Constitutional civil rights are the rights American citizens possess under the United States Constitution. The U.S. Constitution protects certain basic rights of all Americans and prohibits unreasonable interference with those rights by government.
Federal law provides a legal process to seek damages when the government improperly interferes with a citizen’s constitutional rights. Constitutional cases typically arise in connection with the activities of the police, and in public employment settings where the “employer” is also the “government” (i.e. police departments, fire departments, school districts, etc.) but can also arise from a variety of other governmental activities.
Some of the most common examples of Constitutional Civil Rights include:
The First Amendment:
- the right to associate and assemble with other people
- the right to free speech
- the right to practice individual religious beliefs
The Second Amendment:
- the right to possess and bear firearms
The Fourth Amendment:
- the right to privacy in your home, your papers, and your things
- the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures
- the right to protection against excessive use of force
The Fifth Amendment:
- the right against self-incrimination
- the right against taking of property without compensation
The Eighth Amendment:
- the right to protection against cruel and unusual punishment
The Fourteenth Amendment:
- the right to protection from a taking of life, liberty or property without due process of law
From the very beginning, Harrison Law Offices has protected, defended, and enforced the Constitutional rights of its clients. If you are a citizen whose rights have been violated by government, Harrison Law Offices can assist you through the legal process involved in making a claim and/or filing a lawsuit against the government.
If you are a government employee accused, alone or along with your governmental employer, of violating the constitutional rights of a citizen, your legal interests may conflict with the legal interests of the governmental entity that employs you. For example, punitive damages are not available against governmental defendants, but are available against individual defendants. If a lawsuit against a governmental employee and a entity of government seeks punitive damages, the governmental entity is at no financial risk whatsoever, and the individual governmental employee is at total risk. These differing legal interests can create conflicts among governmental defendants regarding the strategy to be followed in the case, and can create an irreconcilable conflict for an attorney representing both defendants.
In civil rights cases where there are conflicts of interests between the governmental employer and the governmental employee, the governmental employee is entitled to his/her own attorney. Harrison Law Offices represents governmental employees as conflict counsel in litigation cases where conflicts of interests exist among governmental defendants. Harrison Law Offices also represents government employees individually accused of committing civil rights violations.