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Civil Rights

The United States Attorney’s Office also enforces the federal civil rights statutes, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, and the Fair Housing Act. Civil Division Assistants also work closely with Assistants in the Criminal Division to prosecute criminal civil rights cases, such as police and corrections officer brutality cases, hate crime cases, and violations of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.

If you have information concerning a potential violation of the federal civil rights laws that you wish to bring to our attention, complete a Civil Rights Complaint Form.

Your Rights

—Federal laws prohibit discrimination based on a person's national origin, race, color, religion, disability, sex, and familial status. Laws prohibiting national origin discrimination make it illegal to discriminate because of a person's birthplace, ancestry, culture or language. This means people cannot be denied equal opportunity because they or their family are from another country, because they have a name or accent associated with a national origin group, because they participate in certain customs associated with a national origin group, or because they are married to or associate with people of a certain national origin. —

The U.S. Attorney’s Office also enforces federal laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability; protects the civil rights of persons who are institutionalized in certain state or local facilities, and prosecutes crimes that are motivated by a crime victim's race, color, or national origin.

Types of Civil Rights Cases

1. Criminal Civil Rights Cases– use of force or violence to interfere with a person’s federally protected rights because of the person’s national origin.

2. Disability Cases-discrimination based on an individual’s disability.

3. Education Cases-discrimination in education based on an individual’s national origin, race, color, sex, religion or disability.

4. Employment Cases-discrimination against an employee or job applicant because of his or her national origin, race, color, sex, religion or military service.

5. Housing Cases-discrimination because of national origin, race, color, sex, religion, disability, or familial status (presence of children <18)  in housing.

6. Lending Cases-discrimination in lending because of national origin, race, color, sex, religion, disability, marital status or because any of a person’s income comes from public assistance.

7. Public Accommodation Cases-discrimination because of national origin, race, color or religion in places of public accommodations, including hotels, restaurants and places of entertainment.

8. Police Misconduct Cases-discrimination because of national origin, race, color, religion, or sex by law enforcement agencies that receive federal financial assistance, including asset forfeiture property.

9. Institutionalized Persons Cases-discrimination against those held in state or local government institutions, such as jails, juvenile correctional facilities, mental health facilities, facilities for the mentally disabled, and nursing homes.

10. Federally Assisted Program Cases-discrimination because of national origin, race or color by recipients of federal funds.

11. Voting Cases-discrimination in voting based on race, color, membership in a language minority group, blindness, disability or inability to read or write.

Updated April 22, 2015

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