Deadline nearing for Inauguration Day protesters considering lawsuits

WASHINGTON — July 20 will mark six months since President Donald Trump’s inauguration, and it’s an important date to keep in mind for those who were protesting in D.C. that day.

Last month, the ACLU of D.C. filed a lawsuit on behalf of four people who believe they were mistreated by D.C. police on Jan. 20.

Since then, the group says it has received questions from others who are considering lawsuits, and wondering how to proceed.

“A lot of people don’t realize that in order to sue the District of Columbia, except on constitutional claims, you need to file what’s called a notice of claim letter, informing the D.C. government formally that you have a claim against it,” said ACLU of D.C. senior staff attorney Scott Michelman.

Those letters must be received by the city within six months after the alleged incident, or July 20 in this case.

But Michelman says those protesters who were charged with crimes that day need to be cautious when writing a notice of claim letter.

“They should check with their lawyers and be careful not to say anything that they don’t want used against them at their criminal proceedings.”

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter and anchor at WTOP.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2021 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up