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Learn about your legal rights and get help with a legal matter.

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Understanding your rights is the first step to protecting them. When can the police stop you – and what can they legally demand? You have freedom of speech, but are there some things you cannot say or do? What are your rights at school? ACLU legal experts answer essential questions about your rights in a series of Know Your Rights guides. See our full list of Know Your Rights materials.

Before you submit a complaint, please read the information below.

Important: Because of the time involved in reviewing complaints, please be careful when requesting assistance for an issue with an upcoming deadline. If you are facing an upcoming court date or similar deadline, you should continue to seek legal assistance elsewhere while we investigate your complaint. Typically, we need at least 3-4 weeks, and sometimes much longer, to respond and cannot guarantee that we will provide you with direct legal representation or advice once we have reached a decision.

How you can contact the ACLU Foundation of Northern California

1. Submit a complaint by phone

Hotline hours: 
Monday - Friday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
English & Español: (415) 621-2488
For deaf and hard of hearing callers, please use the online form below.

Contact the civil liberties hotline to have your legal issue reviewed by ACLU-NC staff. The hotline is staffed by trained volunteer counselors who will bring your matter to the attention of the ACLU-NC legal team if you have a complaint that fits the listed criteria. The volunteer counselors are not attorneys themselves and cannot give you legal advice or refer you to a private attorney, but if possible they may refer you to another resource or agency. Their response, if any, to you should not be interpreted as a legal opinion.

You may contact the civil liberties hotline by phone, this email form, or by mail. Please note that walk-ins are not accepted and you will be redirected to the civil liberties hotline.

2. Submit a complaint electronically

Please be as brief and concise as possible

Contact and Demographic Information

What is your ethnic/racial background?

Information About Incident

This Legal Intake form does not give legal advice, and you should not rely on it as legal advice. You should not rely on the information you get from this site and should speak with a lawyer to get advice on your specific situation. The ACLU-NC cannot promise that the information on this site is complete, accurate, or up-to-date.

This Legal Intake form is not a solicitation or an offer by the ACLU Foundation of Northern California to represent you. We cannot promise you that the information you provide will lead to any specific action on the part of ACLU-NC.

By submitting information via this Legal Intake Form, you are not creating an attorney-client relationship with the ACLU Foundation of Northern California. If you fill out this Legal Intake form, you agree that ACLU-NC or the national ACLU may use the information you give us, as long as we don’t include your name, address, email or phone number, for one or more of the following purposes: (1) legislative testimony, (2) litigation; (3) contacting a city, state or federal agency; or (4) telling your story to the public, including the media. If ACLU-NC or the national ACLU wants to identify you, we will contact you prior to doing so.

We will keep your name, address, telephone number and email confidential unless you give us permission to use it or unless we are ordered to turn it over by a court (although we will attempt to prevent any disclosure).

3. Submit a complaint by mail

Send a 1-page letter only (due to limited capacity, additional pages will be discarded).

Civil Liberties Intake Program
ACLU Foundation of Northern California
39 Drumm Street
San Francisco, CA 94111

Please submit a brief letter outlining your situation. Please do not submit originals or several copies of documents as their safe return to the sender can't be guaranteed. If the ACLU-NC wishes to follow up with you for more information, sending additional documents would be appropriate at that time. ACLU-NC's small staff is unable to carefully review much of the supporting evidence received, as the San Francisco office alone receives thousands of letters requesting legal assistance each year.