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.

Why do you only take a limited number of cases?

The ACLU of the District of Columbia is a small office, so we take cases that we think will help clarify the law so that civil liberties are better protected across the board. Even still, we must turn down requests where real injustice has occurred because we simply do not have the resources.

Why else might the ACLU not take my case?

Since our resources are slim, we choose cases where we can argue about the law, not the facts. Even if we believe that real injustice has occurred, we prioritize taking cases where the facts are clear. For example, if there were no witnesses or evidence, we may not take the case.

What does it cost?

ACLU representation is free.

What if my legal problem isn’t about civil liberties or I don’t hear from you fast enough?

Please see our resource guide for other sources of help.

Do you still take cases arising in Maryland?

No. We used to work in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, but now we only work in the District.

Are there deadlines associated with my legal claim?

Yes. All legal claims have deadlines, even if the government infringed on your civil liberties, since the courts want to avoid assessing matters that happened long in the past. Because claims have deadlines, it is a good idea to start looking for a lawyer as soon as you know, or think, you have a legal claim. Contacting the ACLU-DC does not make the ACLU-DC responsible for helping you know or meet any deadlines. We will take on that responsibility only if we agree to represent you through a signed letter.