Thomaston, ME asked in Civil Rights for Maine

Q: Who can help with a David shopping while Black/non-white vs Goliath Big Box efforts that resulted in discrimination?

Need brainstorming help with what my next move needs to be on this case: Shopping while Black/non-white. Store security person detained me on exiting the store to check my personal bag , while not doing same to the other shoppers exiting the store. No proof of any shoplifting to make me a suspect. Took the case to the state Human Rights Commission for mediation. Goliath withdrew from the mediation process claiming they are not at fault because I would not agree to confidentiality after the close of the case.- (breach of my Constitutional right of free speech, Article I; in addition to breaching 2 Federal Civil Rights laws and 2 state laws of the same nature). Not sure what the next step should be: sue in court or continue with the state investigation process. The Goliath Big Box retracted statements and agreements of wrong doing.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Robert Jason De Groot
Robert Jason De Groot
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Deltona, FL

A: Get an attorney for this? Conduct discovery process with the usual types of discovery matters, request the entire personel file of the security guard, interrogatories, perhaps requests for admissions if available in your state, depositions of key figures who have personal knowledge about the incident. Shoot, there is a heck of a lot of work in a lawsuit, any civil litigation. It takes years to get a case into a posture for trial. But by doing it yourself, you are probably going to be dealing with seasoned attorneys on the other side, and it would probably get dismissed for failure to state a cause of action or some such reason. One thing that you should know which is quite basic everywhere is that offers to compromise a disputed claim are not admissible in evidence. You see, only attorneys who have practiced in your state for decades, will know the rules of civil procedure and the evidence code. You probably should get to a law library and start studying these things as well as do a lot of research on this type of case. There are pleading requirements in your state for this type of case. If you file a complaint which is lacking on what is required, the case will undoubtedly get dismissed. The defense attorneys may even ask that it be dismissed with prejudice, which means you do not have an opportunity to amend the complaint.

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