Phillips & Associates

Brooklyn Civil Rights Attorneys

Legal Representation for Individuals Subjected to Police Misconduct in Brooklyn

Civil rights are basic rights that are guaranteed by the Constitution, and in some cases also by state and local laws. These rights include the rights to be free from excessive force by the police or prosecutorial misconduct, such as malicious prosecution. Civil rights violations can result in humiliation, loss of liberty, serious injury, or even death. At Phillips & Associates, our attorneys can provide tenacious representation for people who suffer civil rights violations in Brooklyn and other boroughs of New York City.

Redress for Civil Rights Violations in New York

42 U.S.C. § 1983 offers the method by which your constitutional rights, such as the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures or the right to due process, may be enforced in court. This law provides that you can sue state or local officials if they deprive you of your federal Constitutional or statutory rights, privileges, or immunities under color of state law. You would need to prove that the defendants deprived you of a federal right and that the deprivation occurred under color of state law.

Often, these claims are brought against an individual police officer or a group of police officers. You may also sue a supervisor, as long as the supervisor directly participated in the civil rights violation. For example, you could sue a supervisor who instituted a policy of stopping and frisking black men, or who repeatedly looked the other way when an officer used excessive force against suspects. You may also be able to sue a municipality under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, but only if you can show that the municipality's customs or official policies and regulations were the moving force behind a deprivation of federal constitutional rights.

Some common types of civil rights violations include excessive force and false arrest. Excessive force occurs when a police officer uses more force than what a reasonable police officer would have used under the same circumstances. For example, if a police officer kicks a handcuffed suspect while he is on the ground and unarmed, this would likely be excessive force.

False arrest claims that are brought under § 1983 arise out of the Fourth Amendment right to be free from an unreasonable seizure of one's person. A seizure is considered unreasonable when a police officer or other official acting under color of state lacks probable cause. A complete defense to a false arrest claim is an officer's probable cause to make the arrest.

Remedies for a civil rights claim brought under § 1983 include compensatory damages, actual damages, punitive damages, and attorneys' fees. In many civil rights cases, there are also state common law causes of action and corresponding remedies available. For example, false arrest can be brought as a § 1983 claim, but it can also be brought as a state common law claim. Similarly, excessive force can often also give rise to a common law claim for assault and battery. A state common law claim is sometimes more advantageous to a plaintiff when, for example, a municipality's policies and practices are partially or fully to blame for the excessive force or false arrest. Unlike § 1983 claims, state common law claims permit plaintiffs to use the doctrine of respondeat superior to hold a municipality vicariously liable for its employees' misconduct.

Discuss Your Civil Rights Claim with a Brooklyn Attorney

If you have suffered from police or prosecutorial misconduct in Brooklyn or the surrounding area, the experienced lawyers at Phillips & Associates may be able to help you seek compensation. Call us at (212) 248-7431 or contact us through our online form.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
I called at Phillips & Associates seeking for a consultation and I was very pleased with the conversation I had with Eugenio Benvenuto. He was able to answer my questions thoroughly and gave me reassurance. I highly recommend their practice. Giulia
★★★★★
Hands down the best law firm for labor disputes in NYC. Being in the restaurant industry for more than 30 years I can say that this law firm is the number one choice for workers in the restaurant business that need to sue their company for wrongful termination. A special compliment to my lawyer Brittany Stevens. An amazing person and well prepared experienced lawyer. She was professional and empathetic to my case and worked in a time appropriate manner. She never miss a phone call at any hour of the day.The other associates that assisted Brittany were Yusha Hiraman, Eugenio Benvenuto and Katerina Housos. They were all professional and answered any questions or concerns that I had. Brittany and her team helped me with what I needed, when I needed it. I want to thank them all (especially Brittany), for a job well done. Massimo
★★★★★
Jesse Weinstein handled my discrimination case. He was extremely patient and understanding throughout the process and remained professional and consistent even when I could not. I really felt like he had my back and I didn't have to worry. His expertise, combined with the experience of the Firm, resulted in the best possible outcome of my case. Although I wouldn't wish what I went through on anyone, things do and always will happen and I would highly recommend Jesse and this Firm to anyone facing discrimination or other workplace issues. Karen
★★★★★
I highly recommend Parisis (Gerry) Fillippatos with Phillips & Associates to represent you for employment related matters. He and his team were professional, attentive to every detail and brilliant at identifying the legal grounds to win the case. Parisis's communication and delivery were highly articulate and precise. He is personable and makes you feel comfortable in the maze of legal jargon. Finally, his confidence, perseverance and masterful negotiation skills deliver the win. Anonymous
★★★★★
I had an excellent experience with this team! Thanks, Marjorie, Brittany, and Candy for your great support and prompt answers to all my questions. I highly recommend this firm. This team works very hard and I am extremely happy with the results. Ana