It's not an easy call. Many civil rights attorneys are sole practitioners, and are forced to take cases that will allow for them to pay their bills, support their families, and otherwise survive. From what you have stated, it does appear that you might have a claim, and that claim could exceed even a hard material damages estimate of $20K. But first, you need to be prepared to find a competent civil rights attorney -- and you may need to be prepared to invest some of your own money to press a suit that could go on -- easily -- for a couple of years.
The Brett Law Firm, P.A.