Santa Rosa Tom Bane Act Civil Rights Lawyer
Interfering with someone’s civil rights because they disagree with your view is a serious threat to our society. In California, you have the right to exercise your civil rights freely and without violence. If you or a loved one recently had your civil rights interfered with, the Santa Rosa civil rights lawyer at the Law Office of Kasra Parsad may be able to help you recover financially. We can help with the legal process by answering your claims-related questions and helping obtain the compensation you deserve.
California Law Protects Your Civil Rights
The Tom Bane Civil Rights Act allows a private right of action for money damages against any person who interferes or attempts to interfere by threats, intimidation, or coercion, with the federal or state constitutional or statutory rights of another. This broadly inclusive civil rights law protects all persons in California from interference with their free exercise or enjoyment of the rights guaranteed to them by the state of California or the United States. The Bane Act protects rights given to you by:
- The U.S. Constitution
- Federal Laws
- The California Constitution
- California Laws
For example, the U.S. Constitution gives you the right to Free Speech under the First Amendment. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 gives you the right to be free from housing discrimination under federal law. The California Constitution gives you the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. And California law gives you the right to be free from “bodily restraint or harm, from personal insult, from defamation, and from injury to his personal relations.” The Bane Civil Rights Act seeks to protect these rights, and many other rights, from being interfered with. If you’re not sure whether your rights were violated, contact our Santa Rosa civil rights lawyer to find out.
What Must Be Proved For A Bane Act Lawsuit?
The Bane Act requires an attempted or completed act of interference with a legal right accomplished through violence or threats of violence. The core of a Bane Act claim is that the perpetrator, through the stated improper means (I.e.”threats, intimidation or coercion”), tried to or did prevent you from doing something you had the right to do under the law or forced you to do something you were not required to do under the law. To succeed, a plaintiff must prove:
- The defendant made threats or violence against you or your property that made you reasonably believe they would be carried out if you exercised your civil rights, or;
- The defendant acted violently against you or your property to prevent you from exercising your rights or to retaliate against you for doing so.
The defendant’s conduct must be a substantial factor in causing your harm. Our Santa Rosa civil rights lawyer will help you hold the person who violated your civil rights liable.
What Damages Are Available For A Bane Act Claim?
A successful Bane Act claim allows a plaintiff to recover monetary damages to compensate them for their actual harm. Our Santa Rosa civil rights lawyer can help you recover damages for:
- Loss of consortium for your family during the ordeal
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss earning capacity
These damages must be at least $4,000. However, the Bane Act allows a jury to triple the amount of damages. Additionally, a civil penalty of $25,000, punitive damages, attorney’s fees, and injunctive relief may also be awarded to the person whose rights were violated.
What If The Government Violated My Civil Rights?
The Government Does Not Need to Act Under Color of Law
The most notable difference is that a Section 1983 claim requires the government actor to have violated your civil rights “under color of law.” A government actor acts “under color of law” when they act under real or apparent government authority. In contrast to Section 1983 claims, the Bane Act has no similar requirement. Rather, the Bane Act allows a claim against a person “whether or not acting under color of law.”
The Government Cannot Claim Qualified Immunity
The second difference between a Bane Act claim and a Section 1983 claim is the defense of qualified immunity. Government actors usually assert the defense of qualified immunity in defending a Section 1983 claim to escape liability for their wrongful actions. Qualified immunity protects government actors from lawsuits alleging they violated another’s civil rights. Law enforcement used to be able to assert qualified immunity in California. But that is no longer the case. The Governor of California signed Senate Bill 2 into law on September 30, 2021, which eliminates the qualified immunity defense for government actors. That means law enforcement officers, prison guards, and other government employees can no longer raise a qualified immunity defense in defending a Bane Act civil claim. SB 2 goes into effect on January 1, 2023. Note, however, that government actors can still raise a defense of qualified immunity in federal courts, but no longer in state courts.
What To Do If Your Civil Rights Were Violated
After having your civil rights violated in Santa Rosa, there are important steps you can take immediately following your injury to help build a strong claim. After your injury, take the following steps:
- Report the incident to law enforcement, then ask for a copy of the police report when available.
- If security footage of your rights being violated exists, try to get a copy.
- Take photographs of the scene and the person who violated your rights
- Collect contact information from any eyewitnesses who have saw your civil rights being violated.
- Go to the hospital for medical care
- Document the incident while it is fresh in your head.
- Contact the Law Office of Kasra Parsad to discuss your claim with our civil rights lawyer.
How Long Do You Have To Bring a Claim?
The Bane Act does not specifically list a specific time to bring a claim. Courts will apply one of two different statutes of limitations depending on the nature of the allegations. A two-year statute of limitation applies to liability arising out of common law neglect or personal injury, and a three-year statute of limitations applies to statutory actions. As soon as possible you should reach out to our Santa Rosa civil rights lawyer to see whether your claim is valid.
How Can a Santa Rosa Civil Rights Lawyer Help?
Too often are civil rights and liberties violated and the offender is not held liable. Worse, most individuals have no idea that their civil rights were violated. Knowing your rights is a powerful tool. At our firm, we believe you should not have to accept a violation of your civil rights without a fight. You and your family deserve justice, answers, closure, and the right compensation when someone violates or attempts to violate your rights. We will do everything in our power to help you alleviate the pain and help you recover the compensation you need to move on with your life. Civil rights claims are often complicated and involve complex procedural requirements. The Law Office of Kasra Parsad can help explain the requirements and guide you throughout the process. As soon as possible, you’ll want to contact our Santa Rosa civil rights lawyer to assess your options. You never know how a competent lawyer may be able to help you, so there is nothing to lose by getting in touch with our office. Our complimentary consultation comes at no cost.
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