How to Request Legal Help from the ACLU

Our Intake Department is operating at a limited capacity until further notice. Although we are reviewing all requests for assistance submitted through our online form, we will no longer be able to respond to each request. Thank you for your understanding.

To obtain information or ask about assistance, you may contact us through our website, by telephone, or by mail. We only respond to letters addressed directly to us and do not respond to copies of letters sent to others. Response time varies but typically ranges between four and six weeks, depending on the volume of requests we receive. We review complaints in the order they are received but can provide a faster response if you provide an email address.

Due to our limited staff and resources, in-person intake interviews are not possible. The ACLU-NJ will try to accommodate individuals who cannot correspond with us because of a disability.

The ACLU-NJ does not make referrals to individual attorneys. If you are looking for an attorney referral, please consult your county bar association for a referral.

To contact us online

If you wish to file a complaint online, please use our Online Complaint Form. The form will get your complaint to us quickly. A response from us could still take as long as six weeks. Please see “What to include in your complaint” below for the information you should provide us.

To contact us by phone

Volunteer counselors answer calls on the ACLU-NJ Intake and Referral Line at 973-854-1719. Due to a high volume of calls, a counselor may be unavailable. Please note that we do not accept voicemail messages or return missed calls.

The counselor may be able to provide general information over the telephone. Depending upon the issues that you raise, the counselor may ask you to send additional information. If the ACLU-NJ cannot help you, the counselor will try to refer you to an organization that may be able to.

What to include in your complaint

Describe in your own words what happened to you, including dates, places, and the names and titles of the people directly involved.

These are the types of questions to keep in mind as you describe what happened:

  • How were your rights violated?
  • What explanation, if any, was given for what happened?
  • Why do you think this happened to you?
  • Have you taken any steps to resolve this issue? (For instance: filing a grievance, contacting another agency or organization, or going through an appeals process)
  • If yes, where and what did you file, and what was the result?
  • What would you like the ACLU to do concerning this matter?
  • What documentation do you have on the matter? Please provide us a list of relevant documents or additional materials related to the incident, but do not send those materials.
  • Are you presently represented by an attorney in the matter you are writing about? Please note that if you have an attorney assisting you with this matter, and she or he believes there is a significant civil liberties issue involved, you must have your attorney contact us directly rather than contacting us yourself.
  • If you are writing on behalf of another person, please provide the person's name. Also state your relationship to the person and provide any contact information you have for the person.

The ACLU of New Jersey maintains the confidentiality of all information we receive. We may wish to share this information with other legal organizations while investigating complaints, but we will always seek your permission before doing so.

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