Civil Rights Questions & Answers by State

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Civil Rights Questions & Answers

Q: Can a 6th grade class be searched with hand held metal detector wands randomly with no reasonable suspicion

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights for Ohio on Oct 8, 2014

Answered on Oct 28, 2014

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Matthew Williams' answer
Depends on who is doing the searching and what the policy behind it is. A school policy requiring random metal detector screening or screening of all students entering the building would likely be upheld as a reasonable safety measure. If the screen procedure singled out a certain group of students by race, gender, national origin, or other suspect categories, it may not have been legal.

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Q: my 15 year old daughter got expelled it was her first time in a altercation in her life can I fight this?

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights for Ohio on Oct 9, 2014

Answered on Oct 28, 2014

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Matthew Williams' answer
You may wish to retain a lawyer for your daughter. There are lawyers who specialize in administrative proceedings in schools, universities, and employment related disputes. However, if she was involved in a physical altercation, the school is generally within it's rights to suspend or expel.

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Q: can a police draw guns on you and I never pulled you over with sirens

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights for Ohio on Oct 20, 2014

Answered on Oct 28, 2014

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Matthew Williams' answer
The police can draw their weapons anytime it is reasonable necessary to secure the cooperation of a suspect or protect the police and public from a potential threat. There is no requirement that police use sirens first.

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Q: Why would a defendant in a Federal Civil rights Action be named as John or Jane Doe?

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights for Virginia on Oct 14, 2014

Answered on Oct 17, 2014

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Mr. Andrew T. Bodoh Esq.'s answer
Because the plaintiff does not know the name of the real party.

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Q: Must a plaintiff file a motion to get copies of her exhibits from federal court?

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights for California on Jun 13, 2014

Answered on Jun 14, 2014

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Charles Snyderman's answer
You should call or visit the clerk's office and ask them what they require.

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Q: Can an autistic adult be questioned by police after an arrest without a lawyer present?

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights for Alabama on May 9, 2014

Answered on May 20, 2014

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William E. Scully Jr.'s answer
Maybe. Not all people with autism are incompetent. They talk about the 'autism spectrum.' This means that there are people with a wide variety of capabilities who are afflicted with autism. What you are really asking is whether the police can question a person who is mentally handicapped without the presence of a lawyer. The answer is still, 'Maybe.' Everything is going to depend on the reasonableness of the police actions. A person cannot be compelled to give evidence against himself....

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Q: Can a police search my room without a search warrant

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights for Alabama on May 16, 2014

Answered on May 20, 2014

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William E. Scully Jr.'s answer
Maybe. They can search your room if you are living with your parents, and they consent to the search. If YOU consent to the search they can search it. If they are in 'hot pursuit' they might be able to look around in your room. If they are arresting you legally, they can look around (although a full search might not be allowed). Of course, for the most part police cannot search you or your 'person, houses papers or effects' without a search warrant. There are a number of exceptions to...

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Q: How do you request a pretrial motion?

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights for North Carolina on Apr 23, 2014

Answered on May 11, 2014

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Rachel Lea Hunter's answer
You do not request a pre-trial motion. You file it. What kind of pre-trial motion would this be? The common ones are motion for default judgment (if no answer is filed), motion for judgment on the pleadings (if an answer is filed but there is no need for discovery) or a motion for summary judgment (if the discovery shows there is no disputed issue of material fact). Other than there could be a motion in limine (sometimes this comes up at trial but I suppose it could arise pre-trial) or...

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Q: Will my lawyer let me know what's going on with my civil rights lawsuit

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights for Georgia on Sep 4, 2013

Answered on Sep 6, 2013

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Paula J. Mcgill's answer
This is question you need to ask your lawyer. As a general rule, lawyers should give clients updates on major activities. However, don't wait for your attorney to contact you. If you haven't heard from him/her in 2-4 weeks, check in and ask for a status update. However, you should keep in mind there are lulls in cases. If the attorney uses e-mail, this may be more convenient for both sides. If your attorney refuses to give you an update, you should consider finding another attorney.

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Q: How long does it take for a civil rights case to go to court

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights for Georgia on Jul 20, 2013

Answered on Jul 27, 2013

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Paula J. Mcgill's answer
There isn't a set time for a trial if that's what you are referring to in your question. It may be a year or more or never. In most cases, the defendant files for summary judgment to get the case dismissed. Other cases are settled before trial. Therefore, the case may never reach trial.

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Q: Fl Dept. of Rev. is blocking me from getting my child support because I receive Food stamps, I'm the custodial parent.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights for Florida on Jun 16, 2013

Answered on Jul 5, 2013

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Robert Jason De Groot's answer
This will require the hiring of an attorney to help you. You should consult with an attorney in your area. Please take copies of all relevant documents with you. Many attorneys give free conferences for family law matters.

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Q: Is it legal to flick off a cop and curse at him?

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights for Florida on May 1, 2013

Answered on Jul 5, 2013

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Robert Jason De Groot's answer
If you flick off a cop and curse at him, aren't you asking for trouble? While some can argue freedom of speech, you cannot go around shouting fire in a crowded theater or yelling obscenities at cops.

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Q: My son has been in prison for 5 years for something he didn't do. Now he wants to file a case for wronful imprisonment

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights for Florida on Dec 7, 2012

Answered on Jul 5, 2013

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Robert Jason De Groot's answer
What new evidence that was not available prior to trial has now become available? This would probably be a very tough case. He can do a number of things to prove innocense, but it basically hinges upon new evidence that was not discovered or discoverable at the time of trial.

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Q: Does a judge have to follow the law when ruling in a case?

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights for Florida on Dec 26, 2012

Answered on Jul 5, 2013

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Robert Jason De Groot's answer
Yes a judge has to follow the law when ruling in a case. When the judge does not follow the law, the standard of review is abuse of discretion, and it could be a de novo standard as well, depending upon the circumstances.

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Q: What are the statute of limitations to file a complaint against an officer(s) and to file a lawsuit for police brutality

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights for Florida on Mar 8, 2013

Answered on Jul 5, 2013

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Robert Jason De Groot's answer
I think it is 2 years for torts, personal injury type actions. You need to consult with an attorney who handles police brutality cases.

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Q: How can I find a civil rights pro bono attorney

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights for Florida on Jan 31, 2013

Answered on Jul 5, 2013

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Robert Jason De Groot's answer
Contact the American Civil Liberties Union.

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Q: What is the statue of limitations for filing a complaint on an officer for being assaulted by him while incarcerated

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights for Florida on Mar 8, 2013

Answered on Jul 5, 2013

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Robert Jason De Groot's answer
For 1st degree felonies the S/L is 4 years, and for 2nd and 3rd degree felonies it is 3 years. It seems to me that the state will not be bringing charges against them, but that you would have to file a civil suit within 2 years of the torts.

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Q: 1st DCA conceded that I received an illegal sentence and was wrongfully sent to prison do I have grounds 4 civil suit

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights for Florida on Mar 18, 2013

Answered on Jul 5, 2013

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Robert Jason De Groot's answer
We need to know a lot more than that the 1st DCA conceded your argument on appeal. You should consult with the attorneys who either represented you at the trial or appellate level, or if that was the public defender, an attorney in your area.

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Q: Can i get the money d.o.c took from me from "room and board?"

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights for Arizona on Feb 24, 2013

Answered on Jun 25, 2013

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Brian Strickman's answer
No, Arizona law permits the DOC to charge prisoners. The laws permit the "room and board" charge and also a charge of up to $2 per month for utilities. Please see ARS 31-254 and ARS 31-239. Other states have similar laws, and at least 1 US Circuit Court has upheld the constitutionality of these statutes.

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Q: The Town has violated my civil rights with thir community policing how do i proceed?

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights for Arizona on Sep 29, 2012

Answered on Jun 17, 2013

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Brian Strickman's answer
In this type of situation you generally have to demonstrate that the police have violated a statute or constitution. A notice of claim must be filed, with the city that you seek to take action against, within 180 days of the incident, according to ARS 12-821.01. Since the question was asked in September of 2012, that time period has expired.

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