The ACLU of the District of Columbia works to protect and extend civil liberties and civil rights in our local community, Washington, DC. We do this by filing lawsuits, educating the public, and lobbying the DC government. 

Para ayuda en Español, por favor llámenos al número en rojo al final de la página.

Before you write to us, please read this page. We take only take a limited number of cases, and with regret must turn down some requests even when serious injustice has occurred.

Our local focus:

If your complaint is not connected to the District of Columbia, look up your local ACLU affiliate to request legal help where the problem occurred.

Our cases:

We take cases about civil liberties and civil rights. Examples:

  • Freedom of speech and press.
  • Freedom of religion.
  • Freedom from unreasonable invasions of privacy.
  • Equal protection (freedom from discrimination).
  • Due process (the right to a fair procedure).
  • Police misconduct
  • D.C. jail conditions

We do not take these types of cases:

  • Denial of government benefits, such as unemployment or welfare.
  • Defense to a criminal charge.
  • Complaints against lawyers.
  • Problems involving taxes.
  • Cases about a person's immigration status.
  • Landlord-tenant disputes.
  • Divorce, child custody, or neglect matters

If your civil liberties or civil rights were violated, you may file a complaint with our office. (Here are some answers to FAQ’s about filing a claim with us.) If you wish to request legal help about a civil rights or civil liberties violation, you may leave a voicemail at 202-601-4269. Please note that leaving your email and/or mailing address will help us process your request faster. 


If you have a case not involving civil liberties or civil rights, please see our resource guide for help with other legal problems in the DC area.

Stay informed

ACLU of the District of Columbia is part of a network of affiliates

Learn more about ACLU National