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thumb - On December 8, 1998, the United States Supreme Court struck a blow in favor of Fourth Amendment protection from unreasonable automobile searches!

Read the Court's decision case here! Knowles v. Iowa

thumb - On April 5, 1999 the United States Supreme Court entered an opinion that held: Police officers with probable cause to search a car, as in this case, may inspect passengers' belongings found in the car that are capable of concealing the object of the search.

Justice Stevens wrote a dissent with whom Justice Souter and Justice Ginsburg joined.

Read the Court's decision here! Wyoming v. Houghton


help - What are "Civil Rights" ?

A. - These are the rights and privileges granted to every person, both citizens and aliens in this country, by the Constitution of the United States!

The United States Constitution limits the powers of the government over its citizens and protects the citizens from governmental intrusion.


help - What constitutes a "Civil Rights" violation?

A. - A Civil Rights violation occurs whenever any person, acting under color of law subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the Unted States or other person within the jurisidiction theref to the deprivation of any rights, privileges or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws.


help - If I suffer a "Civil Rights" violation, what is my remedy?

A. - Title 41 U.S. Code, Sec. 1983 allows you to bring an action against any person who violates your Civil Rights

Persons who may be sued for Civil Rights under this Statute include:
  • Individuals
  • Cities - Under Certain Circumstances
  • Counties - Under Certain Circumstances
  • Independent School Districts - Under Certain Circumstances
  • Municipal Trusts - Under Certain Circumstances
Persons who may not be sued for Civil Rights under this Statute include:
  • Individuals not acting under color of law
  • The Federal Government
  • States and State Agencies have Eleventh Amendment protection from suit!
  • Indian Tribes


stop - Where do I file my lawsuit for Civil Rights violations?

copy 1999 - Glee Genealogy Graphics

A. - The lawsuit may be filed either in the U.S. District Court, or the State Court having appropriate jurisdiction and venue.

State Claims under the Governmental Tort Claims Acts may also be brought in the same action - both in State and Federal Courts.



warning - You should be aware that Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides for serious sanctions in the event the Court should determine that your action was brought frivolously or without foundation in law or fact! State Statutes also provide for sanctions for suits brought frivolously! In Oklahoma the Statute providing for sanctions is Title 12 O.S., Sec. 2011.

These State and Federal Sanctions apply to any type of action, not just Civil Rights Actions!

- You should also be aware that Civil Rights actions can be very time consuming and expensive.

Your should review our page FAQ - Why are Legal Costs So Expensive?

You may also want to review our FAQ - Schedule of Fees and Services


Fourth Amendment Violations

The Fourth Amendment to Constitution was added as part of the 'Bill of Rights' in order to protect the Citizenry from 'unreasonable searches and seizures'


Prior to gaining Independence from England the colonists faced the daily danger that government forces would make arrests for no reason - and make unannounced entry into private homes without justifiable cause.

Examples of the conditions they faced can be seen in old movies of 'Nazi Germany' - and other dictatorships.

  • Unwarranted stopping people on the street to ask for 'papers'.
  • Taking people into custody for questioning.
  • Going in to private homes on suspicion - or to satisfy curiosity.

It was to insure that the newly created government of the United States of America would be prohibited from continuing these practices that this Amendment was adopted.


The gist of the Fourth Amendment is that government officers may not arrest or detain persons within the jurisdiction, or search their homes or other property, without a warrant first being issued by a neutral magistrate.


There are many court created exceptions, but the burden is upon the government officer to show that such an exception exists.

It's true purpose was, and still is, to protect the citizen and all persons within its jurisdiction from an invasion of privacy and intrusion by government.

Unfortunately the Fourth Amendment, in modern times, has been viewed by the public as a haven for criminals and a refuge for people who have something to hide.

This prevailing view of the Fourth Amendment has largely been brought about by the adoption by the Courts of the exclusionary rule which prohibits evidence that has been obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment from being used in evidence.

In theory, the adoption of the exclusionary rule 'unreasonably' in violation of the Fourth Amendment while making searches and seizures.

A sort of 'penalty', for acting unlawfully.

Unfortunately this 'penalty' may be viewed as a 'prize' for the criminals.

However, most violations of the guarantees of the Fourth Amendment do not involve criminals or criminal activity - just ordinary people!


Not All Fourth Amendment Violations involve 'intentional' or 'bad' acts of law enforcement officers. Some occur simply because the officers may not be well trained, or at times may not exercise the prudence of a reasonable officer under the circumstances.

Many times citizens who may never have had contact with law enforcement officers may have suffered a deprivation of their Civil Rights without even being aware that their rights have been violated.

They may only feel that what happened wasn't right, and that although no permanent injury resulted, they may suffer fear - embarrassment - humiliation - anxiety - and a continuing misaprehension whenever they see a law enforcement officer.

At the very least, an invasion of privacy occurs!


Generally a Fourth Amendment violation also includes a common law tort, such as false arrest - assault - trespass and a Tort Claim should also be filed with the appropriate political subdivision.
See - FAQ - Governmental Tort Claims


Fourteenth Amendment Violations


gist of the Fourteenth Amendment is that government may not - make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.


Common Examples of violations of the Fourteenth Amendment include:
  • The City takes over or begins to use your property without your consent.
  • The City decides your building is delapidated - and tears it down.
  • The City refuses to issue you a license or permit without cause.
  • The City revokes a license or permit you have, without cause.
  • The City or School System makes rules that only apply to you!
  • Any action by the government that is arbitrary, capricious or unreasonable.



  • Review Case to Determine Whether Cause of Action Exists

  • Prepare and File Necessary Claims With Governmental Entities

  • Prepare Complaints and Other Pleadings Required

  • Preparation of Discovery Requests

    • Interrogatories
    • Requests for Admissions
    • Requests for Procuction

  • Research For Layman and Attorneys

    • False Arrest
    • Constitutional Deprivation

      • Fourth Amendment
      • Fourteenth Amendment - Due Process

  • Brief Writing For All Stages of Proceedings

  • Prepare Jury Instructions

  • Prepare Motions and Responses to:

    • Motions To Dismiss
    • Motions for Summary Judgment
    • Motions in Limine

  • Appeals to State Appellate Courts
  • Appeals to Circuit Courts
  • Appeals to United States Supreme Court



Our Fees for these Services are based on our regular hourly rate.

See - Schedule of Fees & Services

In Some Cases a 'Contingency Fee' arrangement may be arranged, after a deposit to cover anticipated expenses if an action is filed.

In Some Cases we are willing to associate with other attorneys in actions pending.

In All cases, charges will be made for actual expenses incurred, i.e., filing costs, costs of depositions, copying costs, binding costs, travel and long distance charges.



If you have a question of a general nature that you feel should be included in this segment, please let us know.

We also would like to receive comments and suggestions for better Answers.

Although we cannot give specific legal advice on the phone we are willing to answer questions of a general nature.

If your question is of general interest we may include your letter and our response as a part of our website.


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