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We Handle Civil
Rights Cases
in Portland
and Throughout Oregon


Under the Bill of Rights, federal legislation such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and relevant state statutes, Americans have civil rights and civil liberties that must be preserved and protected. Federal law offers additional protection to Americans who were injured, or had a family member killed, as a result of a civil rights violation.

Unfortunately, civil rights violations are a serious problem in Oregon, Washington, and throughout the United States. From law enforcement officers to prison guards, civil rights violations that result in severe physical damage to the victim remain far too common.

At Johnston Law Firm, P.C., our compassionate Portland civil rights attorney is committed to fighting for victims and their families. If you or a family member was injured or killed as a result of a civil rights violation, please contact our law firm today for free legal guidance. We will explain the law to you, help you build your case, fight to get justice for yourself and your family, and ensure that you recover the maximum compensation available under the law.

Civil Rights Lawsuits:
Section 1983

For the most part, civil rights lawsuits are brought under 42 U.S. Code § 1983, or as it is often more simply known, Section 1983. This section of federal law gives private individuals the right to sue government entities for certain constitutional violations. Some of the most notable examples include:

  • Fourth Amendment Violations: This includes claims involving false arrests, unlawful detentions, and other forms of serious misconduct by law enforcement officers.
  • Eighth Amendment Violations: This includes claims of cruel and unusual punishment, such as police or prison guard brutality.
  • Fourteenth Amendment Violations: This includes claims in which an individual was unlawfully deprived of life, liberty, or property.

In many cases, Section 1983 is the only legal avenue available for victims and their families. To be clear, you do not have to be a U.S. citizen to be eligible to bring legal action under Section 1983.

Civil Rights Violations

Police Misconduct

Police misconduct cases are among the most common type of civil rights lawsuit. Police brutality is a serious problem in Oregon and throughout the United States. In far too many cases, law enforcement officers cause avoidable injuries or fatalities because they use excessive, unjustifiable force.

For example, in 2014, a 40-year-old man was awarded more than $560,000 in compensation after compelling evidence emerged that Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officers repeatedly punched and tasered him. Tragically, police misconduct can often result in deaths. In 2017, U.S. law enforcement officers killed more than 1,100 people. It is argued that many of those deaths could have been avoided if proper care had been taken.

Prison Abuse

Many Section 1983 lawsuits also involve prison abuse. Jailers have a basic responsibility to provide reasonably secure conditions for prisoners. Yet, in far too many cases, prisoners face serious safety risks. Prisoners may be injured by guards, sexually abused by prison staff, left in dangerous situations, or unlawfully deprived of necessary medical care. As an example, if your loved one dies in jail because they did not receive much needed medical treatment or attention, the government may be legally liable for that death. A full investigation must be conducted.

Sexual Misconduct & Child Abuse

The government is also responsible for any individual, child or adult, who is within their care. If a child is in a public school, a special education program, a juvenile center, or in a foster home, the government entity that is responsible for them has a duty to ensure that they are protected from harm. If you or your child has been the victim of abuse, sexual misconduct, molestation, or rape, please contact an experienced Portland, OR civil rights attorney immediately.

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Civil Rights Violations:
Wrongful Death Actions

At Johnston Law Firm, P.C., our Portland wrongful death attorney has extensive experience handling complex wrongful death lawsuits. If your family member was killed as a result of a civil rights violation, whether because of a law enforcement officer’s excessive force, a jailer’s negligence, child abuse, or any other form of misconduct, you need a skilled attorney by your side.

We understand that nothing will be able to make up for your loss. At the same time, we know how important it is to get justice for your family. Government officials and entities must be held accountable under the law, and your family needs to be able to recover the maximum available wrongful death compensation.

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Contact Our Civil Rights Lawyer Today

At the Johnston Law Firm, P.C., our civil rights attorney is committed to fighting for justice. If you or your family member was denied civil rights and a serious injury or fatality occurred as a result, we can help. To schedule a free, fully confidential consultation, please contact us today by calling (503) 546-3167. Our law firm is based in Portland and we handle federal civil rights cases in Oregon and Washington.


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If you have been seriously injured at no fault of your own, please contact us using the form.


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