Absolute v. Qualified Immunity in LeathermanProtection of municipality from being held liable under § 1983on respondeat superior theory does not encompass "immunity from suit"; unlike various government officials, municipalities do not enjoy immunity from suit, either absolute or qualified, under § 1983, and they can be sued under that section, but merely cannot be held liable unless policy or custom caused constitutional injury. 42 U.S.C.A. § 1983. First, the heightened standard cannot be justified on the ground that a more relaxed pleading standard would eviscerate municipalities' immunity from suit by subjecting them to expensive and time- consuming discovery in every § 1983case. Municipalities, although free from respondeat superiorliability under § 1983, do not enjoy absolute or qualified immunity from § 1983suits. Second, it is not possible to square the heightened standard applied in this case with the liberal system of "notice pleading" set up by the Federal Rules. Rule 8(a)(2)requires that a complaint include only "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." And while Rule 9(b)
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Pleading, Federal Rules, various government officials, respondeat superior theory