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FAQ: Civil Rights Violations In Prisons And By Law Enforcement

These days, with smartphones and social media accounts, an incident involving excessive use of force or police brutality can go viral within hours. Awareness regarding civil rights abuse is heightened but can raise a lot of questions. My name is Konrad Kircher. I founded Kircher Law, LLC, in Maineville to advocate on behalf of Ohio victims of civil rights violations by filing civil lawsuits. Here, I answer some of the more commonly asked questions about civil rights and violations.

For answers to your specific questions, I offer a free consultation and case assessment.

What are the differences between civil rights and civil liberties?

Civil liberties are fundamentally broad rights and freedoms that have been guaranteed to citizens through the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights, like the right to vote, the right to privacy, and freedom of speech and religion. Civil rights are centered around the right to equal treatment and freedom from discrimination due to race, gender, disability or age.

What is police brutality?

Police brutality of all kinds is defined as an excessive use of force. While most instances of police brutality are physical, verbal attacks and mental or psychological intimidation techniques can also be considered a form of police brutality and a violation of a person’s civil rights.

Can I sue a police officer in Ohio? Or do police officers have immunity?

To some extent, police officers have immunity. In the state of Ohio, the doctrine of qualified immunity means that law enforcement and police officers cannot be sued personally unless there is a clear violation of a person’s constitutional right. This can make a civil lawsuit against a government official or law enforcement officer difficult and require an experienced civil rights lawyer.

Do convicted criminals have civil rights in prison?

Prisoners maintain their civil rights. When a person is convicted of a crime, they maintain the right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment; the right to receive medical care; and the right to be treated fairly and free from discrimination, sexual assault and harassment. However, prisoners give up their right to privacy, and their right to property does not extend to contraband or items that are forbidden in prison. The Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) protects the rights of inmates and sets forth a procedure for grievances.

What kind of damages can I get in a civil lawsuit for police brutality?

A civil lawsuit for police brutality or police misconduct can be difficult. However, a successful case can result in damages for medical expenses, emotional pain and suffering, and, potentially, punitive damages meant to punish the defendant for their egregious behavior.

Consult With A Civil Rights Attorney

At Kircher Law, I understand that there can be a lot of questions when it comes to police misconduct and civil rights for prisoners. I offer an initial consultation appointment for free. To schedule your consultation and case assessment, contact me by calling 888-725-0811 or sending me an email through my website form.