Detroit Civil Rights Attorney
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If you have faced discrimination or harassment for being who you are, it is time to call a civil rights attorney in Detroit at Davis Injury Lawyers, PLLC.
Our team is experienced in handling all types of civil rights violations, from racial and religious discrimination to sexual harassment. We firmly believe in equality and each person’s right to live free of discrimination. When someone’s equality is undermined, we are here to help. We can represent you in a lawsuit or administrative claim regarding the civil rights violation and fight for you to receive an appropriate outcome, such as compensation for your economic losses and suffering.
To learn more about your civil rights under Michigan and federal law, and what you can do when those rights are violated, contact Davis Injury Lawyers, PLLC at (313) 462-7979. You can also reach out through our online contact form to request a free initial consultation.
What Are Civil Rights?
It can be tough to succinctly define civil rights. Most definitions you find online are generic, such as the rights of citizens to political and social equality.
What does that really mean? Another civil rights definition could say your civil rights are certain rights or privileges you have as a citizen or resident of a certain jurisdiction, which you can enforce. These rights typically revolve around fundamental ideas regarding equality. If another party interferes with these civil rights or privileges, you may be physically, psychologically, or economically harmed. Because of this injury, you may have the right to file a lawsuit against the other party and seek damages.
A list of civil rights would include being free from discrimination based on race, nation of origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual preference, age, disability, or any other inherent characteristic of a person. It also would include being free from violence or harassment based on any of your personal characteristics.
It is the right of citizens to be free from discrimination, harassment, and violence in regard to your political representation, legal rights and access, housing, employment, medical care, transportation, public resources, or any other area of life.
If your right to be free from discrimination in all its forms is violated in Detroit, this may be a civil rights violation that needs a civil rights lawyer. By hiring an attorney, you have someone who understands both your rights and the legal process and gives you the resources you need to enforce your rights.
Civil Rights Laws
There are several federal and state civil rights laws that solidify your inherent civil rights and provide a legal cause of action if one or more of your rights are violated.
Some of the most significant civil rights laws in the U.S. that also apply in Detroit include:
- Civil Rights Act of 1964: This was a landmark statute and a victory of the Civil Rights Movement. This federal law prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It bans unequal voter registration requirements, segregation in schools, and segregation in public accommodations and employment.
- Voting Rights Act of 1965: This law gave all U.S. citizens the right to vote and said that no one could be denied the right to vote based on the race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
- Fair Housing Act (FHA): This is also known as the Civil Rights Act of 1968, and it protects individuals against discrimination in relation to real estate rentals, sales, brokerage services, and other transactions. Your rental application or purchase offer cannot be denied based on your race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
- Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504: Any program or entity that receives federal funding is prohibited from discriminating based on a person’s disability.
- Age Discrimination Act of 1975: Any program or entity that receives federal funds cannot discriminate based on age.
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA): This law protects job applicants and employees who are 40 years or older from discrimination in regard to hiring, promotions, compensation, terms or conditions or employment, and discharge.
- Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA): It is illegal to discriminate against individuals with disabilities in all aspects of public life, including employment, education, transportation, telecommunication, and public facilities like restaurants and retail stores.
If you believe any of your civil rights were violated in Detroit, whether you have been the victim of sexual harassment at work or denied access to public transportation due to a disability, please do not hesitate to contact our civil rights lawyers at Davis Injury Lawyers, PLLC. We will thoroughly review your situation in regard to Michigan and federal law, and then guide you through the next best steps.
Michigan Civil Rights Law
Most of your civil rights are codified within federal law.
However, most states also have their own civil rights statute. In Michigan, your civil rights are protected in Michigan Compiled Laws (MCL) Section 37.2101, the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.
This law prohibits all discriminatory policies, practices, and customs in regard to your religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status, or marital status. It also ensures the confidentiality of records regarding an arrest, detention, or other disposition that does not result in a conviction. Michigan also has the Persons With Disabilities Civil Rights Act, and Public Acts 144, 145, 146, and 147, which allow and regulate service dogs.
Because there are both state and federal laws protecting your civil rights, it is important to talk with a civil rights attorney about your options after a violation. Michigan and federal law overlap in many ways; however, the legal protections and enforcement options are not exactly the same. By calling Davis Injury Lawyers, PLLC in Detroit, you can speak with an experienced attorney who will analyze whether it is better to move forward with a state-level or federal claim.
What You Should Do If Your Civil Rights Are Violated in Detroit
If you believe your civil rights have been violated in or around Detroit, the first step is to contact a civil rights law firm.
You will benefit from a knowledgeable and experienced civil rights attorney reviewing your situation and determining whether there has been a violation under federal or Michigan law. Without this careful analysis, you may not pursue a valid claim, or you may pursue a claim you are likely to lose, which can place you in a difficult position.
Part of the analysis for a civil rights violation is to determine who may have violated your rights and determining whether they are a government entity or a private business. This distinction is important. There are certain actions private businesses can take that government entities cannot. However, private businesses are not free to discriminate. If simply means your Detroit lawyer will conduct a different analysis of your rights and legal options if the violating party is a government entity versus a private business.
After some civil rights violations, a lawyer will not recommend jumping into a lawsuit. Instead, the process of enforcing your rights begins by filing an administrative complaint, also called a claim, with the proper government agency. For example, if you suffered due to workplace harassment or discrimination, you may file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Or, if you are denied a job or promotion in Detroit because of an arrest record, you may file a claim with the Michigan Civil Rights Commission.
After filing an administrative complaint, the agency will investigate your allegations. If it determines your civil rights were violated, it will issue and opinion and attempt to facilitate an appropriate resolution. However, an administrative claim may not be resolved or end in your favor. In these situations, you may need to take your claim to court and file a civil rights lawsuit.
Also, you may not be required to pursue a resolution through the administrative process. You may have the right to immediately file a lawsuit, which your Detroit civil rights attorney may recommend. In this situation, your lawyer will carefully review the appropriate jurisdiction, draft the petition, and represent you in court.
Your lawsuit may go to trial. However, many businesses or government agencies want to avoid a long court battle. To this end, some civil rights claims are resolved through an out-of-court settlement in which you receive financial compensation for your injuries.
If you have any questions regarding what to do after a suspected civil rights violation in Detroit, do not hesitate to call Davis Injury Lawyers, PLLC to speak with a knowledgeable civil rights lawyer.
What Does a Civil Rights Attorney Do?
Before giving us a call, it is natural to question what a civil rights lawyer does and how they might help you. As civil rights attorneys, we do several things for our clients:
- Explain federal and Michigan civil rights laws
- Review circumstances for any federal or state-level civil rights violations
- Gather evidence regarding any civil rights violations
- Determine the potential value of our client’s physical, psychological, and economic damages
- Analyze whether an administrative claim is required
- If an initial administrative claim is required, guide our client through the process of filing a claim with the appropriate state or federal agency
- Protect our client’s rights and advance their interests during an administrative investigation
- If our client’s claim is not resolved through the administrative process, we may recommend filing a lawsuit
- Draft the civil rights petition and file it in the appropriate state or federal court
- Adhere to all court deadlines and rules
- Vigorously advance our client’s interests in court
- Seek a court ruling in our client’s favor from the judge or jury
Is There a Civil Rights Attorney Near Me?
Davis Injury Lawyers, PLLC is located in Detroit, Michigan.
Following a possible civil rights violation, you may wonder whether there is a civil rights lawyer in your area. Through an online search or by contacting your state’s bar association, you should find a civil rights law firm for your city, county, or metropolitan area.
We represent individuals in a large portion of the state, including in Genesee County, Macomb County, Oakland County, Washtenaw County, and Wayne County. We can help in local county courts located in Flint, Mount Clemens, Pontiac, Ann Arbor, Detroit, or elsewhere.