Unfortunately, many people still suffer violations of their civil rights. While intending to respond promptly, other concerns may get in the way, causing a person to delay reporting or taking legal action.
Bureaucratic structures rarely make it easy to file or get a quick resolution. That is why people who believe they experienced a civil rights violation should understand the time limitations.
Encounters with law enforcement might include abuses of power. People who believe they experienced such an encounter must demonstrate that the officers in question acted unreasonably and willfully. A person may even be able to show that the action is part of a pattern and that the agency the officer represents bears some accountability.
The New Jersey Tort Claims Act allows a person 90 days from the date of the alleged misconduct to file a claim. The individual must serve a Notice of Claim that alerts the municipality and the officer of the intention to file.
Housing and workplace discrimination
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination aims to limit bias in housing decisions based on disability, race, religion, gender and many other factors. The law applies to housing providers and real estate agents. Individuals who believe someone violated their rights to fair housing have 180 days to file a complaint with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights.
The DCR investigates if the case appears to have merit. The division may transfer the case to a judge, conduct mediation or attempt other remedies.
A person can also file a lawsuit in New Jersey Superior Court. The plaintiff must file this suit within two years of the alleged offense.
Civil rights violations are painful incidents and damaging to the community. Anyone who suffers such an event should be aware of the time limits on reporting.