File a Complaint
If you are already familiar with our complaint process:
- Print and fill out our Complaint Form.
- If you have a complaint specifically about police misconduct, read What You Can Do About Police Misconduct, then use our Police Misconduct Complaint Form.
Not familiar with our complaint process?
Please read the following information below before filling out the form.
If you wish us to consider your complaint, please fill out a complaint form and mail it into our office at the address contained on the form.
The RI ACLU relies solely on volunteer attorneys to perform our legal work. We have no paid legal staff in our office. Therefore, we are not able to consult with you or provide legal advice over the phone or in-person regarding your complaint. Because we cannot guarantee confidentiality over the web, we also do not accept complaints by email.
As a general rule, the complaint process takes between 3-4 weeks.
If the RI ACLU declines your case or needs more information, you will usually be informed within that timeframe by mail or phone. If it is an emergency, we will try to review the matter as soon as we possibly can.
Our resources are very limited, and we can handle only a small number of cases that are brought to our attention.
We are funded through private donations, and we do not receive any government money. Because of this, we cannot take every worthy case that comes our way.
A decision that we cannot assist you is not necessarily a determination that you have no legal claims.
You should instead feel free to consult with a private attorney who can review your complaint in greater detail. In addition, if we believe there are other agencies or organizations that may be able to assist you, we will provide you with their contact information.
Although there are exceptions, examples of cases that the RI ACLU generally does not handle include:
Criminal cases; cases occurring outside of Rhode Island; divorce, child custody or support cases; private employment disputes; or other civil disputes between private individuals. If you are unsure whether your complaint involves a matter that falls within our jurisdiction, you can call our office at 831-7171 to make a brief inquiry.