Requesting Help from the ACLU This forum was established by the American Civil Liberties U

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Requesting Help from the ACLU This forum was established by the American Civil Liberties Union to provide basic information on civil rights and the Constitution. The ACLU cannot process requests for help or legal advice that are sent through electronic mail nor is this forum a means for individuals to file a complaint with the ACLU. In no way does information gathered from this forum constitute an official endorsement by the ACLU of any specific legal claim. Please understand that the ACLU has limited resources and staff and is not able to pursue every case that comes to our attention. It is difficult to generalize about the type of cases the ACLU handles, but most of our cases focus on instances where government has infringed upon a person's privacy, religion, or speech or where the government has not followed proper procedures. We also handle cases involving discrimination on the basis of such things as a person's race, gender or sexual orientation. Even when a case falls under the listed criteria, this is not a guarantee that we will be able to handle the case; we try to concentrate on cases that will have a broad impact on a large number of people. In general, we do not handle cases involving such things as evictions, other tenant-landlord disputes, criminal prosecutions, divorce, child custody, or wills, unless they raise broader concerns. If you believe that your civil liberties have been violated and would like to receive help or information from the American Civil Liberties Union, it is necessary to put your request in writing and mail this request to the affiliate office of the ACLU in your state. The ACLU has affiliate offices in most of the fifty states. A directory of affiliate offices is provided in this gopher. The facts of your case will be reviewed, and, depending on the available resources, the ACLU will determine whether or not assistance can be provided. Your letter should consist of a short summary of the pertinent issues. Please try and tell the affiliate the following: * what rights you feel have been violated * the facts of your situation * whether and what kind of documentation is available to support the facts * the individuals or agencies you are complaining about * what you would like the affiliate to do * your return address and phone number Please do not send any original documents. Should the affiliate need further information, they will contact you for this information. Because of the volume of such requests and our limited number of staff, please put all requests in writing. Neither the ACLU or its affiliates have the capability to handle large numbers of phone calls.

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