Utah Civil Rights Law Firm

Brian K. Jackson, LLC

A Utah Civil Rights Law Firm

Utah Civil Rights Law Firm

Civil Rights in Utah

What are civil rights? Civil rights guarantees equal social opportunities and protection of law from a protected class, a protected class includes one’s religion, race, gender, including maternity status, disability and sexual orientation. These protections are enumerated under the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution as well as the Utah State Constitution as well as other rights of individuals identified under the 1st, 2nd, 4th 5th, 6th and 8th amendment and subsequent legislation related to those constitutional guarantees. 

There are regulations as to civil rights in the workplace in employment law that our Utah Law Firm handles. Our firm also handles rights that public employees have to their public employment that requires proper procedure for a public employee to be removed.

There are also other individual rights that the state government can deprive. This can include issues that arise at school or while interacting with government officers. An individual can bring a civil lawsuit in court for the deprivation of those rights. This is known as a “1983” claim. The claim arises under section 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 of the United States code. The law indicates that a person who acts under a state regulation, custom or policy that deprives an individual of any rights and privileges found under the constitution and law is liable to the injured person.

Civil Rights claims against Police Officers

The most common actions are actions done by police officers. This is known as police brutality or police misconduct claims. This can include a violation of a person’s 4th Amendment right such as if a person was searched and seized without a warrant and without probable cause. This still occurs more times than you would think in Utah. It can also include if a person is injured while detained by a police officer. 

If the injury was unreasonable based on the circumstances, a police officer could potentially be held liable. There can also be violations if a police officer is racially profiling an individual such as an African American and detains that individual based on race unreasonably based on the circumstances and or based on lack of evidence or basis to detain that person lawfully.

If an individual was injured while in jail in prison after a conviction, the law again would look at the reasonableness of the circumstances. This is based under the 8th Amendment of the federal constitution for cruel and unusual punishment.

An individual could also have a claim if the state violates a person’s right to free speech under the first amendment, their right to freedom of religion, or their right to peacefully protest and assemble. If the government somehow infringes on these rights then a person may have a civil rights claim. This can include laws that deters or punishes an individual for certain speech or their rights to protest. It can also include laws that deter an individual to worship as he or she pleases. 

Civil Rights on School and University Campuses

This can also occur on University and School campuses although the U.S. Supreme Court has come out with decisions that limit students free speech, especially in the high school and lower levels. Freedom of speech is more restricted if you are a public employee and typically, in order for the speech to be protected, it must be “a matter of public concern.” Also, the first amendment only forbids the government from limiting free speech. This does not apply to private businesses and companies at work. So generally a business can terminate you for something you say depending on the circumstances if you are at-will.

There is also another statute that is aimed to protect the rights of students in schools. Schools and Universities under the federal law in Title IX of the Education Amendments Act cannot discriminate or harass students based on gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or disability on their campus. This also includes student on student harassment or discrimination. 

The schools and universities are required to properly investigate any complaints made regarding an employee, professor, teacher or student. If a school or university fails to investigate or resolve the issue after a complaint is made to the appropriate individual, the school could be liable under Title IX. The failure to resolve the issue is known as “deliberate indifference.” Meaning that the University or school was deliberately indifferent to a claim such as sexual harassment and how it handled the claim.

Contact our Utah Civil Rights Law Firm for a consultation today on your questions as to a violation of your civil rights.


+1 801 441 8922

503 W. 2600 S. Suite 200
Bountiful, UT 84010

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