserting their rights under Section 1983, individuals can seek justice and advocate for improved medical care within correctional systems.

Discrimination and Equal Protection

Discrimination based on race, gender, religion, national origin, or other protected characteristics is a violation of an individual’s equal protection rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. Unfortunately, discrimination continues to persist in various settings, including employment, education, housing, and public services. 

Section 1983 provides a mechanism for individuals to challenge discriminatory practices or policies implemented by government officials or entities. By bringing a Section 1983 claim, individuals can seek redress for the harm they have suffered due to discrimination and work towards fostering equal protection for all individuals.

Protecting Your Civil Rights Under Section 1983

Section 1983 serves as a crucial safeguard to protect individuals’ civil rights and hold government officials accountable for violations under color of law. By understanding the common violations of civil rights under Section 1983, you can assert your rights and seek justice when your constitutional protections are infringed upon. If you believe your civil rights have been violated, consult with an experienced Section 1983 civil rights attorney, like Freeman & Patel. We have built a system to communicate with our clients and ensure they have confidential attorney-client communication even behind bars. Our team will guide you through the legal process and help you fight for the justice and accountability you deserve.

Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Consult with a qualified attorney to understand the specifics of your situation and receive personalized legal advice tailored to your unique circumstances.