Fundamentals of Section 1983 Litigation
26 Pages Posted: 9 May 2014
Date Written: 2001
This Article consists of excerpts from the author's presentation made at the Practising Law Institute's 16th Annual Section 1983 Civil Rights Litigation Program. Herein, the author addresses the fundamentals of Section 1983 litigation using a hypothetical fact pattern in a typical police misconduct case, together with a discussion of the relevant case law. The first part of the Article addresses the elements of the Section 1983 claim: a) deprivation of a federally protected right; b) causation; c) a “person” within the meaning of section 1983; and d) action under color of state law. The second part of the Article analyzes the immunity defenses, including absolute immunity and qualified immunity and its underlying issues. Lastly, the author addresses the issues that arise in claims seeking to prove municipal liability.
Keywords: Section 1983 litigation, deprivation of a federally protected right, causation, action under color of state law, immunity defenses, absolute immunity, qualified immunity, municipal liability
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation