Government Law

San Francisco Bay Area Government Law Attorney

“When you need to sue a government entity or agency for personal injury or your civil rights or land use rights have been violated you need an attorney experienced in government law”.

San Francisco Bay Area attorney Michael S. Biggs has handled a variety of complex and esoteric government law cases, welcoming the challenges that they pose., Mr. Biggs is a tough and tenacious litigator who can think outside the box to develop strong arguments for your case. Biggs Law Office A.P.C. maintains offices in San Rafael at Northgate Terra Linda and San Francisco, representing clients in the California Superior Courts located in Marin, Sonoma, San Francisco, Contra Costa, Napa and Alameda Counties and the United States District Court. Mr. Biggs also is available to represent clients who are seeking a professional license defense attorney, or representation for personal injury, or trust estate litigation.

Legal Representation in Personal Injury Claims

If you have suffered a physical injury caused by public transportation such as buses or trains or on any government property/land whether it is local, state of federal, you will need to follow special preliminary procedures unlike other lawsuits. You must file a claim with the government agency responsible within six months of the injury before you can file a lawsuit in court. If you do not do this in a timely and proper manner you may be forever barred from filing a lawsuit in court. Mr. Biggs represents clients who need to file claims under the California Claims Act or the Federal Tort Claims Act.

Legal Representation in Civil Rights Claims

Mr. Biggs represents clients with civil rights lawsuits in federal court. The U.S. Constitution provides many layers of rights for people to be free from government abuse of power. When one of these rights is violated, a person can assert a constitutional tort claim against the responsible government body or agency to pursue compensation for their injuries or losses. Most often, these actions are filed pursuant to 42 U.S. Code § 1983

Section 1983 provides:

Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress.

An example of a civil rights violation is a government agencies failure to provide due process, which involves providing fair and equal treatment to each person in administrative processes. Due process violations may occur when the government fails to ensure that appropriate notice, hearings, and investigations are conducted in a reasonable and timely fashion and ensure that an individual is afforded all of his or her constitutional and statutory procedural rights. For example, the government may deprive someone of his or her real estate or contract property rights arbitrarily without providing adequate notice and hearings.

To recover damages under a Section 1983 claim, a person must show that the government agency such as a school or regulatory agency, acted under the color of government authority and deprived the person of his or her constitutional rights, or a right provided in a federal statute. The specific factual elements that the person must show vary depending on the right that was violated. It is important to conduct a thorough investigation before bringing a claim.

Protecting Your Rights to Your Land

Section 1983 lawsuits can also be used to protect rights in land from government encroachment. This is an esoteric area of law and Mr. Biggs has represented clients in federal court with these matters. When the government takes an action against your property or property rights that may be unjust, you are entitled to certain procedural and substantive due process protections. These mechanisms are designed to ensure that the government is not exceeding its authority and to provide property owners with notice of the impending action and an opportunity to challenge the action or to present evidence to the decision-making authority. An aggrieved property owner may be able to challenge the government entity’s actions on both substantive due process and procedural due process grounds.

From a substantive standpoint, regulations and ordinances affecting land and land rights must be directly related to the regulation’s purpose and may only impose the minimal amount of regulation necessary to effect the purpose of the law. The purpose of substantive due process is to provide protections against a government entity’s potentially arbitrary or capricious actions. To that end, in general terms a regulation is only legitimate if there is a rational basis supporting its adoption and if it is reasonably related to safety, health and welfare, or other public concerns. The government must be able to explain how the regulation accomplishes the underlying goal. If it cannot provide a rational explanation, the regulation may be overturned, or the specific action based on the regulation may be reversed.

Retain an Experienced Government Law Attorney in the San Francisco Bay Area

If you have a legal issue involving a government entity or agency, San Francisco Bay Area attorney Michael S. Biggs can help. He is a confident advocate in the courtroom, and he takes pride in maintaining strong lines of communication with clients, colleagues, and the courts. Mr. Biggs represents clients in the U.S. District Court, California Office of Administrative Hearings and California Superior Courts located in Marin, Sonoma, San Francisco, Contra Costa, Napa and Alameda Counties. Call us 415-789-5823 or contact us online to set up a consultation. Mr. Biggs also can represent clients who need a personal injury attorney, or representation for professional license law, business law or trust estate litigation.