Absolute v Qualified Immunity

Absolute v Qualified Immunity - Absolute v. Qualified...

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Absolute v. Qualified Immunity in Leatherman Protection of municipality from being held liable under § 1983 on 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 § 1983 case. Municipalities, although free from respondeat superior liability under § 1983 , do not enjoy absolute or qualified immunity from § 1983 suits. 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) requires greater particularity in pleading certain actions, it does not include among the
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This note was uploaded on 04/03/2008 for the course LAW Civ Pro I taught by Professor Colangelo during the Spring '08 term at SMU.

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