Personal Injury, Probate, Employment, & Complex Litigation


Undocumented Alien's Right to Court System

The first amendment guarantees the right to, among other things, to “petition the government for a redress of grievance.” This is a fancy way of saying, you can use the court systems to sue another individual. This right to a court system is obviously a very fundamental right, as it protects all of us from improper conduct.

However, many people in our society treat undocumented immigrants (or any non-citizens for that matter) as if they have no rights, and unfortunately, many undocumented immigrants believe that to be the case.

It is not. The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees that the government cannot deprive “any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” What this has been interpreted to mean, is that due process of the law applies to everyone, including undocumented immigrants (Zadvydas v. Davis (2001) 533 US 678.). Specifically, just because you are not a citizen of the United States does not mean that you cannot use the court system of the United States, and in fact, your use cannot be infringed.

So, whether or not you have the proper documentation to live in the United States, you have rights, including the ability to ensure your rights are not encroached upon by others. 

Evan Cote