Government Misconduct Attorney in Seattle, Washington
Civil rights are the rights enumerated in and protected by the U.S. Constitution. Specifically, the Constitution limits the government’s power to infringe upon citizens’ civil rights and protects people from different forms of government misconduct, including unlawful searches and seizures, discrimination, harassment, and others.
Unfortunately, government entities and their representatives do not always respect the rights guaranteed to citizens by the U.S. Constitution. If you feel that your civil rights were violated by the government or its representative, you may have grounds to pursue a claim for government misconduct.
As a government misconduct attorney at The Law Office of Dan N. Fiorito III, I am dedicated to protecting the rights and freedoms of clients across Western Washington. With an office in Seattle, I serve all of Washington, including Tacoma, Everett, the Puget Sound Area, and Bellevue.
Government misconduct occurs any time a government entity or its representatives (officials or employees) misuse their power and authority and/or infringe upon an individual’s rights or freedom. When this happens, the government or its representatives should be held accountable for the violation.
Government misconduct can occur at a federal or state level. Some of the most common examples of government misconduct include but are not limited to:
Excessive use of force
Due process violation
Tampering with evidence
Fabrication of evidence
Suppression of exculpatory evidence
Unreasonable searches and seizures
First Amendment violation
Equal protection violation
These and other acts constitute government misconduct. However, pursuing a civil lawsuit against a government entity or its representatives can be complicated due to potential sovereign immunity issues.
Understanding Sovereign Immunity
The term “sovereign immunity” refers to a legal doctrine that protects government entities and their employees by making them immune from civil suits or criminal prosecution. Thus, no person can sue a sovereign body (a federal or state government entity) or its representatives (employees and officials) without the government’s consent.
Federal sovereign immunity. At a federal level, sovereign immunity prevents people from suing a federal government without the entity’s consent. The only exception is if an individual is filing a claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA).
State sovereign immunity. At a state level, sovereign immunity doctrines vary from one state to another. Washington abolished the doctrine in 1961. In other words, the state government in Washington is not immune from tort suits by individuals. However, anyone who wants to file a lawsuit against the state government in Washington must follow strict procedural requirements to sue it for misconduct.
Schedule a consultation with a government misconduct attorney in Seattle, Washington, to discuss the applicability of sovereign immunity doctrines in your particular case. At The Law Office of Dan N. Fiorito III, I analyze each client’s individual case to help them understand if they have grounds to file a lawsuit against a government entity or its employees for misconduct.
Filing a Claim Under The Federal Tort Claims Act
The Federal Tort Claims Act was enacted in 1946. The legislation sets forth procedures that allow individuals to sue the government or its employees for negligent or wrongful acts resulting in injury, death, or property damage. The FTCA provides a means for compensating claimants in the form of monetary damages when specific criteria are met. A claim under the FTCA can be successful if the claimant can prove the following:
They were injured, lost a loved one, or their property was damaged by an employee of a federal government entity;
The employee was acting within the scope of their employment or office;
The employee’s conduct can be described as “negligent” or “wrongful”; and
The employee’s negligent or wrongful conduct was a direct or proximate cause of the injury, death, or property damage.
When filing a claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act, you need to gather and submit sufficient evidence establishing the above-mentioned elements. Contact a knowledgeable attorney to help you prepare an FTCA claim and navigate the claims process.
Government Misconduct Attorney Serving Seattle, Washington
As an attorney who practices both civil and criminal law, I am equipped with the vast legal knowledge to assist clients in government misconduct cases. If you believe your civil rights were violated by a government entity, contact The Law Office of Dan N. Fiorito III to determine if you have grounds to sue the government. You can schedule a consultation with a government misconduct attorney in Seattle, Washington, to discuss your potential claim.