A civil rights action brought under the federal civil rights statute, 42 U.S.C. § 1983 are actions for violations of an individual’s constitutional rights by governmental officials or individuals acting in their behalf. This “enabling statute” was originally passed in 1871 after the passage of the post civil war amendments including the Fourteenth Amendment which imposed federal constitution including the Bill of Rights on all the states. Originally titled the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, it is also called the Civill Rights Act of 1871. The part of the statute that is applicable to citizens of the fifty states is as follows: "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, 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." Actions brought under the Civil Rights Act permits the awarding of reasonable attorneys fees and costs to the winning plaintiff. This enables an attorney to assist a citizen to enforce their rights under the United States Constitution, no matter how much or little a jury might award for the constitutional violation(s).
contact us 2208 NW Market St., Suite 414 Seattle, WA 98107 Phone: 206.264.0643 Fax: 206.237.8555 “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Letter from Birmingham Jail Martin Luther King, Jr. April 16, 1963
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