Civil Rights

CJP works to protect the constitutional rights of all people. 

The U.S. and Pennsylvania constitutions guarantee rights to all people,  including immigrants, prisoners, and parolees. CJP enforces important civil rights where many low income people are being harmed.

Some rights we've fought for include:

Right to Appeal Court Cases Regardless of Their Income

 

The Constitution requires that Pennsylvania’s court system be open and accessible to all people regardless of their income, including the right to appeal decisions by Magisterial District Judges.

 

Jones v. Lamb et al., No. 05-1052 (W.D. Pa. 2008)

Right to Protection from Discriminatory Taxation on Property

 

The Pennsylvania Constitution requires property taxes to be uniform, so that everyone within a  local taxing area pays the same amount of tax on the same value of property. Where the system used by local government causes the owners of low valued homes to pay a higher percentage of tax on the actual value of their homes that the owners of highly valued homes, the system violates the Constitution.

 

Pierce v. Allegheny County, (Pa. S. Ct., U.S. S.Ct.)

White v. Allegheny County, et al. (Pa. S. Ct.)

Right to be Free from Unreasonable Search and Seizure

 

When police know or should know they have entered the home of a person without consent and without a warrant authorizing a search, they must immediately withdraw.

Taveras, et al. v. Feissner, et al. (3d Cir.)

Right to Receive Information in Your Own Language

Organizations that receive Federal funding must provide interpretation to non-English speakers, regardless of immigration status, and in some cases must translate vital documents.

City of Hazelton

Protections for Undocumented and Documented Immigrants From Local Government Abuse

 

State and local governments may not pass laws that punish or discriminate against undocumented immigrants where such laws conflict with the federal government’s authority to regulate immigration into this country and enforce immigration laws.

 

Lozano, et al. v. City of Hazleton (3d. Cir.)

 

 

Rights of Persons Classified as “Sexual Offenders”

 

Local ordinances and other state-directed practices may not be used to limit unduly where persons classified as “sexual offenders” under Megan’s Law may live.

 

Fross v. Allegheny County (3d Cir., Pa. S. Ct.)

Davidson v. McVey et al. (W.D. Pa.)

Barge v. Pa. Department of Corrections et al. (Pa. S.Ct.)

 

 

Rights of Probationers

 

Persons on probation may not be incarcerated for violations of their probation without due process of law.

 

Menifee et al. v. McVey, No. 09-104 (W.D. Pa. 2009).

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