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Civil Rights

Civil Rights Book and Gavel

The U.S. Attorney’s Office (in coordination with the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice) enforces federal civil rights laws throughout the District of Kansas.  These laws prohibit discrimination, protect the constitutional rights of residents, and affirm equal opportunity for all. 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office enforces civil rights through both civil litigation and criminal prosecution and, in all cases, represents the interests of the United States.  The civil rights coordinators for civil civil rights and criminal civil rights can be reached through the complaint process described below.

Legal Resources

Disability Rights

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers, state and local governments, places of public accommodation, and entities involved in transportation and telecommunications, are prohibited from discriminating against individuals because of their disability.  If you believe you have been subjected to disability discrimination, please fill out our Civil Rights Complaint form and submit it to our office for review.  We are authorized to investigate complaints, conduct compliance reviews to ensure accessibility, initiate and intervene in litigation, and provide technical assistance to businesses, governments, and the general public.  All of these actions are designed to promote voluntary compliance with the ADA.  More information is available at this Department of Justice link:  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Fair Housing

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discriminatory housing practices based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, and familial status.  Individuals who believe they have been the victim of an illegal housing practice may file a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or file their own lawsuit in federal or state court.  The Department of Justice may bring a lawsuit on behalf of individuals based upon referrals from HUD.  More information about housing discrimination is available at these Department of Justice links:  The Fair Housing Act (FHA), The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA).

Police Misconduct

The Department of Justice may review the practices of state and local law enforcement agencies for civil rights violations.  If, during our review, we find that law enforcement agencies systematically deprive people of their rights, we can act.  If you have a civil rights complaint regarding a state or local law enforcement agency, such as a police or sheriff’s department, please fill out the Civil Rights Complaint form and submit it to our office for review.  More information is available at these Department of Justice links:  The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.

Hate Crimes

The U. S. Attorney’s Office vigorously prosecutes cases involving violence and intimidating acts based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religious beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.  If you or someone you know has been the victim of violence or intimidation based upon any of these protected characteristics, please fill out the Civil Rights Complaint form and submit it to our office for review.  More information is available at this Department of Justice link:  The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act.   

Human Trafficking

The U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecutes the use of force, threats, or coercion to compel labor or services, including commercial sex acts from adults and children.  If you or someone you know is the victim of human trafficking, please fill out the Civil Rights Complaint form and submit it to our office for review.  More information is available at this Department of Justice link:  Human Trafficking.

Additional Civil Rights Laws We Enforce

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 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), which protects a service member’s civilian employment rights.

The Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA), which protects a service member’s financial security.

The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), which prohibits zoning and landmarking laws that substantially burden the religious exercise of churches or other religious assemblies or institutions.

The Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), we investigate prisons or jails if we have reason to believe a systemic pattern or practice exists that causes harm.
 

Filing a Civil Rights Complaint

The U.S. Attorney’s Office welcomes information from the public that brings to our attention possible violations of our nation’s civil rights laws.

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 unlawful conduct when authorized to do so by a specific statute and in the manner proscribed by that statute.  In some instances this means we can only investigate and seek to remedy patterns of unlawful discriminatory conduct, not individual incidents.  Additionally, many civil rights claims must be investigated first by another federal agency before being referred to us for litigation.  For example, criminal civil rights matters are generally investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, before those matters come to our office for review.  For more information about the limitations of our authority and/or required first steps, please use the links above regarding the specific type of claim you believe you may have.  In the event of uncertainty, please file a complaint and we will be happy to assist you with your claim.

To file a complaint with the Department of Justice, go to the Department of Justice - How to File a Complaint website and follow the instructions. 

Alternatively, you may file a complaint directly with our office.  You do not need a special form to submit a complaint, but we recommend using the form below. You may also send any supporting documentation with your complaint.

Civil Rights Complaint Form – English

  • To submit a complaint by email, complete and save the form above, then email it to:

usaks.civilrights@usdoj.gov (link sends email) 

  • To submit a complaint by mail, print and complete the form above, then mail it to:

United States Attorney’s Office
District of Kansas – Civil Rights Unit
500 State Avenue, Suite 360
Kansas City, Kansas  66101

  • To submit a complaint by phone, call (855) 321-5549, and request to leave a voicemail in the Civil Rights Intake Voicemail Box.

Language interpretation and disability accommodations are available upon request.

 

Updated December 17, 2018

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