Ensuring Individuals Rights and Liberties
The basis for constitutional law is of course the United States Constitution, but of equal importance in Florida is the Florida State Constitution. The government has certain responsibilities when it comes to interactions with citizens. The government (whether local, city, state, or federal) cannot come take you from your home and hold you without first meeting the procedural and substantive due process rights to which you are entitled. Additionally, the government cannot take your property without meeting the substantive and procedural due process requirements.
In addition to the constitutional rights, each of us is entitled to a vast array of statutory protections. These statutes are often strong vehicles of recourse for those who have suffered an injury, discrimination, or other injustice at the hands of their local governments. For example, 42 U.S.C§1983 is a powerful federal statute that imposes liability upon anyone in the government or working on behalf of the government that deprives any person of rights or liberties.
As citizens — and people — we owe certain duties to each other. Business owners are not free to decline service on the basis of race, gender, age, religion, and other factors. Apartments, homeowner associations, and other housing providers must make reasonable accommodations for those with disabilities, including service animals.
Some people, by virtue of their careers, have additional rights. For example, Law Enforcement Officers have Federal and State statutory rights when facing internal investigations by their department or other agencies (such as F.D.L.E.). Agencies must follow strict protocol when investigating a law enforcement officer. The Florida law governing such situations is found at §112.532. An officer that is under investigation needs an attorney to answer questions and ensure the investigating agency follows the law. Some officers have faced retaliation for exercising their rights or have faced unwarranted demotion or discipline.
Constitutional and Civil Rights Issues We Assist With
- Freedom of Speech
- Fair Housing
- Americans with Disabilities Act
- Emotional Support or Service Animals
- Gun Rights
- Unlawful Arrest
- Right to travel
- Freedom of Association
- Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights