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What is the statute of limitations period to file a civil case on civil rights violations?

Los Angeles, CA |

What is the statute of limitations period to file a civil case on civil rights violations? I reported the violations to the authorities, but so far I haven’t heard anything, and I don’t want time to go by without at least filing a civil suit, if that is even possible. Large corporation involved.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Violations of the Unruh Civil Rights Act (as set forth in CA Civil Code section 51 et seq.) has a one year statute of limitations.

    Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This Avvo.com posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.


  2. The statute of limitations varies the upon the legal basis for the claim. There are a number of things that could trip you up here and it would be wise to consult with an attorney where you can layout the facts in an interview. Depending upon the nature of your claim it may be necessary for you to file an administrative claim before going to court and sometimes the fuse on filing such claim is relatively short. Don't sit on your rights.

    This answer is made available by the above lawyer for educational purposes only. It is also offered as a public service to give you general information and a general understanding of the law. This answer is not intended to give you specific legal advice. By using or participating in this site you understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. And, no attorney-client relationship has been formed. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance. Only when a complete interview takes place is it reasonable to rely on legal advice.


  3. You need to consult an experienced civil rights attorney so that you do not lose the ability to sue under state law as well as federal law. Typically, you would need to file a government tort claim to preserve California State law claims within 6 months of the incident. For federal claims pursuant to USC 1983, typically 2 years. Most experienced civil rights attorneys will want to make sure to preserve the right to file in state court as well as claims pursuant to the Unruh Act and federal claims, and then decide whether to file in state or federal court depending on damages and the ability to obtain attorney fees. Consult an experienced civil rights attorney in your area as soon as you can to discuss your case!

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