Filing a Complaint with The Barnstable County Human Rights Advisory Commission

Note: There are multiple avenues of redress for those who feel they have been on the receiving end of a human rights abuse. See below for the additional offices that may be able to address potential human rights violations.

The Barnstable County Human Rights Advisory Commission (BCHRAC) is an advisory body established by Barnstable County to promote human rights for residents of, employees in, and visitors to Barnstable County (the fifteen Towns from Bourne and Sandwich to Provincetown). A complaint can be filed by a resident or a visitor to the area seeking assistance with an alleged human rights or civil rights violations that occurs within Barnstable County.

Important: You must read the following documents prior to completing and submitting the complaint with BCHRAC:

Barnstable County Human Rights Advisory Commission (BCHRAC) is an advisory body established by Barnstable County, to promote human rights for residents of, employees in, and visitors to Barnstable County (the fifteen Towns from Bourne and Sandwich to Provincetown).

The BCHRAC upholds the anti-discrimination laws of Massachusetts which protect all people in MA from being treated differently or unfairly based on their membership in a protected class.

We are here to assist with your concerns or complaints regarding a range of services if you feel you, or someone you represent, have been unfairly treated because of who you (or they) are.  The Complaint Intake and Referral form can also be used to report an incident, with no further action required of the BCHRAC.

Although we are a complaint intake and referral resource for the community, our investigative capacity and scope are limited.   We have some oversight of Human Rights matters and strongly advocate for rights of individuals, however we primarily function as an educational, advocacy and advisory board.  We will make every effort to ensure your complaint is heard and addressed.  We cannot guarantee the resolution that you desire but may be able to refer you to an agency which has enforcement powers; that is equipped to conduct a comprehensive investigation; and make a finding of civil rights or human rights violation or other legal, financial or personnel decisions.  We may also be able to help you to access mediation, training, or other services/agencies to help you reach a satisfactory resolution.  We will maintain a dialogue with you through the resolution process or up to the point when your complaint is closed or withdrawn.

Although all information provided will be considered privileged, the BCHRAC may need to reveal certain details with third parties to verify or gather additional facts. Please refer to the Consent Form for further details.

Please note:  Retaliation against a person for filing a complaint, or filing a complaint for the purpose of retaliation, is strictly prohibited.

We do not provide legal services.

A complaint can be filed by a resident or a visitor to the area seeking assistance with an alleged human rights or civil rights violation that occurs within Barnstable County.   A fully completed “Complaint Intake and Referral Form” and “Consent Form” are both required to initiate a review of your grievance. This form can also be used to report an incident, with no further action required of the BCHRAC.

The Complaint Intake and Referral Form has three sections: (1) about you or the present you are representing; (2) what happened; and (3) what action you would like the BCHRAC to take.

Questions in the shaded boxes MUST be completed if we are to help you.

If you are unable to submit the Complaint Intake and Referral Form and a Consent Form electronically, you may send a letter or e-mail to the BCHRAC, provided it includes all the information requested on those forms.  Documents can be mailed to the Human Rights Coordinator, P.O. Box 427, Barnstable, MA 02630 or e-mailed to allison.carter@barnstablecounty.org

Once the fully completed Complaint Intake and Referral Form and Consent Form are received, the BCHRAC Intake Committee will evaluate the written information and contact you to review your submission. The BCHRAC may request additional information to clarify the complaint and advise you of actions that can be taken to resolve the situation. Although all information will be considered privileged, the BCHRAC may need to reveal certain details with third parties to verify or gather additional facts.

The BRAC will keep you informed through the process as needed.  Upon completion of the BCHRAC’s review, a letter with the advisory board’s recommendations will be sent to you. Guidance provided may include referrals to other private or public agencies that have the jurisdiction and/or capacity to investigate and resolve the issues of human and civil rights violations. We may also direct you to various community resources that we feel would be helpful. You have the right to withdraw your complaint at any time, with written notice to BCHRAC. The BCHRAC will monitor complaints and track data regarding human and civil rights allegations in Barnstable County.

For questions about the filling out the Complaint Intake and Referral Form, or Consent Form, please contact us.

What is considered a civil rights violation?

https://parnalladams.com/what-is-considered-a-civil-rights-violation/

What are examples of Civil Rights Violations?

https://www.shubinlaw.com/examples-civil-rights-violations/

What is considered police harassment? 

https://www.attorneys.com/police-brutality-misconduct/

Contact us if you have any questions about this process.