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Pleading Civil Rights Claims

Illinois Bar Journal, Vol. 97, p. 156, 2009

3 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2009 Last revised: 9 Mar 2009

Jeffrey A. Parness

Northern Illinois University - College of Law

Date Written: January 27, 2009


Significant pleading challenges confront civil rights claimants in both federal and state courts. Issues include the choice of an appropriate forum; the sufficiency of the allegations; and, the requirements of culpability. Possible fora include not only federal or state general jurisdiction trial courts, but also state human rights commissions, and possibly state worker's compensation panels. Sufficiency may be guided by notice, Twombley or code pleading standards. Culpability assessments may vary between challenged legislative or executive actions. Two recent cases, one federal and one state, are used to illustrate the difficulties facing those pursuing due process or equality claims.

Keywords: pleading, civil rights, equality, due process

Suggested Citation

Parness, Jeffrey A., Pleading Civil Rights Claims (January 27, 2009). Illinois Bar Journal, Vol. 97, p. 156, 2009. Available at SSRN:

Jeffrey A. Parness (Contact Author)

Northern Illinois University - College of Law ( email )

Swen Parson Hall
DeKalb, IL 60115
United States

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