The Attorney General's Office reviews and responds to civil rights complaints alleging deprivations of, or interference with, civil rights and civil liberties. The AGO may bring enforcement action, where appropriate, may mediate disputes, or may refer complainants to other resources.
The AGO investigates and litigates matters that impact the civil rights and civil liberties of residents and visitors in the Commonwealth. Through the Civil Rights Division, the AGO:
- Provides information to residents of, and visitors to, Massachusetts about civil rights and civil liberties, including answering questions from the public directly, making referrals to other organizations or government agencies, and offering information to assist residents in locating an attorney.
- Accepts and reviews complaints alleging violations of civil rights throughout the Commonwealth.
- Brings enforcement actions under state and federal laws that prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, financial services, public education, and public accommodation on the basis of disability, race, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, age, veteran or marital status, and receipt of public assistance.
- Enforces the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act by obtaining civil rights injunctions to protect victims of bias-motivated threats, intimidation, coercion and violence.
- Advocates for civil rights and civil liberties by reviewing policy and legislation and filing amicus briefs in civil rights cases.
- Prosecutes housing discrimination cases under M.G.L. c. 151B when the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination has made a finding of probable cause of discrimination and the case has been removed to Superior Court.
The AGO does not provide legal representation for individuals. If you wish to obtain individual legal representation you may consider contacting the Massachusetts Bar Association at (617) 654-0400 to obtain a referral to a private attorney. For a list of legal services organizations in your area, you may contact Massachusetts Legal Services.
View the video below for more information about the Civil Rights Division in American Sign Language.