EDWA Civil Rights Webpage
Vigorously enforcing federal civil rights laws in Eastern Washington is an integral part of the mission of the U.S. Attorney’s Office to make communities safer and stronger. The U.S. Attorney’s Office coordinates with the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice to enforce a wide variety of federal civil rights laws throughout Eastern Washington. These laws prohibit discrimination, protect the constitutional rights of residents, and affirm equal opportunity for all.
Civil rights laws can be enforced through both civil and criminal actions. Examples of civil civil rights laws include the Fair Housing Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Voting Rights Act, among other federal civil rights statutes. Criminal civil rights enforcement includes the prosecution of hate crimes, including under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, law enforcement misconduct, including excessive use of force, human trafficking, and violations of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, among other criminal civil rights statutes.
Civil Rights Complaints
The U.S. Attorney’s Office welcomes information from the public regarding potential violations of federal civil rights laws. We are only able to accept civil rights complaints in writing and can do so by mail, fax, or email. If you are unsure whether your complaint or information is a violation of federal civil rights laws, please contact us by phone, email, or mail and we will be happy to help determine whether we can assist you with your claim.
For questions or to provide information, please call (509) 835-6306. You will be directed to a dedicated civil rights voicemail box, please leave your name, phone number, and a brief summary of your information or question. Language interpretations and disability accommodations are available upon request. We cannot guarantee a response, but we endeavor to review and respond to all voicemails within 2 business days.
Civil Rights Intake Specialist
U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington
P.O. Box 1494
Spokane, WA 99201
You may also fax a completed Civil Rights Complaint Form to (509) 835-6397.
Complaints are also accepted by the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Complaints may be submitted electronically at: https://civilrights.justice.gov/ If you have questions regarding how to submit a complaint directly to the Civil Rights Division, please call (202) 514-4609 (language and disability accommodation information can be found at: https://www.justice.gov/crt/contact-office)
Complaints may also be submitted to the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice by mailing complaints to:
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
950 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530
Violations of criminal civil rights laws are typically investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. To contact them directly, please contact the Spokane Field Office at 509-458-8100.
Please be aware that while the scope of our civil rights practice is broad, our authority to investigate and seek relief for individual complaining parties for alleged civil rights violations is limited. We can only investigate and seek to remedy alleged discriminatory conduct when authorized by a specific statute and in the manner proscribed by that statute. In some instances this means that we can only investigate and seek to remedy patterns of unlawful discriminatory conduct, not individual incidents. For more information on federal civil rights statutes and the limitations of our authority, please visit the links below.
For more information on federal civil rights laws, please explore the following links:
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- The Fair Housing Act (FHA)
- The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)
- The Equal Educational Opportunities Act (EEOA) and other laws that prohibit discrimination in schools
- Title II of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, and national origin in places of public accommodation.
- Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, and national origin by programs that receive federal financial assistance.
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, and religion by state and local government employers.
- The anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which prohibits employment discrimination based on citizenship status and national origin.
- Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act (USERRA)
- The Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA)
- The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA)
- The Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA)
- The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act and other laws that prohibit law enforcement misconduct.
- The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act
- Hate Crimes (https://www.justice.gov/hatecrimes)
- Criminal Civil Rights Statutes (https://www.justice.gov/crt/statutes-enforced-criminal-section)