Asking for Help

 

The civil liberties we protect include freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, privacy, equality and due process. Most of the cases we bring are against the government because the U.S. Constitution applies only to government agencies, not private parties. However, we sometimes can use civil rights statutes to sue private institutions, such as employers, shopping centers, and health care providers, when a civil right (such as the right to be free from discrimination and the right to privacy) is protected by statute.

 

Due to the enormous demand for representation and our limited resources, the ACLU-MD is unable to represent everyone who may have valid legal claims.

If you want the ACLU-MD to consider handling your case you have two options: 1) call our Civil Rights Complaint Line or 2) contact us in writing.

 

PLEASE BE AWARE THAT WE DO NOT HAVE ANY IN-OFFICE APPOINTMENTS.

 

Call our Civil Rights Complaint Line:

The ACLU of Maryland has launched a new Civil Liberties Complaint Line to assist those who prefer to speak with a legal intake staff representative by phone.  Our Complaint Line is staffed by trained Intake Specialists.  The Intake Specialist will record all of your information and provide you with as much information as possible.  Please be aware that the Intake Specialists ARE NOT attorneys, and cannot provide legal advice.  If an Intake Specialist determines that the issue is one that our office may be able to assist with, the information will be relayed to our staff attorneys.  If an Intake Specialist feels that we are not able to assist in your particular matter, we will try to provide you with helpful referrals.

 

The Civil Rights Complaint Line is in operation on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 1:00 and 3:00 pm.  The phone number for the line is (443) 524-2558.

 

Contact us in writing:

Please write us a letter 1-5 pages in length following the guidelines listed below:  Include your name, mailing address, and phone number so that we may contact you. We do not require supporting documentation be sent, nor can we return any back to you, so you should not send us original copies of any documents. You can mention any supporting evidence you have in your letter and we will contact you if we need to examine it.     

 

Although we try to respond quickly to requests, it can take weeks or even months for us to determine whether we can assist you. If you are facing an immediate deadline, you should contact a private attorney for assistance.

 

The following questions may help you in writing your letter:

  • If your complaint involves a specific incident or series of incidents, what happened? Who was involved? Where and when did it happen? Were there witnesses, and are they willing to tell us what they saw?
  • In what way do you believe your rights were violated? Why do you believe this incident occurred?
  • What kind of resolution are you seeking? What would you like the ACLU-MD to do on your behalf?
  • Have you filed an administrative complaint or appeal? If so, has there been an outcome?
  • Have you contacted an attorney or other source of legal assistance? What was the result? Are you currently represented by an attorney? If so, have you told your attorney that you have requested our assistance? Will you authorize us to speak with her/him?
  • Are you aware of any deadlines you might be facing?

 

You may send us your written complaint for assistance via regular mail or by fax. Unfortunately, we cannot accept complaints via email. Our mailing address is: 3600 Clipper Mill Road, Ste. 350, Baltimore, Maryland 21211.  Our fax number is: 410-366-7838.