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Lynne C. Wilson

Lynne Wilson’s Answers

2 total

  • Whats the statute of limitations for a wrongful termination/civil rights violations in Washington and involving an indian tribe?

    I was fired in August of 2012 and went through a grievance process that I was told to go through by the tribe that fired me. It took more than 3 months to have my hearing and after my hearing I was told I was reinstated. 2 weeks later I received a...

    Lynne’s Answer

    You will definitely need to hire an attorney who is familiar with the Constitution and laws of the Tribe that fired you. Most such cases need to be brought in Tribal Court first and it is very difficult to win there. Many tribes have one year statute of limitations for bringing suit and you are very close to that right now. There is also something called Tribal Immunity that limits what kind of suits can succeed. In addition, tribes are generally exempt from discrimination laws so that claim would not be available to you. A federal or state court would basically not be able to hear this case as the US Supreme Court has repeatedly held that where tribal officials are defendants, the case must be brought in Tribal Court. Perhaps an attorney who practices employment law near the tribe involved would be able to help you or would know someone who can.

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  • My brother is the victim of malicious harassment by the KCSO. They are relentless in intimidating and threatening him, and

    he just can't take it anymore. Who can help him? Where should he go for help? Please give any advice you can. Thanks!

    Lynne’s Answer

    The first thing your brother will need to do in this difficult situation is to somehow obtain at least the names (and possibly the badge numbers) of any deputies that he believes are harassing or intimidating him. He might also write down a narrative of exactly what has been happening, if he can. If the harassment has seriously interfered with his ability to live his life (i.e., work, driving, etc.), he should probably consult with a civil rights attorney before filing any written complaints on his own. He should also do this if he is facing any type of criminal charge. If the situation has not escalated that far, he can file a written complaint (including basic details and the officer's names and/or badge numbers) with: the Internal Investigations section of the KCSO at iiu.sheriff@kingcounty.gov. or he can call (206) 296-4200 to file the complaint. He should also file the complaint with the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington by calling 206-624-1204. Finally, he can file a complaint with the King County Office of Citizen Complaints/Ombudsman at:
    206.205.6338, email: ombudsman@kingcounty.gov. The Office of Citizen Complaints will not investigate until AFTER the Sheriff has completed its investigation, however.

    One of the big concerns that anyone in this situation has is whether or not the harassment/intimidation will escalate after the complaint is filed. This may or may not happen but if it does, your brother would have the right to file a second complaint and demand that the retaliation stop. It usually does not happen as the deputy will be on notice that his behavior is being evaluated.

    Unless there is some type of discrimination involved or your brother is being subjected to false arrest or malicious prosecution, the harassment will probably not rise to the level of a civil rights violation. His main recourse will be to file detailed written complaints with the IIU, the ACLU and the Office of Citizen Complaints. Even if the Sheriff's department does not sustain the complaint, it will be recorded in the deputy's personnel file and might subject him to a personnel action at some point down the road.

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