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Indiana Civil Rights Laws

The phrase “civil rights” can conjure many different notions: from Rosa Parks and women’s rights movement to gay marriage and fair housing laws. But what do civil rights laws actually cover? And how do state civil rights laws differ from each other and from federal laws? Here is a brief summary of civil rights laws in Indiana.

Civil Rights Laws

Civil rights generally refer to the collective rights of individuals to receive fair and equal treatment under the law. The majority of civil rights laws come from the federal government, particularly those resulting from the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In addition to race, gender, and other classes protected by federal law, Indiana civil rights laws also prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and ancestry.

Civil Rights Laws in Indiana

Below is a chart listing Indiana’s laws on civil rights in various contexts, including pertinent code provisions, whether private civil rights actions are permitted, and applicable statutes of limitations.

Code Section

22-9-1-1, et seq.


Civil Rights Commission

Administrative Preemption


Private Action Permitted?


Attorney Fees Recoverable by Plaintiff?


Statute of Limitations

Not specified

Filing Civil Rights Claims

Every state has its own state civil rights office charged with protecting the civil rights of the state’s residents. Typically, these commissions will work to eliminate cases of discrimination by enforcing the state’s civil rights laws. Commissions can handle cases of discrimination in housing, employment, places of public accommodation, and more. The Indiana Civil Rights Commission can answer questions relating to discrimination in employment and school as well as provide forms and resources for filing civil rights claims.

If you believe you have been the victim of a civil rights violation, there are several options and requirements when it comes to filing a civil rights claim. Generally, you will have the option of filing a lawsuit against those responsible for any harm suffered as a result. There are, however, a few things to consider before filing a lawsuit for a civil rights violation. In some cases there may be a requirement that you file a government claim before filing a lawsuit, and the type of claim may determine whether you must file in state or federal court.

Related Resources for Civil Rights Laws:

Figuring out what kinds of actions are covered under state and federal civil rights laws can be confusing. If you would like legal assistance with a civil rights matter, you can contact an experienced civil rights attorney near you and schedule a consultation to discuss your case. You can also visit FindLaw’s Civil Rights section for more introductory articles and materials on this topic.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

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