In the United States, we are all guaranteed certain civil rights. When these rights are violated, we also have legal rights that allow us to seek justice and hold the other party responsible. At the Cottle Firm, our Las Vegas civil rights lawyers help victims of civil rights violations take legal action by filing civil rights lawsuits against those who have infringed upon their rights.

If a government agency, individual, or another party has violated your civil rights in some way, we are prepared to help you seek justice. Contact us today at 702-722-6111 to discuss your legal options in a free consultation.

Common Violations of Civil Rights

The United States Constitution guarantees a wide range of civil rights. At the Cottle Firm, we handle all types of civil rights violation cases. Below are some of the most common cases our Las Vegas civil rights lawyers see.

Police Misconduct and Violations

Police officers are legally required to abide by certain standards of conduct and to avoid violating the civil rights of anyone they come into contact with. But unfortunately, sometimes Las Vegas police officers fail to live up to these professional standards. 

Some common forms of police misconduct that constitute civil rights violations include:

  • Excessive force
  • Wrongful arrests and unlawful detentions
  • Racial profiling
  • Illegal searches and seizures

If a Nevada police officer has violated your civil rights, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit and police misconduct report, as well as criminal charges.

Prison Civil Rights Violations

Individuals who are sentenced to prison may lose certain rights, such as the right to vote or own a firearm, but these prisoners maintain their basic civil rights. However, abuse and neglect of prisoners are both common problems in correctional facilities. 

Common civil rights violations in Nevada correctional facilities include:

  • Sexual assault and abuse
  • Excessive force and unnecessary violence
  • Medical neglect, such as depriving an injured inmate of vital medical attention

Inmates who are victims of such abuse and neglect may have grounds for a civil rights lawsuit against the facility.

Malicious Prosecution

Malicious prosecution can occur in both criminal and civil cases. State prosecutors and police officers can be guilty of malicious prosecution, as well as those who file frivolous civil lawsuits. In both types of cases, those pursuing the case must have sufficient evidence to do so. 

For example, a prosecutor could be sued for malicious prosecution if they filed false charges for political reasons. In the world of civil lawsuits, a corporation could be guilty of malicious prosecution for filing a baseless lawsuit against a small business to hurt them financially and attempt to put them out of business.

Suppression of Free Speech

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to free speech to all Americans. This means that no police officer or government official can suppress free speech or attempt to punish someone for exercising these rights. For example, the government cannot arrest you for speaking out against them in public.


Discrimination based on race, gender, or age can occur in the workplace, when seeking housing, in interactions with police officers, and in a variety of other ways. Regardless of where it occurs, any form of discrimination is considered a civil rights violation. Those who commit such violations may be held liable in civil rights lawsuits.

Federal Civil Rights Laws

Civil rights are guaranteed at the federal level through several laws that offer civil rights protections for various groups. The main federal civil rights laws in the United States include:

  • Age Discrimination Act of 1975 – Prevents discrimination based on age for programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) – Designed to safeguard workers aged 40 and above from age-based workplace discrimination.
  • Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 (ACAA) – Ensures that individuals with disabilities receive fair treatment and access to air transportation.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – Protects the rights of persons with disabilities and ensures equal opportunities in employment, education, and public accommodations.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964 – Prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1991 – Strengthened federal civil rights laws and addressed intentional employment discrimination. 
  • Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act – Ensures constitutional protections for persons in federal institutions, including government-run nursing homes and prisons.
  • Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act – Provides impartial disaster relief without discrimination based on race, religion, or economic status.
  • Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) – Bars creditors from discriminating against credit applicants.
  • Equal Pay Act of 1963 – Requires equal pay for work, regardless of gender.
  • Fair Housing Act (FHA) – Forbids discrimination in housing sales, rentals, and financing.
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) – Grants employees the right to take leave for family care or illnesses.
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) – Ensures education rights for disabled students.
  • Older Workers’ Benefit Protection Act – Establishes safeguards for the employee benefit plans of older individuals.
  • Pregnancy Discrimination Act – Prohibits workplace discrimination against pregnant workers.
  • Rehabilitation Act of 1973 – Protects disabled individuals from discrimination in workplaces and federally funded organizations.
  • Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) – Safeguards religious institutions from discrimination in zoning laws and protects religious practice in certain institutions.
  • Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 – Prohibits discrimination based on sex or gender in federally funded education programs

If you believe that your civil rights have been violated under any of these federal laws, our experienced Las Vegas civil rights lawyers can review your case and determine if you have grounds for legal action.

Civil Rights Violation FAQs

What Are the Requirements For Filing a Civil Rights Lawsuit?

Section 1983 of Title 42 of the United States Code allows individuals to sue state government employees for violating their civil rights. Victims of federal violations may sue a federal employee by filing a Bivens claim.

To have grounds for a civil rights lawsuit, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Prove which specific civil right has been violated, including pointing to a specific law or section of the Constitution
  • Prove that the individual who violated your civil rights was acting within the course of their job duties as a government employee

Due to these two requirements, only certain parties may be held liable in civil rights violation lawsuits. These parties generally include police officers, county employees, city officials, and other government officials. 

Do I Need a Lawyer to File a Civil Rights Lawsuit?

You are not legally required to hire a lawyer to assist you with a civil rights lawsuit. However, filing a claim is a complex process. Section 1983 claims are extremely complex, and various state, federal, and Constitutional laws may be relevant to your case. 

An experienced civil rights attorney has an understanding of these complex laws and how to navigate the process of filing a civil rights lawsuit. For most victims of civil rights violations, hiring an attorney can significantly increase the chances of receiving fair financial compensation based on the circumstances of the case.

Discuss Your Case With Our Las Vegas Civil Rights Violation Lawyers

Have your civil rights recently been violated in Las Vegas? You deserve justice and the parties responsible for violating your rights deserve to be held accountable. At the Cottle Firm, our dedicated Las Vegas civil rights violation lawyers are prepared to stand by your side and help you fight for your rights. To learn more about filing a civil rights violation claim, contact us today at 702-722-6111.