The Legal Observer Program 

The Central Valley NLG offers legal observer services to assist local activist groups in expressing their constitutional right to free expression.  Our Legal Observers (LOs) act as eyes and ears on the ground to monitor law enforcement during direct actions such as protests, marches, sit ins, and more. You will see us out and about in our bright green hats with notebooks in hand during local events.

What are legal observers?

  • Eyes and ears on law enforcement to monitor for constitutional violations
  • Collect evidence and take notes to support activists targeted by law enforcement during any subsequent legal proceeding
  • Neutral parties not affiliated with the specific protest– LOs are unbiased, objective, and there to take accurate notes
  • A deterrent for unconstitutional police action

What legal observers are not:

  • Crowd control, traffic control, media spokespeople
  • Providers of any kind of legal advice or information
  • Conflict resolution personnel
  • Part of the protest or affiliated with the protest
  • There to monitor other protesters– remember, we are there to monitor law enforcement.

How do I request Legal Observers for my event?

If you are interested in requesting legal observers for your event, please fill out this form: Legal Observer Request Form


How do I become a legal observer?

Our team offers an annual legal observer training. This training covers the role of the legal observing team, the requirements for legal observers, and what types of behavior to track.  If you would like to become trained as a legal observer, please monitor our Facebook page and this website ( for upcoming trainings.  If you have a large group of individuals you would like trained, please email us and we may be able to set up a training.