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Due process is one of those terms that is commonly heard but not so commonly understood. Due process actually has two different meanings. The term can refer to procedural due process or substantive due process. Procedural due process refers to the steps that the government must follow before it takes away a person’s freedom or property. At a minimum, the government must provide a person with notice and with an opportunity to be heard before taking away property or imprisoning someone. Substantive due process can be harder to define. Simply put, substantive due process refers to fundamental rights that are so important to individual liberty that the government cannot enact laws to restrict them absent a compelling reason. These rights include the right to privacy, the right to get married, the right to raise your children and the right to work. Both procedural due process and substantive due process are important protections to our freedom. Government violations of either type of due process are serious and may entitle you to damages.