Civil Rights Litigation
Political rights in the United States are the cornerstone of our democracy. Our firm stands behind those who have faced retaliation or harassment because they ran for office, opposed powerful politicians, voted, reported crime, sought protection from courts or other services, joined a union, practiced their religion, complained to a public office, or spoke out for a cause they believe in. If you have been harmed because you exercised these kinds of civil rights, it does not matter who is behind the harassment, or how powerful they may be. We are committed to fighting injustices of this kind, and have experience in fighting and winning against judges, child protection officers, prosecutors, local police, courts, sheriffs, counties, cities, and the State itself.
If you are personally injured by a police officer, your constitutional rights are at stake. You need to speak with lawyers who will never back down in the face of powerful public interests. If you believe you have been illegally arrested, held without proper process, harmed by police brutality, or your property or friends or family have been illegally searched or questioned, you need help. Constitutional rights are not matters to be entrusted to just any lawyer. You need to speak with a lawyer who understands this particular area of the law and has a track record of success in bringing civil rights claims.
There is a saying that a “good lawyer knows the law, and a great lawyer knows the judge.” This saying speaks to the difference between book learning and actual experience in the courts. When you fight public corruption, you need both. Our lawyers have fought high-profile multi-year multi-million dollar battles with public entities over civil rights violations. Call if you would like to discuss your rights.
Salvatore Prescott & Porter attorneys have handled both individual and class action cases regarding conditions of confinement and other constitutional claims for prisoners. Although these are often difficult cases, we feel strongly about the importance of protecting constitutional rights at their core — where the State literally controls every aspect of the lives and liberties of its citizens. Among the cases we have handled are challenges to the State of Michigan’s practice of incarcerating youth with adult prisoners; First Amendment retaliation claims for prisoners who have been retaliated against by prison officials after they spoke up about sexual assaults and other misconduct by guards; and individual excessive use of force claims against corrections officers and police.
Salvatore Prescott & Porter attorneys have been involved in significant public interest impact litigation. We are co-counsel in both State and Federal court cases challenging the legality of Michigan’s practice of housing youth with adult prisoners within the Michigan Department of Corrections. Both Sarah Prescott and Jennifer Salvatore have served as cooperating counsel with the ACLU of Michigan. Representative cases include a case challenging that Catholic Health System’s religious directives, which prohibit physicians from terminating the pre-viability pregnancy of a woman suffering from pregnancy complications—even when such care is necessary to protect a woman’s health. We have worked on cases to establish a constitutional and statutory obligation to adequate reading instruction for public school students. We have challenged and forced the revision of the City of Detroit’s policy on “light duty” assignments for pregnant police officers. We have sought clemency petitions for prisoners on death row, and political asylum cases on behalf of women and children suffering persecution in their home countries.
Such cases—while difficult and primarily done on a pro bono basis—are, we believe, part of our responsibility as lawyers and civil rights advocates. We are very proud of this challenging work.