Civil Rights Litigation

Since the opening of his law practice, David has represented plaintiffs in difficult civil rights cases against government agencies and those acting on behalf of the government.

Civil Rights Litigation Image

These cases have included actions against law enforcement agents and their agencies for the use of excessive force and wrongful deaths, cases against local jails and state prisons over their conditions, voting rights and ballot access cases for small political parties and independent candidates, and many other kinds of civil rights claims and claims brought under the Federal Tort Claims Act.  Through class actions he has brought in this area, David has been able to bring about systemic change in many public services systems, including Alabama’s public school, foster care, and indigent defense systems, and in its jails and prisons. In individual cases, David has obtained injunctive relief and significant money damages for his clients. Representative civil rights cases are listed in the “Cases” section of this website.

According to the ABA, federal judges interviewed in connection with David’s national pro bono publico award, David I. Schoen has brought about more positive change in public institutions in the South through his civil rights litigation than any lawyer of this era.

Here are some of David’s recent civil rights cases:

At the request of the ACLU, David recently represented the Alabama voter before the United States Supreme Court in the landmark Voting Rights Act case Shelby County v. Holder.

In another series of cases, David briefed and argued a case before the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals that led to a landmark decision striking down a provision of Alabama’s Community Notification Act that discriminated against indigent and homeless criminal defendants.  See State v. Adams.

David has filed a civil rights action in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against the Sheriff of Broward County, FL, a deputy, and the County, alleging the unconstitutional shooting of a 33 year old African-American IT engineer named Jermaine McBean and a conspiracy to cover-up the true facts of his homicide at the hands of the Sheriff’s deputy. The case also alleges systemic problems within the Sheriff’s Office with respect to the use of deadly force against civilians. The trial court recently denied the deputy’s claim of qualified immunity and the case is pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on the deputy’s appeal. Important developments in the case have been widely reported in the media.
. The case is Young v. Peraza.

David has successfully brought challenges to ballot access laws in states around the country. His cases have struck down unconstitutionally restrictive ballot access laws in Alabama, Illinois, Maryland, and the District of Columbia and other cases are pending.

David filed a civil rights arising from the death of an African-American army veteran who was locked up in a county jail for missing a child support hearing he didn’t even know about. The veteran began showing signs of physical distress from the first day of his incarceration and he was left to lie on the ground in agony, unable to eat or drink anything for a week. At the end of the week, he died from the perforated ulcer he had and that the jailers and medical staff left untreated. After two years of pre-trial litigation, the federal government admitted liability for wrongful death and medical malpractice by the medical staff it provided at the jail and after the U.S. Court of Appeals rejected the jailers’ immunity claims, the victim’s claims were settled.

Please contact David I. Schoen, Attorney at Law for a consultation so that we can investigate your claim and initiate the necessary legal action (334) 395-6611.