Section 1983, which is short for 18 U.S.C. Section 1983, gives people the right to sue state government officials and employees who violate their constitutional rights. It reads:
Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress…
1983 claims can be brought in two ways. A claim can be brought against a specific government official or employee or a claim can be brought towards a municipality. In order to prove municipal liability, the plaintiff must show that an unconstitutional custom, policy or procedure was either developed or propagated by the municipality. Municipal liability cases are complex cases that often involve a lot of discovery. They can be a means of bringing about change and can potentially result in compensatory and punitive damages.
Bruckheim & Patel understands how to bring 1983 lawsuits against government officials who violate your constitutional rights. Police misconduct is a frequent source for these types of lawsuits.
These lawsuits can include:
- False arrests by officers without probable cause
- Police action taken due to your race or gender but not due to probable cause of a crime
- Excessive force in affecting an arrest by way of police brutality
- Unlawful searches or seizures
- Officer shootings of unarmed individuals
See how Bruckheim & Patel is litigating on behalf of plaintiffs who were victims of constitutional violations by DC Police by clicking here.