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Civil Rights Enforcement

 

Civil Rights Complaint Hotline: 855- 281-3339
Civil Rights Complaint Form

 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office, in coordination with the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, is charged with enforcing federal civil rights laws throughout the District of New Jersey.

The Civil Division’s Civil Rights Unit enforces civil federal civil rights statutes that ensure equal opportunity for all and prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, family status, sexual orientation, and gender identity.  The unit has brought numerous investigations and civil actions under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Fair Housing Act, Civil Rights Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Equal Educational Opportunities Act, as well as laws that protect voting rights, servicemembers’ rights, and religious freedom.  The unit also enforces laws that prohibit misconduct by law enforcement and correctional institutions, including patterns or practices of sexual abuse, unlawful use of force, and deliberate indifference to serious medical needs.

The Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office investigates and prosecutes cases involving the interference with liberties and deprivation of rights defined in the Constitution or federal law. The Criminal Division handles cases involving law enforcement misconduct, including instances of excessive force and sexual misconduct by police officers, corrections officers, and other members of law enforcement.  The Criminal Division also prosecutes hate crimes, that is, acts of violence or threats of violence motivated by bias based on statutorily protected characteristics.

In addition to investigating and prosecuting violations of federal civil rights laws, the United States Attorney’s Office also conducts outreach with and training for advocates, state and local agencies, law enforcement, and community members throughout New Jersey. These outreach efforts are aimed at engaging with the public to identify and redress civil rights violations; its training efforts are designed to proactively educate people on their rights and obligations under the law to prevent a civil rights violation from happening in the first place. For example, the United States Attorney’s Office has hosted a number of roundtable discussions with advocates about issues such as fair housing, disability rights, LGBTQ rights, community policing, and education.

In both civil and criminal matters, the U.S. Attorney’s Office represents the United States of America, not any specific individual.

  • To inform this office of a civil rights issue or complaint, click here.
  • To learn more about the right to a public education regardless of immigration status, click here.
  • To learn more about DOJ’s work to coordinate and expand enforcement, outreach, and training efforts on behalf of servicemembers, veterans, and their families, click here.
Updated April 8, 2021

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