"A civil rights claim arises when an individual or group asserts they have been discriminated against on the basis of their race, sex, religion, age, physical limitation, or previous condition of servitude. Most litigants in civil rights disputes are required to seek administrative remedies involving federal agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), in the case of employment discrimination, or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in the case of housing discrimination. Litigants not satisfied with these administrative outcomes can file a civil rights lawsuit in the federal courts to seek monetary or injunctive relief."


Tracey Kyckelhahn and Cohen, Thomas H., "Civil Rights Complaints in U.S. District Courts, 1990-2006," Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report, (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, December 2001), NCJ 222989, p. 1.