Experienced Attorneys Advocating for People in the Bronx and Beyond
The Jesse Minc Personal Injury Law’s injury lawyers offer decades of combined experience in fighting for the rights of people who have suffered serious injuries or death due to accidents and intentional wrongdoing, such as civil rights violations by law enforcement and other government agents. Many of our Bronx civil rights attorneys have received honors from their peers recognizing their excellence in their fields of practice, and have inimitable experience in bringing civil rights claims under laws such as 42 U.S.C. Section 1983, a critically important piece of Federal legislation that allows individual citizens a “private right of action” to sue the government and government agents for violations of their Constitutional rights.
Our injury lawyers strive to provide the highest quality of legal service and representation to all of our clients. In order to make certain that each and every client receives the individual attention that they need, we carefully control the number of cases that our firm undertakes, thereby ensuring that the proper amount of attorney time and financial resources can be dedicated to each case and give every client the best possible chance at obtaiing compensation for their injuries. This enables us to ensure that our clients always have direct access to the attorney handling their case, should they have questions. Our dedication to our clients shows in our greater than 95 percent success rate in obtaining verdicts and settlements in our clients’ favor.
Among the considerations to be taken into account in bringing any civil rights claim is which venue will best suit a particular case (e.g., will the case be more successful in State court, or Fedreal court). Our attorneys are aggressive and fearless. We will bring your case in the most-favorable venue depending upon the facts of your case, which may be in Federal court or State court, again dependent on the facts and circumstances at hand. Many Bronx attorneys fear bringing cases in Federal court because it is expensive, time consuming, and dealing with a Federal judge can be intimidating to some attorneys. We do not harbor this fear, and will bring your civil rights violation case in Federal court if we believe it is in your best interests to do so.
The U.S. Constitution protects us from overreach and abuse by government officials and agents. While consitutional rights can be violated by various types of governmental officials (e.g., officers of the New York City Housing Authority or the United States Housing and Urban Development agency can violate someone’s rights to equal protection under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution in denying equal consideration for provision of public housing), many of the constitutional violations that we hear about in the news and in conversation are committed by police officers. Police officers have an important, complicated job, and they are entrusted with a substantial amount of power and discretion in the course of their duties. However, they must be held accountable when officers exceed their legal authority by using excessive force, subjecting someone to a wrongful arrest, or engaging in other abuses of power that can cause severe injuries.
The Basis of a Civil Rights Claim
Many civil rights claims are based on the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, which state that police and other officials may not deprive a person of “life, liberty, or property” without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause prohibits various forms of discrimination by police and others, such as racial profiling and other disparities in the ways that police investigate alleged offenses
The Fourth Amendment requires police to obtain a warrant, supported by probable cause, before they may conduct a search, seize property, or make an arrest. Even when an exception to the warrant requirement applies in a specific situation, police in the Bronx and elsewhere in New York City must still be able to demonstrate probable cause or a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.
Claims Under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983
Under the doctrine of governmental immunity, people cannot sue the government unless the government has consented to be sued. Congress and state legislatures can give consent to certain types of lawsuits by statute. A provision in the Civil Rights Act of 1871, later codified as 42 U.S.C. § 1983, allows lawsuits against government officials for civil rights violations. It states that “every person” who, while acting “under color of” official authority, deprives someone “of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws” may be held liable for damages.
For about a century, the provision went unused. A series of decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court, however, have helped § 1983 become a major basis for civil rights litigation. The court ruled in Monroe v. Pape in 1961 that § 1983 allows lawsuits against state officials for violations of constitutional rights. In 1978, the court held that the term “person” in § 1983 includes local governments, instead of just individuals, in Monell v. Department of Social Services of the City of New York. State governments and their agencies, however, are still not recognized as “persons” under § 1983.
Section 1983 only allows claims for abuses of authority, which are more than routine official actions. The doctrine of qualified immunity protects individual government officials from lawsuits for actions performed as part of their official duties. A 1971 Supreme Court decision, Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, held that qualified immunity is not a defense to § 1983 claims alleging violations of constitutional rights. Our Bronx attorneys will help you understand how you can use this important law to enforce your Constitutional rights if you call us today at (718) 354-8000. We firmly believe that an informed client is the best type of client, and we will take the time to teach you about your rights if you believe that they have been violated.
Speak to a Bronx Attorney Regarding Your Potential Claim Under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983
A team of knowledgeable lawyers is not the only benefit offered to clients of the Jesse Minc Personal Injury Law. Our team of experienced investigators and consultants, including former NYPD officers, and our network of experts can help prepare a strong case for you. All of these resources are available to you for no up-front cost. We will pay the entire cost of preparing your case, and you are only obligated to repay us if we recover money for you. Your free initial consultation with our firm includes a preliminary investigation of your situation. We represent people in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn, in addition to Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties. Contact us today, online or at (718) 354-8000, to schedule a confidential meeting with a member of our team.