Governmental Wrongdoing

While much of our practice is focused on police misconduct, we often represent people who have been abused by other governmental agents. We have represented:

  • prisoners abused by correctional officers or denied medical care;
  • families of prisoners who committed suicide, despite warnings to prisoner officials;
  • immigrants detained illegally;
  • protesters defending politically motivated charges;
  • citizens whose communities were targeted for unlawful takeover by the State of Michigan;
  • non-profit organizations targeted by right-wing legislators; and
  • Detroit City Council in ousting a corrupt mayor.

Class Actions:

  • Mays, et al. v. Snyder, et al.: Goodman & Hurwitz, along with Pitt, McGehee, Palmer & Rivers, and Trachelle Young & Associates, have brought a class action lawsuit against Governor Snyder and others for their role in exposing more than 31,000 Flint residents to lead and other toxins in their water. Learn more at www.flintwaterclassaction.com.

Prisoner Rights:

  • Estate of J.S. v. Wayne County: A young man, in an altered state due to drug use and mental illness, assaulted a family member. Then, in remorse and grief, he threatened to kill himself and her if she reported it to the police. She nevertheless did report the crime and he was arrested and locked up. The victim made clear to the police that he was suicidal. He was then moved to the Wayne County Jail where he was not classified as suicidal or put on suicide precautions. He wrote a “kite” begging for help and threatened to hurt himself. It was ignored for days. He wept for several days; this was also ignored. Then, while a camera filmed him, he slowly and deliberately fashioned a noose and hung himself, while other prisoners screamed for help. All of this was ignored by Wayne County correctional officers. When they finally cut him down, he went into a seizure and Detroit EMTs covered his mouth, thereby further restricting his airway. As a result, the young man died and his family is left with the incredible double whammy of the original assault compounded with their feelings of guilt for his death. The case was settled.

Other Governmental Misconduct:

  • ACORN v. United States: Goodman & Hurwitz, P.C was co-counsel with the Center for Constitutional Rights, of New York City, on behalf of ACORN, in an historic action against the United States government. ACORN contended that congressional legislation that targeted the civil rights organization violated the bill of attainder clause in the Constitution. While the federal district court agreed with ACORN, the opinion was reversed by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
    Metro Times Article “Smashing ACORN” – 2/3/10
    Metro Times “ACORN Wins Again In Court”
  • Detroit City Council v. Kilpatrick: The Detroit City Council hired Goodman & Hurwitz, P.C. to represent Council in its constitutional struggle with the mayor over the failure to disclose his personal interests when settling a case for millions of dollars. Bill Goodman conducted historic public hearings on behalf of Council, wrote a widely acclaimed report and represented Council throughout gubernatorial removal proceedings to force the Mayor’s resignation.