Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1464806
 


 



Why Will Won’t Destroy Section 1983 Damages Actions


Robert D. Bartels


Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

1991

Criminal Law Bulletin, Vol. 27, p. 59, 1991

Abstract:     
In a recent article in the Criminal Law Bulletin, David L. and Lynne W. Abney concluded that the United States Supreme Court’s recent holding in Will v. Michigan Department of State Police was 'deceptively direct.' State officials are not liable in damages actions under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for acts that those state officials have committed within the scope of their official duties.” Moreover, the Abney’s suggested that a Section 1983 plaintiff could not 'avoid the effect of Will by simply designating the action as a suit against the state official in his or her individual capacity.' This broad and far-reaching interpretation has some apparent support in a portion of one sentence of the Court’s opinion. This article argues, however, that when one considers that sentence in the factual and legal context in which Will was decided, both the holding and the implications of Will become much narrower. The article suggests that the holding is limited to the viability of Section 1983 damages against states or state officials who are sued in their official capacities, and holds no implications for Section 1983 actions against state officials in their personal capacities.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 8

Keywords: Section 1983, civil rights, official capacity

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Date posted: August 31, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Bartels, Robert D., Why Will Won’t Destroy Section 1983 Damages Actions (1991). Criminal Law Bulletin, Vol. 27, p. 59, 1991. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1464806

Contact Information

Robert D. Bartels (Contact Author)
Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ( email )
Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States
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