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The Civil Rights Program

The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to protecting the civil rights of all people in the Western District of North Carolina.

Criminal and Civil Enforcement

The Office’s Civil Rights Team is tasked with three main enforcement priorities:

  • enforcing federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), familial status, national origin, disability, language, immigration and citizenship status, age, servicemember status, or genetic information;
  • prosecuting individuals who commit criminal civil rights violations, including conduct that constitutes a deprivation of rights under the color of law, hate crimes, or human trafficking; and
  • ensuring equal access to justice and equal opportunities for all by pursuing civil enforcement actions related to discrimination in housing, lending, employment, and education, and by protecting voting rights and access and rights of the disabled.

The Civil Rights Team works closely with the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, federal agencies, and the Office’s federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to address allegations of civil rights violations.

Outreach and Education

In addition to enforcement efforts, the Civil Rights Team enhances the District’s multi-prong approach to advancing the protection of civil rights by increasing the Office’s presence in and engagement with the community to raise awareness and  encourage reporting of potential civil rights violations to the appropriate offices, agencies or components.

The Civil Rights Team also amplifies its prevention efforts by working with state and local agencies, law enforcement, community members and groups, advocacy organizations, and public and private entities to conduct proactive training to educate stakeholders on their rights and obligations under the law.

Reporting Potential Civil Rights Violations  

The FBI is the primary federal law enforcement agency responsible for investigating allegations regarding potential violations of federal criminal civil rights statutes, which may include conduct such as injuring or harming, or threatening to injure or harm, a person or property on account of someone’s race, color, religion, national origin, sex,  sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. To contact the local FBI office to report a potential criminal civil rights violation please call (704) 672-6100 (Charlotte Office) or (828) 253-1643 (Asheville Office).

If you believe you or another person’s civil rights have been violated, you may also submit a report through the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division website by visiting: https://civilrights.justice.gov/ or to any of the federal agencies or components listed below.

For additional information and resources, please visit:

Thank you for your interest in the Western District of North Carolina’s Civil Rights enforcement program.  Please be advised that the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice represent the United States of America, not any specific individual.  If you believe your civil rights have been violated and you intend to file a lawsuit, you should contact a private attorney.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office may only address alleged discriminatory conduct or civil rights violations, and it is limited to seeking remedies as authorized by statute or the Attorney General or his/her designee. Please also be aware that some federal statutes require that the complaining party submit or file a complaint or administrative claim with the appropriate agency within a specified time period.  Submitting a complaint or claim to the U.S. Attorney’s Office is not a substitute for following the applicable rules and regulations related to your claim, and it does not toll or affect any applicable statute of limitations or filing requirements that may apply to your potential claim. 

Updated June 1, 2022

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