The dedication of the attorneys at the Salem law office of Vick & Glantz LLP to right the wrongs perpetrated on innocent Oregonians extends to pursuing action against government agencies, employers, and retail establishments for civil rights violations involving discrimination and harassment, police misconduct, and abuses of power. These important cases not only seek to compensate individuals for the harm done to them, but to change public policy and prevent similar abuses from happening to others.
While excessive force and police brutality is a stark example of civil rights violations, illegal or unconstitutional police misconduct may appear in many other forms, from harassment to false arrests. Most arrests must be done pursuant to a warrant, although there are several exceptions. Likewise, all searches and seizures must be reasonable, even in cases where the warrant requirement does not apply. Addressing these matters within the criminal case may not fully redress the wrongs committed, and civil action may be necessary to fully remedy the illegal or wrongful conduct.
Other Governmental Abuses of Power
In the context of criminal law, the prosecutor wields even more power than the police, and prosecutorial abuses are just as dangerous to the individual and society. Malicious prosecution - a prosecution undertaken in bad faith or for bad motives - is a violation of civil rights.
The government may also act inappropriately in regard to an individual's First Amendment rights to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to peaceful assembly, and others. While the government may lawfully regulate speech and conduct in some respects, some laws and ordinances may be unconstitutional on their face, while others may be applied in such a way as to violate individual or group rights.
Harassment and Discrimination
Civil rights violations are not limited to government actors. Local, state and federal laws and constitutions protect individual rights in the areas of employment, fair housing, public accommodations such as hotels and restaurants, admission to career schools, and other areas. These laws protect an individual from discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, age, disability, and other factors.
Wherever There is Injustice
In addition to the U.S. and Oregon Constitutions, there are many state and federal statutes protecting civil rights. Also, city ordinances have been enacted in Salem, Portland, Eugene, and Corvallis, as well as county ordinances covering numerous counties. Vick & Glantz LLP is prepared to handle your case in whatever forum is most appropriate to resolving your complaint, whether it be before the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) Civil Rights Division, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), or in state or federal court. If you believe that your civil rights have been violated, contact Vick & Glantz LLP for a free consultation.