Civil Rights

“She was helpful, knowledgeable, informative and very professional. She kept me up to date every step of the
way and I felt like we were working together through
the process. She was always straight forward on what
options I had and gave me all the information
available for my decision making. I would absolutely recommend her to anyone in need of her services.
 – Maria M., Lynnwood, WA

Watch Ada on KIRO 7 regarding her
civil rights lawsuit here

42 U.S.C. § 1983, commonly referred to as "Section 1983" provides in part:

 

Every person who under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State . . . , 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, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer's judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable. 

 

To prevail in a Section 1983 claim, the plaintiff must prove (1) a person subjected plaintiff to conduct that occurred under color of state law, and (2) this conduct deprived plaintiff of rights, privileges or immunities guaranteed under federal law or the U.S. Constitution. 

 

“Under color of state law” has been broadly construed by the courts to include almost any state action, such as peace officers acting under their duty.  Deprivation of a person’s right most commonly includes a violation of one’s First, Fourth, or Fourteenth Amendment rights. 

 

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to free speech, exercise of religion, press, associate, and petition and assembly. 

 

The Fourth Amendment guarantees the right to be free from unlawful searches and seizures.

 

The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees the right to equal protection and due process. 

 

Common causes of action under Section 1983 include excessive force, malicious prosecution, unlawful search, unlawful seizure, unlawful arrest, and Monell claims (brought against the governmental entity for injuries caused by the entity itself). 

 

Common state law claims include false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, assault, and battery.