People in Michigan and nationwide have numerous constitutional rights, including rights to free speech, religion, privacy, and due process. In some cases, businesses have constitutional rights as well, such as rights related to political contributions. If you are deprived of your federal or state constitutional rights, you may be entitled to bring a lawsuit for redress. At the Neumann Law Group, our Grand Rapids and Traverse City constitutional law attorneys are experienced in pursuing claims involving the assertion of many different constitutional rights. Our principal, Kelly Neumann, is a dedicated civil rights attorney who can help you try to hold the parties that have deprived you of your rights accountable.Claims Based on Constitutional Rights
Basic rights guaranteed under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution include freedoms of speech, religion, press, petition, and assembly. These are collectively known as freedom of expression rights. However, these are rights that limit governmental rather than private action. The government is not permitted to infringe on those rights, and you may sue for redress if it does.
The Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments are commonly cited in criminal defense cases involving alleged police brutality. The Fourth Amendment provides the right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures, among other things. Although there are exceptions to its warrant requirement, the Fourth Amendment broadly protects you from inappropriate police actions. The Fifth Amendment prohibits double jeopardy and the right to avoid self-incrimination. It also provides the right to be paid just compensation in case your private property is taken for public use, or you are deprived of property, liberty, or life without due process. The Sixth Amendment provides for several rights in connection with criminal prosecutions, including the right to counsel, the right to confront witnesses against you, and the right to be informed of the nature and cause of the charges. The Eighth Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment, among other things.
The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees that you may not be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process and provides for equal protection under the law. Our constitutional law lawyers can help Traverse City and Grand Rapids residents enforce any of these rights.
If you believe that your federal constitutional rights have been violated by the government, you may be able to bring a Section 1983 claim. 42 U.S.C. § 1983 provides a cause of action if you have been deprived of a constitutional right by anyone acting under color of law of any state or territory.
You only need to plead two elements to show that you have a cause of action under Section 1983. You need to identify which constitutional right was infringed and assert that whoever infringed on that right acted under color of state or territorial law. For example, if you suffered from brutality by a police officer, you may have been deprived of your Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures of your person. You must be able to show that you suffered tangible damages.
Even an agent of the government who is abusing their power while working for the state or local government is considered to be acting under color of law.
Article 1 of the Michigan Constitution also provides basic individual rights that are supposed to be secure from interference by state government actions. Many of these are the same as the rights guaranteed under the federal Constitution, such as freedom of expression and due process. However, there are some distinctions, and you may have grounds to sue for a violation of a Michigan constitutional right in state court.Seek Guidance From a Constitutional Law Attorney in Grand Rapids or Traverse City
If you believe that you are owed redress for a violation of your constitutional rights, our firm may be able to assist you. Our Traverse City and Grand Rapids constitutional law lawyers represent people in Detroit, Lansing, Ann Arbor, Flint, Petoskey, Warren, Holland, Muskegon, Midland, Kalamazoo, Wyoming, and Saginaw, as well as communities throughout the Upper Peninsula. Contact the Neumann Law Group at 800-525-NEUMANN or via our online form to set up a free appointment. We also can assist people who need an injury attorney or assistance in other types of claims.