CALIFORNIA RALPH ACT ATTORNEY
The Ralph Act, Civil Code Sections 51.7 and 52, states that it is a civil right for a person to be free of violence or its threat against the person or his or her property based on a wide range of personal characteristics, including sexual orientation or the perception of sexual orientation. The Ralph Act (and the Unruh Act) is enforced by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
The Ralph Act provides for civil penalties up to $25,000 in fines for perpetrators of a hate crime and remedies for the victims of hate crimes of three times the actual damages, but no less than $1,000, plus punitive damages and attorney’s fees.
If you have been the target of a hate crime, E&L, LLP may be able to help. Our lawyer-advocates have a solid grounding in California statutes designed to protect people from LGBT hate crimes and to seek financial compensation and damages from those who commit such crimes.
If you have been a LGBT victim of a hate crime, our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis to recover money damages for you. You pay no fees or costs upfront. If there is no recovery, there is no fee.
If you believe that you, or a loved one, has been the victim of a hate crime, contact the law firm of E&L, LLP to schedule a consultation. Our Los Angeles attorneys have substantial experience representing individuals concerning issues. Contact us through our website or by calling 213-213-0000.
CALIFORNIA CIVIL CODE SECTION 51.7
(a) All persons within the jurisdiction of this state have the right to be free from any violence, or intimidation by threat of violence, committed against their persons or property because of political affiliation, or on account of any characteristic listed or defined in subdivision (b) or (e) of Section 51, or position in a labor dispute, or because another person perceives them to have one or more of those characteristics. The identification in this subdivision of particular bases of discrimination is illustrative rather than restrictive.
CALIFORNIA CIVIL CODE SECTION 52
(b) Whoever denies the right provided by Section 51.7 or 51.9, or aids, incites, or conspires in that denial, is liable for each and every offense for the actual damages suffered by any person denied that right and, in addition, the following:
(1) An amount to be determined by a jury, or a court sitting without a jury, for exemplary damages.
(2) A civil penalty of $25,000, to be awarded to the person denied the right provided by Section 51.7 in any action brought by the person denied the right, or by the Attorney General, a district attorney, or a city attorney. An action for that penalty brought pursuant to Section 51.7 shall be commenced within three years of the alleged practice.
(3) Attorney’s fees as may be determined by the court.
(c) Whenever there is reasonable cause to believe that any person or group of persons is engaged in conduct of resistance to the full enjoyment of any of the rights described in this Section, and that conduct is of that nature and is intended to deny the full exercise of those rights, the Attorney General, any district attorney or city attorney, or any person aggrieved by the conduct may bring a civil action in the appropriate court by filing with it a complaint. The complaint shall contain the following:
(1) The signature of the officer, or, in his or her absence, the individual acting on behalf of the officer, or the signature of the person aggrieved.
(2) The facts pertaining to the conduct.
(3) A request for preventive relief, including an application for a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order, or other order against the person or persons responsible for the conduct, as the complainant deems necessary to ensure the full enjoyment of the rights described in this Section.
(f) Any person claiming to be aggrieved by an alleged unlawful practice in violation of Section 51 or 51.7 may also file a verified complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing pursuant to Section 12948 of the Government Code.