Section 1983 Civil Lit

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Civil Rights Outline

Contents

Introduction3

42 U.S.C. § 19833
Monroe v. Pape & Related Cases3
11th Amendment4
Exceptions to 11th Amendment State Sovereign Immunity5
The 11th Amendment and § 19837

Suits Against Officers8

Bivens8
Rejecting or Limiting Bivens8
Official Immunity9
Absolute Immunity10
Legislative Immunity10
Judicial Immunity10
Witness Immunity11
Prosecutorial Immunity11
Qualified Immunity12
Sequence of Analysis (“The Order of Battle”)13
Appealability of the Denial of Qualified Immunity15
“Reasonableness”15
Qualified Immunity Comparison with Liability Rules17
Evolution of Qualified Immunity17
Governmental Liability19
Official Policy or Custom20
Four Incoherences in § 1983 Law22

Remedies for What Wrongs?23

Constitutional Rights Enforceable Under § 198323
Reputational Harm24
Failure to Protect from 3rd Parties25
State of Mind in Constitutional Torts26
Procedural Due Process Violations27
Substantive Due Process Violations28
Non-Constitutional Rights Enforceable under § 198329
§ 1983 and Implied Private Rights of Action31

Damages32

Compensatory Damages32
Punitive Damages33
Punitive Damages for Municipalities34
Attorney’s Fees35
Identifying a Prevailing Party36
Administrative Success36
Nominal Damages36
Catalyst Theory36
Determining Fee Awards37
Multiple Claims38
Reasonable Rates39
Contingent Fees39
Administrative Proceedings39
Risk Enhancement39
Attorney’s Fees & Settlement Negotiations41
Fee Waivers41
Rule 6841

Administration of the Civil Rights Acts: Intersections of State and Federal Law42

§ 1983, Habeas Corpus, and Res Judicata42

Additional Reconstruction Litigation47

§ 1982 – Freedom of Property48
§ 1981 – Freedom to Contract49

Structural Reform Litigation50

School Desegregation51
Prisons54
Strategies to Limit Structural Reform56

Class Themes57

Remedy Shapes the Right57
Statutory versus Common Law Construction57

Introduction

42 U.S.C. § 1983

• “Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law [allows monetary damages], suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress.”

Monroe v. Pape & Related Cases

• Home Telephone & Telegraph Co. v. Los Angeles (p. 44), 1913 o Conduct violative of state law can constitute action under the color of law for the 14th Amendment ▪ This is a broader conception of state action than that cited in Monroe

• United States v. Classic (1941)
o Misuse of power, possessed by virtue of state law and made possible only because the wrongdoer is clothed with the authority of state law, is action taken “under color of” state law.

• Screws v. United States (1945)
o 18 U.S.C. § 242, the criminal counterpart to § 1983, applied criminal liability for “willful” acts ▪ Specific intent was required for § 242, but is not required for § 1983 o § 1983 should be read against the backdrop of tort liability that makes a man responsible for the natural consequences of his actions

• Williams v. United States (1951)
o A person who acts under the apparent authority of state law may be held liable even if the conduct violated state law

• Monroe v. Pape p. 32 (1961)
o Monroe created constitutional torts – federal private right of action for monetary damages for violations of federal constitutional...
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