Section 1983

35 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2014

See all articles by Martin A. Schwartz

Martin A. Schwartz

Touro College - Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center

Leon Z. Friedman

Hofstra University - Maurice A. Deane School of Law

George Pratt


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Date Written: 1991


In the late 1980’s, the Supreme Court had been very actively involved in shaping the contours of the law of § 1983 and § 1988 attorneys' fees. It seems noteworthy that in that era, in which the Court has been widely criticized for cutting back on civil rights, especially in employment discrimination cases under Title VII and § 1981, that the Court had continued to give a generally pro-plaintiff interpretation to § 1983. For the most part, the Court's work in 1989 involved not the breaking of new ground but rather the refining of areas in which the Court had been previously involved.

As part of a Symposium discussion, Martin Schwartz analyzes the § 1983 cases decided in the 1989-90 Term by addressing the following topics: first, the doctrine of Parratt v. Taylor; second, the question of enforcement of federal statutes under § 1983; third, state court § 1983 actions and specifically the application of state law sovereign law immunity to a section § 1983 claim brought in state court; fourth, the question of the remedies that a federal court may award in a § 1983 action; and finally, statutory attorneys’ fees.

Keywords: Section 1983 litigation, U.S. Supreme Court, Parratt v. Taylor doctrine, enforcement of federal statutes, state law sovereign immunity, remedies, statutory attorneys' fees

Suggested Citation

Schwartz, Martin A. and Friedman, Leon Z. and Pratt, George, Section 1983 (1991). 7 Touro L. Rev. 285 (1991), Touro Law Center Legal Studies Research Paper, Available at SSRN:

Martin A. Schwartz (Contact Author)

Touro College - Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center ( email )

225 Eastview Drive
Central Islip, NY 11722
United States

Leon Z. Friedman

Hofstra University - Maurice A. Deane School of Law ( email )

121 Hofstra University
Hempstead, NY 11549
United States

George Pratt


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