NLG-LA Intake Form: Mass Protest Defense
We thank you for your courage in taking a stand against racist and oppressive systems and exercising your First Amendment rights to help create a more just society.

If you were arrested, cited, or ticketed for your participation in any social justice protests in the Los Angeles area, the NLG-LA's Mass Defense Committee (MDC) is here to support you through navigating the legal system post-arrest and help alleviate any confusion and anxiety you may have about what comes next.

Completing this form is a critical first step toward receiving legal support from the MDC. After you complete this form, we will assign a trained NLG-LA volunteer to conduct a more extensive intake interview with you to obtain additional information related to your arrest, citation, ticket and/or any police misconduct you observed or experienced during the protest. The information we gather through the intake interview will help the MDC advocate for charges to not be filed on your case and for those arrested with you & allow us to provide post-arrest legal support services including coordinating pro bono legal representation, providing specific advice related to your individual case, supporting with post-arrest related needs, and assessing if further advocacy or legal action is warranted to vindicate peoples’ rights.

Please Note: We try our best to schedule people for an intake interview shortly after their arrest, but since our intake process is entirely VOLUNTEER LED, it may take us a few weeks to pair you with an intake volunteer who can conduct your interview.

CONFIDENTIALITY: Maintaining confidentiality is of critical importance to the MDC. The information you provide in this form and through our intake interview will always be kept confidential and shall not be disclosed other than to NLG-LA employees, NLG-LA agents, NLG-LA attorneys, other NLG-LA volunteers (collectively, "Representatives") who need to know such Confidential Information to provide legal support services and/or pro bono legal representation.

DISCLAIMER: The Mass Defense Committee coordinates pro bono legal representation through its network of volunteer attorneys. Our ability to provide pro bono counsel will vary on a case-by-case basis depending on our volunteer capacity, the circumstances surrounding your arrest, and the specific facts of your case. Because our network is entirely VOLUNTEER LED, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to secure pro bono legal representation for every individual who reaches out to us for support.

A few additional notes:

1. Injuries: If you were injured by law enforcement during the protest, the arrest, and/or while in custody, it is a good idea to photograph your injuries and to document what happened as soon as possible. (This can be as simple as writing yourself an email describing what happened or journaling about it.) Please do NOT send any written record of your experiences to NLG-LA until you are contacted by an Intake Volunteer.

2. Social Media: Everything you post publicly on social media is very likely being surveilled by law enforcement. Be mindful of that when you decide what, if anything, to post.

3. "Late" Requests for Assistance: We will not be able to assist you if your court date is less than two weeks after the date you fill out this form. If your court date is approaching quickly, you have the option of having a Public Defender represent you (in which case, you just show up on the court date listed and ask for a PD) or of hiring a private attorney. The NLG-LA unfortunately cannot make referrals. However, please feel free to search the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers member directory if you would like a list of some of the private criminal defense attorneys in our area: https://members.nacdl.org/find-a-lawyer.

4. Witnesses: If you were not arrested, but you witnessed the use of excessive force, protesters getting injured, issues surrounding the length or type of confinement/detainment, etc., please report that here. This information will be reviewed to inform possible future lawsuits, police personnel complaints, and other legal advocacy or support as may be needed. (Skip the arrest-specific questions if you were not personally arrested.)

5. Statute of Limitations (i.e. deadline) - You may have a civil rights lawsuit for damages if your constitutional rights were violated by law enforcement and/or you suffered injuries as a result of an arrest or use of force by law enforcement. To protect your state law rights to claim damages, you must file a claim with the responsible government agency within six months of the violation of your rights. You do not have to submit a pre-filing claim to protect your federal civil rights.

Although the NLG-LA WILL NOT BE REPRESENTING YOU IN ANY CIVIL LITIGATION, individual lawyers who work with the NLG filed two class-action lawsuits: one against the Los Angeles Police Department and one against the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department for those arrested or injured by law enforcement in the George Floyd solidarity protests. If you were injured by either law enforcement agency during the George Floyd Solidarity Protests, your rights are already protected and you do not have to do anything more. A preliminary claim has also been filed with the Santa Monica Police Department and a class-action lawsuit will be filed soon. You can find out more about the LAPD case at the website protestslosangeles.com.

If you decide you want to file your own civil rights lawsuit, please contact The National Police Accountability Project (https://www.nlg-npap.org/) for a list of civil rights lawyers in your area.
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