The ACLU of Pennsylvania is neither a government agency nor a general legal services organization, and we normally do not provide emergency services. Our capacity is limited by finite resources and personnel, and we are unable to pursue every case that comes to our attention. 

Instructions for Filing a Complaint

We ONLY accept complaints submitted through our online form. We DO NOT accept walk-ins or complaints via email, mail, or phone.

To file a complaint for a civil liberties violation that occurred in Pennsylvania, please complete our electronic complaint form here:

File a complaint online

Although we try to respond to each request as quickly as possible, it may take several weeks for a response. To get help more quickly, we suggest you call the United Way Helpline at 2-1-1 or visit their website They offer a 24-hour hotline that will connect you to appropriate referrals in your area.

We only accept complaints regarding civil liberties violations that occurred in Pennsylvania. If your complaint is about an incident that occurred in a different state, please click here for a national directory of ACLU offices.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania is a private, nonprofit membership organization. Our mission is to preserve and protect the civil liberties and civil rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, especially the principles contained in the Bill of Rights, and the Pennsylvania Constitution.

Our Legal Department receives several hundred complaints each month. Most of the complaints we receive do not fall within our mission either because they do not involve constitutional issues or do not involve system-wide reform issues.

Some of the issues we work on include:

  • Immigrants’ rights
  • LGBQ & transgender rights
  • Voting rights
  • Reproductive freedom
  • Bail reform
  • Inability to pay fines, costs, and restitution
  • Freedom of speech
  • Access to government information
  • Freedom of religion
  • Students’ rights

We generally DO NOT take the following types of cases unless they involve an illegal policy, pattern, or practice.

  • Individual criminal defense cases
  • Deportation defense
  • Housing disputes (e.g., landlord-tenant)
  • Employment disputes (e.g., over wages and hours)
  • Family law (e.g., divorce and custody)
  • Wills, estate planning, and probate

Please note that although our legal staff reviews every complaint submitted through the online form, we cannot respond to every request for assistance we receive. Please feel free to review our Know Your Rights materials for more information about your rights in Pennsylvania.