Typical Defendants in Civil Rights Cases

Civil Rights actions in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and across the United States require being able to show that the person who did the “wrong” acted under color of federal or state law and that, at some level and some degree, the person acted in an official governmental capacity. Police officers and wardens are hired by local or state governments and clearly act on behalf of the state. But who else can be held responsible?

It’s important to know the right defendants to:

  • Make sure the right person/organization is held accountable.
  • Make sure any damage award can be paid.
  • Make sure the wrongful conduct stops.

That’s one of the jobs of the Civil Rights lawyers at Begelman & Orlow, P. C. — to determine all the possible defendants and hold them responsible for their wrongdoing.

Who Do You Sue?

 The Individual Wrongdoer

The initial targets of any Civil Rights violation lawsuits are the individuals who did the wrong. Sometimes these people are known by the victim. Other times, the identities of the victims have to be discovered through external investigations since the Civil Rights victim may not know who really assaulted him or who planted the improper evidence. In these cases, an outside investigation, perhaps one performed by the FBI, can help. Many times, the lawyers at Begelman & Orlow, P. C. will conduct our own investigation and will use the legal discovery process, to determine the wrongdoers.

Supervisors and Organizations Must Also Take Responsibility

The individuals who perform the misdeeds are hired and supervised by someone. All of the individual supervisors are possible defendants. Additionally, the organizations that hire the individuals and the supervisors are also possible defendants.

The purpose of Civil Rights cases is not just to compensate the victim. An underlying goal is to make sure the wrong doesn’t happen again. Individuals can be fired and replaced. It’s only by holding the organizations accountable that change can happen. It’s the organizations that do the hiring and firing, determine the standards and perform internal reviews.

Typical Civil Rights Defendants

    • Police Officers and Police Departments
    • Prison Guards, the Warden and Prisons
    • Prosecutors and the District Attorneys Office
    • Individuals hired by the Government  – such as bail bondsmen
    • The government that had the right to control the conduct
      • A municipality
      • A city
      • A state
      • Officials, such as a local city council or mayor  who worked for the government entity

Contact Begelman & Orlow, P. C.

If you want to discuss your potential Civil Rights legal claim with an experienced Pennsylvania, New Jersey,  or US Civil Rights Attorney, contact us today for a free initial consultation. If you’ve been treated wrongfully because of law enforcement misconduct, call us now – time may be of the essence. From our offices in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, we represent clients pursuing Civil Rights throughout the entire United States.

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411 Route 70 East
Cherry Hill, NJ 08034

Telephone: 856.428.6020

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