Federal Jurisdiction & Procedure.docx

C local entities if π proves custom or policy can

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c. Local entities : if π proves custom or policy (can sue for damages). d. Local official in personal capacity : NO custom or policy showing required when π sues local official for damages in their personal capacity. i. But gets qualified immunity defense for acts done in reasonable GF; standard is whether a reasonable officer would have known that acts violated clearly established constitutional right.
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e. No punitive damages – π may not sue local entity or official acting in official capacity (ex. a City). f. Punitive damages available – from local officials acting in personal capacity if can show deliberate indifference to constitutional rights . g. Common law immunities [not yet tested] – protect GF actions of local officials when sued in personal capacity in suits for damages ; such immunities do NOT protect local entities or local officials when sued in official capacity. i. Test : whether objectively reasonable officer should have known that his actions violated Const. if yes, personally liable. 1. NO immunity from suits for injunctive relief. ii. Judges – absolute immunity from damages for judicial acts (ex. trying case; no injunctive relief available); qualified immunity for administrative or executive actions (hiring bailiff). iii. Prosecutors – absolute immunity when trying state’s case in capacity as judicial officers; qualified immunity for investigative activities, rendering legal advice, or other non-judicial functions of office; no immunity against suits for injunctive relief. iv. Legislators – absolute immunity for legislative acts (integral step in legislative process); no damages or injunctive relief. v. Private parties – who act in concert with immune state officials, and thereby under color of law for §1983 purposes still get no immunity of their own . Abstention Doctrines * 1. Pullman abstention * – court retains jx but sends parties to state court for determination of unsettled issue of state law. a. Federal court must abstain from exercise of jx : i. Where π brings a federal court suit to enjoin enforcement of a state or local statute, and ii. Following conditions are met : 1. П’s claim is based on federal constitutional grounds , and 2. There is a threshold issue of unclear state law in the suit whose resolution could render the federal court’s decision on the constitutional question unnecessary . b. Procedure for invoking – Motion to Abstain of party or sua sponte . c. Consequence – proceedings stayed : federal court stays its proceedings and tells the litigants to file an action in state court in order to get the answer on unclear state law question. Once such an answer is obtained – may return to federal court to have federal issue heard if not mooted by resolution of state law issue. d. State law issue clear – federal court need not abstain and can dispose of state law issue itself if state law question’s answer is fairly clear ; abstention only appropriate if state law is fairly/obviously susceptible to reading that would dispose of federal constitutional issue.
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  • Spring '14
  • CatherineLacroix
  • Common Law, Supreme Court of the United States, federal court, SMJ

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