HAVE YOUR CIVIL RIGHTS OR CIVIL LIBERTIES BEEN VIOLATED?

If you are seeking legal assistance, please see instructions below.

The ACLU of Massachusetts works to preserve and protect the civil rights and civil liberties guaranteed by the U.S. and Massachusetts Constitutions and laws.

We are very interested in hearing about civil rights or civil liberties issues in Massachusetts. Learning about these experiences helps us set priority areas for our advocacy in the courts, in the Legislature, and in the community, even when we cannot get directly involved in a specific case.

Our legal department works on issues such as freedom of speech and press; privacy; freedom of religion and separation of church and state; immigration; police misconduct; criminal law reform; access to government documents and officials; discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation or identity, national origin, or disability, particularly by law enforcement and other government actors; and other issues of fair treatment by government.

We generally do not represent individuals unless an individual case creates an opportunity for law reform on an issue that is an ACLU of Massachusetts priority. We do our best, however, to provide suggestions of alternative resources you may want to contact.

If you want to bring one or more of the above civil rights or civil liberties issues to our attention, here’s how to contact us:  

Online

You may submit a request via our online form available HERE. Please include your name, telephone number, email address and a brief description of the legal problem, even if you cannot complete the whole form. 

Phone

Call the ACLUM offices at 617-482-3170 ext. 301 (or if you are in Western Massachusetts 413-586-9115) and leave a message with your name, telephone number, email address if any, and a short description of the issue you are calling about. We will do our best to return your call although we cannot promise how soon. When leaving a message please speak slowly and clearly.

FOR CERTAIN PRISONERS ONLY — Mail

Please do not send us mail unless you are in a state, federal, or local prison or jail, AND are experiencing issues with obtaining Medication for Addiction Treatment, or have concerns about how the facility is handling the COVID pandemic.  If you meet these criteria, you may mail a letter to:

ACLU of Massachusetts
Attn: Legal Resources Team
211 Congress Street, 3rd Floor 
Boston, MA 02110.

As noted above, however, we will not be able to respond promptly to requests received by mail. If you are seeking help for someone incarcerated in a state facility, you may want to contact Prisoner’s Legal Services.

Our office only handles matters arising in Massachusetts. If you live in another state, you can find your local ACLU affiliate here.

Please note that ACLUM generally does not help with or respond to requests for assistance on the topics listed below.

On these and other matters, you may want to seek legal assistance through the Massachusetts Bar Assn (MBA) Lawyer Referral Service at 617-654-0400 or online. Information about others you may want to contact for help can be found by clicking on the links in each topic. Please note that any content or links to these resources exist solely for informational purposes. ACLUM does not promote or exclusively favor any of the listed resources, but instead mentions them as a neutral, separate third party. ACLUM also cannot guarantee that the information provided is up-to-date.

Housing or Homelessness, including evictions or neighbor-to-neighbor conflicts.

Q.Housing or Homelessness, including evictions or neighbor-to-neighbor conflicts.
A.

Housing and homelessness:

• Eastern Regional Legal Intake (ERLI): 617-603-1700; https://vlpnet.org/get-help/
• Local legal services offices — go to https://www.masslegalservices.org/FindLegalAid
• Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless: 781-595-7570; https://mahomeless.org/

Housing discrimination:
• The Fair Housing Center of Greater Boston: http://www.bostonfairhousing.org/ 
• The Massachusetts Fair Housing Center (Western and Central Massachusetts): 413-539-9796; http://www.massfairhousing.org/   

Child Custody, Child Support or Department of Children & Families issues (unless related to Medication for Assisted Treatment)

Q.Child Custody, Child Support or Department of Children & Families issues (unless related to Medication for Assisted Treatment)
A.

Custody:
• Women’s Bar Foundation : 617-973-6666 ext. 2216
• Local Legal Services program (income eligibility requirements): https://www.masslegalservices.org/FindLegalAid  
• MA Bar Association (MBA) Lawyer Referral Service: (617) 654-0400 or (866) 627-7577; https://www.masslawhelp.com/

Custody concerns involving DCF and its services:
• Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) Children & Family Law Division (CAFL): (617) 482-6212; https://www.publiccounsel.net/dir/boston cafl/ 
• Office of Child Advocate (e.g., access to service, custody, foster care issues): 617-979-8360; https://www.mass.gov/orgs/office-of-the-child-advocate

Child support:
• DOR/Child Support Enforcement Unit: 800-332-2773; https://www.mass.gov/orgs/child-support-enforcement-division
 

Education (unless related to suppression of free speech, search or seizure of electronic devices, racially hostility or discrimination)

Q.Education (unless related to suppression of free speech, search or seizure of electronic devices, racially hostility or discrimination)
A.

Children’s Education:
• Children’s Law Center: 888-543-5298 (Help Line); http://www.clcm.org/
• Mass. Advocates for Children: 617-357-8431; https://www.massadvocates.org/
• EdLaw Project (representation in Boston only), State-wide Help Line: 617-910-5829; https://www.clcm.org
• MA Dept. of Elementary & Secondary Education (SPED, discipline, bullying, racism, etc.) 
- Office of Student & Family Support: 781-338-3010; http://www.doe.mass.edu/sfs/ 
- Problem Resolution System Office:  781-338-3700, http://www.doe.mass.edu/prs/

Complaints about Attorneys or Judges (other than misconduct by prosecutors)

Q.Complaints about Attorneys or Judges (other than misconduct by prosecutors)
A.

• Attorney and Consumer Assistance Program, Board of Bar Overseers (assistance with questions/problems/complaints about lawyers):  617-728-8750; https://www.massbbo.org/Complaints
• Commission on Judicial Conduct (investigates complaints about state judge’s conduct, NOT their decision):  617-725-8050;  http://www.mass.gov/cjc/

Consumer Protection

Q.Consumer Protection
A.

• The Consumer Division of the Mass. Attorney General’s office: 617-727-8400;  https://www.mass.gov/how-to/file-a-consumer-complaint
• MA Office of Consumer Affairs Hotline: 888-283-3757; https://www.mass.gov/how-to/file-a-consumer-complaint
• National Consumer Law Center (Boston): 617-542-8010; https://www.nclc.org/for-consumers/how-to-get-legal-assistance.html   
• Greater Boston Legal Services: 617-603-1234; https://www.gbls.org/what-we-do/consumer

Criminal Defense (other than police targeting on the basis of poverty or homelessness, religious beliefs, or exercise of free speech rights; recording of the police; misconduct by prosecutors or sheriffs; or issues related to the Farak or Dookhan drug lab scandals)

Q.Criminal Defense (other than police targeting on the basis of poverty or homelessness, religious beliefs, or exercise of free speech rights; recording of the police; misconduct by prosecutors or sheriffs; or issues related to the Farak or Dookhan drug lab scandals)
A.

• MA Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (MACDL): https://macdl.com/
• MA Bar Association (MBA), Lawyer Referral Service: (617) 654-0400 or (866) 627-7577); https://www.lawyerlegion.com/lawyer-referral-directory/massachusetts/
• Local Bar Association (check your County Bar)

Elder/Senior Issues

Q.Elder/Senior Issues
A.

• AG Office, Elder Hotline: 888-243-5337
• Exec Office of Elder Affairs: 800-922-2275; https://www.mass.gov/service-details/ombudsman-programs
• MA Senior Legal Hotline: 800-342-5297; https://www.mass.gov/service-details/ombudsman-programs
• Elder Law Project of Women’s Bar Foundation: 617-651-2357; https://www.wbawbf.org/wbf-projects/
• Local Legal Services program: https://www.masslegalservices.org/FindLegalAid

Employment

Q.Employment
A.

• Fair Employment Project: 617-902-0192 (low income); http://www.fairemploymentproject.org/
• GBLS Employment Project for Low Wage Workers: 617-371-1234; https://www.gbls.org/our-work/employment
• AG Fair Labor Hotline (workplace rights/compliance): 617-727-3465
• Fair Work, PC.: 617-607-3260; https://www.fairworklaw.com 
• National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) (attorneys for employees): https://exchange.nela.org/memberdirectory/findalawyer

Environment

Q.Environment
A.

• Conservation Law Foundation: 617-350-0990; https://www.clf.org/
• MA Dept. of Environmental Protection: 617-292-5500; https://www.mass.gov/orgs/massachusetts-department-of-environmental-protection
 

Firearms

Q.Firearms
A.

• Gun Owners Action League (GOAL): https://goal.org/firearms-attorney-listing-massachusetts-goal/; 508-393-5333
• Comm2A: https://comm2a.org/ 
 

Health Care, including Mental Health and involuntary commitment

Q.Health Care, including Mental Health and involuntary commitment
A.

Health Care:
• Health Law Advocates: 617-338-5241 (low income)
• AG Health Care Div. (HIPPA, unfair practices): 888-830-6277
• Health Care for All (info, advocacy) helpline: 800-272-4232

Mental Health/Involuntary Commitment:
• Mental Health Litigation Division, CPCS: 617-988-8341
• Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee (MHLAC): 617-338-2345 ext. 4; http://mhlac.org/contact-us/
• De Novo (formerly CLSACC): 617-661-1010; https://www.denovo.org/

Sexual Assault/Harassment/Cyberstalking

Q.Sexual Assault/Harassment/Cyberstalking
A.

Sexual Assault:
• Safelink – Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault (24/7 Hotline): 877-785-2020; https://casamyrna.org/
• Boston Area Rape Crisis Center: https://barcc.org/help/yourself/survivor/legal
• Victim Rights Law Center: 617-399-6720; toll free: 877-758-8132 Ext. 19 
• MA Office Victim Assistance (crisis intervention/referrals): 617-586-1340

Harassment in public:
 • hollaback, people power movement/website to end harassment in public: https://www.ihollaback.org/

Cyber stalking/online harassment:
• Mass. Attorney General’s Office: 617-727-2200; https://www.mass.gov/info-details/cyber-crimes
• Other online resources: https://www.tripwire.com/state-of-security/security-awareness/what-cyberstalking-prevent/; https://www.reputationdefender.com/blog/privacy/how-prevent-or-defend-against-online-stalking; https://us.norton.com/internetsecurity-how-to-how-to-protect-yourself-from-cyberstalkers.html

Sex Offender Registration

Q.Sex Offender Registration
A.

• CPCS Alternative Commitment & Registration Support Unit: 617-482-6212; https://www.publiccounsel.net/pc/alternative-commitment-and-registration-support-unit/
• MA Sex Offender Registry Board: 978-740-6400; https://www.mass.gov/orgs/sex-offender-registry-board

Veterans/Military Issues

Q.Veterans/Military Issues
A.

• Shelter Legal Services, VLP: 857-317-4474; https://vlpnet.org/
• BBA Military Legal Hotline: 800-552-7046; https://bostonbarlawyer.org/pages/areas-military
• Veterans’ Legal Services : 857-317-4474; https://veteranslegalservices.org/
• MA Dept. Vet. Services: 617-210-5480; https://www.mass.gov/orgs/massachusetts-department-of-veterans-services

Lawyer Referral Services/Bar Associations

Q.Lawyer Referral Services/Bar Associations
A.

• Massachusetts Bar Assn (MBA) Lawyer Referral Service: 617-654-0400; https://www.masslawhelp.com
• Boston Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service: 617-742-0625; https://bostonbarlawyer.org/ 
• County Bar Associations – Bar Associations have Lawyer Referral Services, and often “Reduced Fee” and/or “Pro Bono” panels.  Some staff “Attorney for the Day” at their respective Probate & Family Courts, organized by counties:

Barnstable https://www.barnstablecountybar.org
Berkshire https://www.berkshirecountybar.org
Bristol https://www.bristolcountybar.org
Dukes  
Essex https://www.essexcountybar.org
Franklin https://www.franklincountybar.org
Hampden http://www.hcbar.org/
Hampshire http://www.hampshirebar.org/
Middlesex http://www.middlesexbar.org/newSite/LRS.html
Nantucket  
Norfolk http://www.norfolkbarassn.org/
Plymouth http://www.plymouthcountybar.com/
Suffolk https://www.scba.org/new/
Worcester http://www.worcestercountybar.org/