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Civil Rights Section

Section Overview

The Civil Rights Section of the Civil Division focuses on enforcing federal civil rights laws throughout the Central District of California. These laws prohibit discrimination, protect the constitutional rights of residents of this District, and ensure equal opportunity for all. The laws the Section enforces include: the Americans with Disabilities Act, statutes protecting the rights of service members and veterans, statutes protecting the right to fair housing and fair lending, and other federal anti-discrimination statutes enforced by the Department of Justice.


Karen Ruckert

Chief, Civil Rights Section

Karen Ruckert is Chief of the Civil Rights Section, Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Ms. Ruckert graduated from Kansas State University in 1998 and the University of Kansas School of Law in 2001, where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. She clerked for Judge Carlos Murguia of the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas before joining the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in 2003 through the Honors Program.

In 2005, Ms. Ruckert joined DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, first serving a detail as a SAUSA in D.C., where she prosecuted domestic violence misdemeanors. She then prosecuted hate crimes, excessive force, human trafficking, and violence against reproductive health clinics as a Trial Attorney in the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division. After a detail to the Civil Rights Division’s Complaint Adjudication Office, where she wrote over 90 final agency decisions adjudicating employment discrimination claims by DOJ employees based upon race, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age, and familial status, Ms. Ruckert joined the Employment Litigation Section as a Senior Trial Attorney in 2013. There, Ms. Ruckert investigated and litigated affirmative disparate impact and individual discrimination cases arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.

Ms. Ruckert received multiple awards from the Civil Rights Division for her work. Prior to her appointment as Chief of the Civil Rights Section, Ms. Ruckert was an AUSA in the General Civil Section, where she defended the government in cases involving employment discrimination, administrative review of agency decisions, and torts.

Recent Cases

May 20, 2020
Press Release
Los Angeles-Area Nursing School Agrees to Comply with Federal Law by Allowing Deaf Students to Attend Its Training Programs

May 18, 2020
Press Release
United States Attorney’s Office Increases Efforts to Combat Sexual Harassment in Housing During the COVID-19 Pandemic

March 12, 2020
Press Release
San Clemente Agrees to Comply with Federal Law Stemming from Its Replacement of Two Bus Routes with Lyft Ridesharing Service

March 2, 2020
Press Release
USC Agrees to Comply with Federal Law by Expanding the USC Hotel’s Accessibility for Individuals with Mobility Disabilities

February 24, 2020
Press Release
Kaiser Permanente Agrees to Settle Americans with Disabilities Act Claims and to Improve Access for Deaf or Hard of Hearing Patients

Section Contact Information

En Español

Individuals wishing to contact the Civil Rights Section, Civil Division are strongly encouraged to do so by telephone or email rather than by U.S. Mail. Responses to U.S. Mail may be delayed. Please report any criminal complaints to the applicable local, state, or federal law enforcement agencies. The Civil Rights Section, Civil Division does not have jurisdiction over criminal matters.

The United States Attorney's Office
Central District of California
Civil Division
Attn: Civil Rights Section
300 North Los Angeles Street, Suite 7516
Los Angeles, California 90012

(213) 894-2879 (Phone)
(213) 894-7819 (Fax)

Report a Civil Rights Violation to the Civil Division, Civil Rights Section

Contact the Civil Rights Section by sending an e-mail to

Download the Civil Rights Complaint Form.

Updated May 20, 2020

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