Civil Rights & Police Misconduct

All citizens — even jail inmates — have civil rights. If a governmental agent's action or inaction allows a citizen to be injured, civil rights laws may provide compensation. The statute of limitations for federal civil rights claims is generally 3 years, and the statute of limitations for state claims is generally 2 years — although there are exceptions. The key to all civil rights cases is pre-filing investigation, if time permits.

Our Michigan Civil Rights Attorneys

For more than 30 years, Parsons Law Firm has represented clients in this specialized area of law, on a limited basis, to help victims and reinforce society’s sense of fair play and Due Process. If you think we may be able to help you with a Michigan civil rights case, we welcome you to contact us for a free, confidential consultation.

Michigan Civil Rights Cases

These cases are examples of some of our past successes*:

Sexual Assault in Daycare: $1,000,000 Verdict / Settlement

A man abused his own children, so they were placed in a “safe house.” Social workers later assigned the man to work at a children’s daycare, where he raped and abused numerous children. We sued the daycare and the State of Michigan, and achieved a combined $1 million verdict and settlement. The key to this lawsuit was dogged determination — we filed a federal suit, a state appeal, and eventually, at trial, we proved that the daycare and state failed to screen caregivers. We went to the top of the state administration to learn the truth, and we changed the way daycare workers are screened.

Drowning Rescue Interference by Police: $1 Million Verdict / Settlement

A young man was pushed or jumped off a bridge in Manistee. Two local scuba divers arrived at the scene, but were ordered not to go in the water. We proved the Sheriff had a “turf war” with rescue divers. This case lasted 9 years. We filed 3 successful appeals of adverse rulings. We retained the best experts (US Coast Guard Director of Safety; US Dive Rescue training director). Learn more about this case in the Traverse City Record Eagle.

Jail Hanging: $600,000 Settlement

A young man hung himself after 70 days in jail on his first DUI. He survived but suffered brain damage. We proved it was not an accident. When he protested jail policy, a jailer dared him to hang himself.

Denial of Medical Care in Jail: $750,000 Settlement

A 67 year old man was found unconscious and was taken to jail on suspicion of intoxication. When jailers realized he needed medical care, they transported him to another county jail. After 4 days, the client's brain swelling left him permanently disabled. We sued both counties.

Jail Hanging: $350,000 Settlement Shortly After Filing Suit

A young man hung himself after jailers tried a “scared straight” program that backfired. (Jailers told the boy another inmate would rape him.)

Jail Sexual Contact: $175,000 Settlement

A woman inmate was forced to have inappropriate sexual contact with a jailer. We proved the jailer had a prior incident.

First Amendment (Free Speech) Violation: $135,000 Settlement

The client, age 81, put up a political sign in the window of her subsidized housing apartment. The Housing Commission retaliated by evicting her. We proved in state court and federal court that her Constitutional rights were violated. Learn more about this case in the Traverse City Record Eagle.

For More Information on Your Legal Rights

For more information and to discuss your legal rights, we welcome you to contact Parsons Law Firm in Traverse City. We work with clients in cases throughout Michigan and are pleased to offer a free, no-obligation consultation.

* These civil rights cases are chosen from many more, to illustrate some of the variety of the issues we have dealt with.