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Our nation guarantees that everyone’s civil rights will be respected by its civil institutions and their employees, who are obligated to treat everyone equally and fairly. When law enforcement authorities or civil administrators overstep their bounds and take away a person’s civil rights, our nation’s laws provide remedies for those individuals who are targets of unfair or improper treatment.

The attorneys at New York City’s Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green have witnessed the growing dissatisfaction and anger among many individuals and groups who perceive that their civil institutions are letting them down and are allowing their civil rights to be trampled by the very authorities who are charged with protecting them. We are proud to stand as the civil rights lawyers of choice in litigation against the individuals and institutions that fail to treat a person fairly, and we are committed to protecting and defending the rights and freedoms that our nation guarantees to all of its peoples.

A New York Civil Rights Lawyer Can Help If You Have Experienced These Civil Rights Violations

  • Police brutality, including improper searches and use of excessive force by law enforcement officers
  • False arrest, wrongful conviction, false or improper imprisonment, or enforced forfeiture of your property when you are not charged with a criminal violation
  • Harassment, or aggressive and excessive interrogations by police officers
  • Denial or limitation of your right to legal representation or due process in criminal proceedings
  • Denial of fair housing because of your race, gender, religious affiliation, or sexual orientation
  • Infringement of your or your family’s right to privacy, including forced entry into your home by law enforcement officials
  • Improper limitations on your free speech and free association rights
  • Discriminatory rejection of employment

Police Brutality and Wrongful Arrest

The growing number of civil rights cases in New York and around the country is a reflection of the greater number of reported incidents of police brutality. In 2016 alone, New York City paid more than $228 million to individuals who were wrongfully arrested or harassed by law enforcement authorities. A substantial portion of that amount was paid to five men who were wrongfully convicted of assaulting and raping a Central Park jogger in 1989. Regardless, the aggregate amount still reveals the extent of the problem.

Police brutality lawyers in New York are encouraged by the City’s attempts to reduce the police department’s aggressive “stop and frisk” practices that subjected many innocent people to invasive pat downs and wrongful arrests when police had little or no probable cause. Even with that reduction, however, the City’s Civilian Complaint Review Board notes that the number of substantiated complaints for aggressive or excessive law enforcement tactics is increasing on a year-to-year basis. 

Discrimination Lawsuits

Federal and state civil rights laws prohibit landlords, employers, schools, businesses, and public organizations from denying services to individuals on account of their race, gender, religious affiliation, or age. The interpretations and applications of some of those laws face regular challenges, but you may have a valid civil rights cause of action if, on account of your race or gender:

  • An employer denies a promotion or treats you less favorably than other employees
  • A landlord refuses to rent an apartment to you
  • A school declines your application but accepts other, less qualified applicants
  • A business demonstrates a bias against you by charging you more for goods or otherwise withholding services
  • Neighbors contact security services to harass you in your own neighborhood.

Harassment Lawsuits

Every civil rights lawsuit will require a careful analysis of witness statements and other evidence to determine the motivations of the parties that are accused of violating another person’s civil rights. A person who seeks to file a civil rights lawsuit should take action quickly, before witness memories and other evidence might fade away.

Civil rights cases filed in federal courts must also be started within the time limits defined by the statute of  limitations in the state where the violation occurred. In New York State, for example, a person who was wrongfully arrested or who was subjected to police brutality must file a civil rights lawsuit no later than three years after that event.

Civil rights lawsuits can drag on for years before going to trial, but when facts demonstrate a violation of an individual’s civil rights, the offending parties or institutions that created the violation will often settle the matter rather than submit themselves to the publicity of a high-profile trial. A more egregious civil rights violation can generate millions of dollars in damages for the injured party. Again, every situation and the damages that are awarded in any civil rights lawsuit will depend entirely on the facts of the situation, and no specific amount of damages can ever be guaranteed. The availability of damages for serious civil rights violations does show the nation’s commitment to protecting individuals from unfair treatment by government or institutional authorities.

Call the Premier New York Civil Rights Law Firm

The New York civil rights lawyers at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green represent individuals in civil rights lawsuits in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and throughout NYC and Long Island. Call our experienced civil rights attorneys as soon as you possibly can if you are the victim of police brutality or harassment, if you have been subjected to a false arrest, or if any of your other civil rights are violated by the institutions that you trust to protect you.

Additional NY Civil Rights Lawsuit Resources:

  1. PJSD.org: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. https://www.psjd.org/Civil_Rights_and_Civil_Liberties
  2. Gothamist.com: NYC Paid $228M for Police Misconduct in the Last Fiscal Year. http://gothamist.com/2016/09/21/nypd_misconduct_costs.php
  3. NYC.org: Civilian Complaint Review Board. https://www1.nyc.gov/site/ccrb/index.page