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Supermoto

Disabled College Student Threatened by Staff

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Hello. I am a disabled college student in Orange County, California. A staff member threatened and intimidated me (not physically, but it’s still a threat). My civil rights, student rights, and disabled rights have been violated. I am afraid to speak to the administrators due to retaliation by the staff member. I have contacted the District, but I have not heard back from them. Can you please tell me what type of case I have? Also, how do I search for a pro bono or contingency attorney? I am a disabled student and I do not have any income. I appreciate any information your share. Thank you very much.

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A staff member threatened and intimidated me (not physically, but it’s still a threat).

It may be "still a threat," but not all threats are the same. What exactly did this person do? And is this a private or public college (your reference to a "district" suggests the latter, but I don't want to assume)?

My civil rights, student rights, and disabled rights have been violated.

Maybe; maybe not. I'm not going to assume -- without factual information -- that your conclusion in this regard is correct.

Can you please tell me what type of case I have?

I'm not really sure what you mean by this (or why it might matter), but it obviously depends on the relevant facts. What I can tell you is that, generally speaking, the making of a threat does not give rise to any sort of civil lawsuit.

Also, how do I search for a pro bono or contingency attorney?

I have never heard of such a thing as a "pro bono . . . attorney." Certainly, there are public interest organizations that occasionally provide free legal representation to individuals, but they are few and far between. As far as a lawyer taking the case on contingency, again, it depends on exactly what happened and what damages you suffered (if any). A lawyer isn't going to take a case on contingency unless he/she believes your damages are significant enough that 25-40% of whatever you recover will make it worthwhile for him/her to spend however much time he/she believes will be necessary to spend on the case. Alternatively, a lawyer might take a case on contingency or without charge if he/she believes the representation will result in some other benefit to him/her. All you can do is contact some attorneys and see if they're willing to represent you on contingency.

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You've already posted about this in another forum (pg/calawyer chose to respond in both places, but I see nothing to add in either).

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Why has this person threatened you? Is he forcing you to do anything? Preventing you from doing a particular thing?

How is the threat manifested? What gestures or words are being used? It could be a case of assault if he is making a threat of physical harm. Assault requires no actual physical contact. If it is assault, you should contact a personal injury lawyer. Generally they take cases for free, but demand a big chunk of any money you win in a suit.

Again, it is important that you clarify how the threat is being manifested. If the guy/gal is calling you names, you could have a case of "intentional infliction of emotional distress." This kind of case is weak, though. For the case to be strong, the name-calling needs to have gone on repeatedly over a long period of time. Also, you must make sure you are not over-emotional. Courts don't care if a victim of emotional distress is sensitive. The bar is set for a normal emotionally stable person. If an emotionally stable person can be distressed by the name-calling (or whatever it may be), then you can recover money for it. This kind of case also is best for a personal injury lawyer.

I'm not sure that you have "student rights" other than getting what your tuition pays for. I'm not sure that you have "disabled rights" other than having proper access to buildings/places and not being discriminated against based on your disability. Civil rights? I don't know about that either, unless the person is using racial, religious, or other slurs/epithets. But you do have rights as a person. Your dignity and integrity ought not be violated by another.

If you feel threatened and you fear bodily harm or your fear that your life is in danger, please contact the police.

(This is not legal advice. This is not intended for your or anyone else's use.)

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