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Protecting your civil rights is incredibly important. You want to be treated equally and ensure your rights are protected at all times. Civil rights violations occur when police, the government, or other parties violate your sacred constitutional guarantees. You want your personal liberties to be respected and protected at all times. Qualified civil rights attorneys know how to do that for you.

There are many dangers associated with civil rights violations. You could suffer harm to your freedom, your reputation, and much more. You might even suffer bodily injury or lose a loved one because of an extreme violation. A social justice attorney is ready and willing to fight for the compensation you deserve following a civil rights violation.

A qualified Rochester civil rights lawyer takes your rights seriously and protects them vigorously. Elliot Shields, one of the attorneys at Roth & Roth has been representing Rochester and Western New York victims of civil rights violations for many years. At Roth & Roth, we make it our mission to protect you and your civil rights. We know what it takes to properly fight for compensation for you. We will take on massive corporations, big government, and even law enforcement to protect your rights.

Although located in New York City, Attorney Elliot Shields is currently handling more than one hundred Rochester Civil Rights cases. Through his dedicated work, he has represented our clients in the State, Federal, and Appellate Courts in Western New York with landmark victories in overturning the Rochester Police Department’s requirement to prepay for the production of body-worn camera videos. 

Additionally, an experienced Rochester Civil rights lawyer knows how to properly plead a complaint to hold not just the officers but the department responsible, which is known as a Monell claim. Elliot Shields has filed and pled numerous cases in which the Court has allowed the Monell claim to go forward for the unconstitutional practices of various police departments and the district attorney’s office.    

Both the State of New York Constitution and the United States Constitution gives you certain protections and rights. The people of Rochester, including all Americans, are entitled to protections under the United States Constitution which protects your life, liberty, and property. Rochester residents and visitors are entitled to be free of discrimination based on their ethnicity, race, background, and so much more. Others could suffer discrimination as a result of their sexual preference, sexual identity, or gender. These and other protected characteristics may be the reason you suffered abuse or discrimination. A civil rights lawsuit may help you protect your rights.

No governmental entity is allowed to infringe upon your constitutional rights, no matter who they are. Whether it was the City of Rochester, County Sheriffs, Corrections officers, or New York State Troopers who did so, you could have the right to sue them for compensation. An attorney experienced in handling civil rights understands how to build your case and prove you are owed compensation.

The police in Rochester, similar to other areas of New York, often arrest people, use excessive force, falsely imprison them, shoot them, or otherwise violate their civil rights. The police departments fail to train their officers on how to handle mental health situations, protests, and other situations where the public are not committing crimes. Oftentimes the police overreact or fail to recognize that limited or no force may only be warranted when someone is either having a mental health episode or is exercising their rights such as videotaping the police. 

At Roth & Roth, we have handled many cases where the public are victims of civil rights violations at the hands of the police, from parole officers shooting a nonviolent parolee to people who have been placed in jail for years when the police either fabricated paperwork or failed to turn over exculpatory evidence also known as a Brady violation. No matter what your violation is at the hands of a police officer, whomever they work for, our experienced Civil Rights attorneys will be able to get you the compensation that you are entitled to.

Understanding the meaning of the term discrimination is important to winning a civil rights violation case. Discrimination occurs when a group of people or a specific person faces unlawful treatment because of characteristics over which they have little to no control. When these same characteristics are protected by the Constitution, federal law, or state law, the discrimination you have encountered may constitute an actionable civil rights violation.

Discrimination can occur in countless different ways. Common discrimination often results because of a person's:

  • Race
  • Gender or gender identity
  • Age
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Disability
  • Religion, faith, or religious beliefs
  • Ethnicity

These are some of the most common reasons a person faces discrimination. If you have met with discrimination for these or other reasons, you could be entitled to file a civil rights violation case. A Rochester civil rights attorney knows how to pursue compensation in your case.

How much does it cost for a Rochester civil rights attorney cost?

All of our civil rights attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis. What this means is that we won't charge you any costs upfront. We only get compensation if you do. We choose to do it this way because we are committed to your rights and will not collect a penny unless we win compensation for you. Additionally, if there are Federal Claims the municipality is also liable for legal fees.

Our attorneys always work hard to win an appropriate settlement or verdict for you. You will owe us nothing unless we actually win you compensation. 

Do I need a Rochester civil rights lawyer?

Most civil rights cases are against the government or another powerful party like a corporation. They will do everything they can to avoid liability even when they know they are in the wrong. This means they will go to great lengths to make your life difficult and fight to avoid paying anything.

Civil rights law is complicated and requires years of training to fully understand. Representation by an experienced attorney helps protect your civil rights and ensures you have proper access to the court system. This will increase the likelihood that you win financial compensation for a successful civil rights lawsuit.

How long do I have to file my civil rights claim?

There are time limitations to filing a civil rights claim in New York and in Rochester. This time limit will change depending on the party you must sue. Civil rights law is a broad category that encompasses many different claims. The deadlines can be as short as 90 days to as long as 3 years from the time a person is released from prison depending on the type of claim. 

One of the shortest is a state claim against the government. These require the filing of a notice of claim within 90 days of the incident that gave rise to the civil rights violation. This means you have an incredibly short period of time before you could potentially lose the right to file. Don't let that happen. Instead, get in touch with a dedicated civil rights lawyer who knows the right time to file. This protects your case from dismissal just because you filed the claim late. 

Am I allowed to sue the City of Rochester for civil rights violations?

You may be able to sue the City of Rochester for certain civil rights violations. This will depend greatly on who violated your civil rights and the specific facts of the case. Many governmental entities like cities are protected by a doctrine called sovereign immunity. This protects the city from certain types of lawsuits and makes them immune to paying damages in some instances.

Whether a civil rights violation case is viable will depend entirely on your specific circumstances. Let our team analyze your case with a free consultation to determine your individual rights.

What civil rights violation cases does your firm handle?

Our Rochester civil rights lawyers handle many different kinds of civil rights violations. We are a dedicated team that works together to protect your rights and seek compensation when they are violated. We know that you deserve protection from common civil rights violations that may include:

  • Excessive force by police and other law enforcement 
    • Police battery and assault
    • Police brutality
  • Police shootings
  • Protesting 
  • First Amendment Violation cases 
  • Police dog shootings
  • Illegal vehicle stops
  • False arrest
  • Malicious prosecution
  • Retaliatory arrests or other actions
  • Frisking without just cause or stop and frisk
  • Racial profiling
  • Wrongful convictions
  • Illegal loitering arrests
  • Illegal police raids
  • Search and seizure violations
  • Fair Trial claims 

We also represent people when the City or County denies access to records under the Freedom of Information law (which is a different type of claim).

These are just a sample of civil rights violations that are possible.  There are so many ways your rights could be violated or that you could be discriminated against - we know how to help in the situation you actually faced. Let our compassionate attorneys work with you to fight back against these civil rights violations.

What constitutes a police brutality claim?

A common civil rights violation centers around police brutality. Police are not allowed to use force when no force is required and are only allowed to use the least amount of force necessary and are never allowed to use force without just cause and never at an excessive level. This is common in big cities like Rochester and is usually faced by minority populations. Police brutality examples could include:

  • Shooting someone who is not threatening anyone
  • Using pepper spray or mace
  • Beating a suspect without cause
  • Excessive force used to arrest the suspect
  • Using an improper or illegal chokehold
  • Excessive or unnecessary use of a taser or gun
  • Purposely overtightening handcuffs
  • Physically assaulting a suspect
  • Tackling suspects when it is unnecessary 

Police brutality may violate your constitutional and civil rights. This may entitle you to a large financial award from law enforcement.

What is a wrongful death claim?

A wrongful death claim arises from the unfortunate death of someone you cared about. Typically filed by family members or an estate representative, this claim is filed after losing someone to another's negligent or intentional conduct. 

In the context of a civil rights violation, a wrongful death claim occurs when it is caused by the underlying constitutional violation. For example, if a police shooting is unwarranted it may violate a person's civil rights and result in their death at the same time. This means that the wrongful death claim is also a civil rights lawsuit. This adds another layer of complexity that is best handled by knowledgeable attorneys.

Civil rights violations happen way too often. Law enforcement, the government, and other parties may infringe upon your rights. When they do they could be financially responsible for the harm you suffer. Whether the City of Rochester, the police, or even the correction system treated you wrongfully, you deserve representation by a highly skilled team of civil rights attorneys in your case.

The attorneys at Roth & Roth are prepared to consult on your case for free to help you get started. In fact, we never charge any fees unless and until we win. We take your rights seriously and will do our best to win you the compensation to which you are entitled.

Contact our office today to get started with your case.

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