Backdoor Municipal Immunity
11 Pages Posted: 10 May 2022
Date Written: April 22, 2022
Although the Supreme Court has ruled that local governments are not entitled to qualified immunity, five federal circuits have concluded that granting an officer qualified immunity dooms a failure to train claim against the municipality. The logic is that local governments cannot train officers about law that is not “clearly established.” This short Essay argues that this backdoor municipal immunity is contrary to Supreme Court precedent and available evidence about the role of court decisions in police policies and training and should be rejected by the Court.
Keywords: qualified immunity, municipal liability, civil rights litigation
JEL Classification: K40, K41, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation