Nahmod Law

Reed v. Goertz: A New Supreme Court §1983 Accrual Decision

In a much-read post on statutes of limitation and §1983, I discuss the important principle that §1983 accrual rules are matters of federal law. (See

In related subsequent posts and in my Treatise, I address the special accrual rule of Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994), where the plaintiff has a prior conviction whose validity might be implicated by a successful §1983 action; Wallace v. Kato, 127 S. Ct. 1091 (2007), the accrual of §1983 Fourth Amendment false arrest claims; McDonough v. Smith, 139 S. Ct. 2149 (2019), the accrual of §1983 fabrication of evidence claims; and Thompson v. Clark, 142 S. Ct. 1332 (2022), accrual on favorable termination of §1983 Fourth Amendment “malicious prosecution” claims. See Chapter 9 in Nahmod, CIVIL RIGHTS AND CIVIL LIBERTIES LITIGATION: THE LAW OF SECTION 1983 (2022-23 ed.)(West/Westlaw).

Now comes Reed v. Goertz, 143 S. Ct. — (April 19, 2023), reversing, 995 F.3d 425 (5th Cir. 2021), where the plaintiff inmate, sentenced to death for murder, sued state officials for prospective relief under §1983 alleging that, in violation of procedural due process, he was denied access to physical evidence that he wanted to test for DNA, Ruling that this claim, filed in August 2019, was time-barred under the applicable two-year Texas personal injury statute of limitations, the Fifth Circuit found that the plaintiff first became aware that his rights were possibly being violated when a trial court denied his motion for post-conviction relief regarding DNA testing in November 2014. At that time, he had all of the relevant information he needed and, moreover, was not required under §1983 to exhaust judicial remedies. Thus, under the discovery rule, he knew or should have known of his alleged injury five years before he sued. The Fifth Circuit rejected the plaintiff’s argument that his cause of action accrued in October 2017 when, following appeal of the trial court’s denial of his motion and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals’ affirmance of that denial, it denied rehearing in October 2017.

The Supreme Court, agreeing with the plaintiff, reversed in an opinion by Justice Kavanaugh and found the plaintiff’s §1983 claim timely. It determined that because the plaintiff’s §1983 claim sounded in procedural due process, that denial of procedural due process was only complete in October 2017, when the Texas Court of Appeal denied rehearing. It was only at this time that the state court litigation effectively ended.

Justice Thomas dissented, arguing that the district did not have subject matter jurisdiction in the first place, including under the rationale of the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, because the plaintiff was really seeking review of the Texas Court of Appeals decision. Justice Alito, joined by Justice Gorsuch, also dissented, contending that the plaintiff’s §1983 procedural due process claim accrued when the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the trial court on April 12, 2017, and not later when it denied plaintiff’s motion for rehearing.


It is crucial in §1983 accrual cases to understand just what the question is: when are all the elements of the claim present? Since this claim is federal, it is understandable that accrual of §1983 claims must be a matter of federal law.

It is also essential in §1983 accrual cases to identify just what the constitutional basis for the claim is. Or to put it another way, what precisely is the plaintiff challenging? In Reed it is the denial of procedural due process, and this was determinative for the majority of just when the plaintiff’s claim accrued. In other situations, such as those involving §1983 Fourth Amendment arrest claims, the accrual rule is different. See Wallace. Or in still other situations, such as fabrication of evidence and Fourth Amendment malicious prosecution, the accrual rule is again different. See McDonough and Thompson.

From that perspective, Reed is a narrow decision applicable to the relatively few cases involving §1983 procedural (not substantive) due process prospective relief challenges by convicted persons to government refusals to provide possibly exonerating evidence. But the Court’s general approach is consistent with its approach in other §1983 accrual cases.

One more observation: it is notable how Justice Thomas (gratuitously?) raises a host of subject matter jurisdiction issues–Article III standing and justiciability in general, as well as Rooker-Feldman–that the majority gives such sort shrift to.

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April 21, 2023 at 11:19 am

Posted in Uncategorized

The Intriguing Intersection of DeShaney and Monell Liability: The Seventh Circuit’s LaPorta Decision

In First Midwest Bank Guardian of Estate of LaPorta v. City of Chicago, 988 F.3d 978, 990–91 (7th Cir. 2021), cert. denied, 142 S. Ct. 389, 211 L. Ed. 2d 207 (2021), the Seventh Circuit put DeShaney v. County of Winnebago, 489 U.S. 189 (1989), to unusual use in ruling against the guardian of an individual who was shot by his friend, an off-duty police officer not acting under color of law at the time. (Full disclosure: I played a consulting role for the plaintiff’s law firm)

The guardian claimed that the City of Chicago “had inadequate policies in place to prevent the shooting—or more precisely, that the City’s policy failures caused [the officer] to shoot him.” Specifically, he alleged: the failure to have an “early warning system” for officers likely to engage in misconduct; the failure to investigate and discipline officers for their misconduct; and the “perpetuation” of a code of silence that deterred reporting of such officers. All of this rendered the City liable under Monell v. Dept. of Social Services, 439 U.S. 974 (1978).

Reversing the jury’s compensatory damages award of $44.7 million (!) against the city, the Seventh Circuit declared that the guardian lost on its §1983 substantive due process bodily integrity claim under DeShaney because the guardian was asserting that the city had an affirmative duty to protect the individual from harm. The DeShaney exceptions did not apply. First, there was no special relationship since the individual was not in state custody. And second, the “narrow” state created danger doctrine, which required more than a “generalized risk of indefinite duration and degree,” did not apply because there was no evidence that the city affirmatively placed the individual in danger. Further, according to the Seventh Circuit, the guardian never explicitly raised the state created danger exception, and the jury was never instructed on it.

Finally, the Seventh Circuit rejected the guardian’s argument that DeShaney was inapplicable and that, instead, Monell supported liability inasmuch as the jury found that the city’s policy failures “caused” the officer to shoot the individual. This argument “reflect[ed] a basic misunderstanding of the relationship between Monell and DeShaney. [These cases] are not competing frameworks for liability. The two cases concern fundamentally distinct subjects.” Monell dealt with §1983 interpretation and local government liability, while DeShaney dealt with the constitutional issue of substantive due process. The Seventh Circuit thus concluded that the individual’s constitutional rights were not violated because the city had no affirmative due process duty to protect the individual from the officer’s “private violence.”


1. Had the police officer here acted under color of law, the DeShaney issue would have disappeared to the extent that DeShaney only applies to the prevention by government of privately caused harm. The issues then would have been, first, whether the police officer’s conduct constituted a substantive due process violation and second, if so, whether the City’s policies caused that substantive due process deprivation. If either question were to be answered in the negative, then the City would not be liable.

2. I have posted regularly about tragic DeShaney cases in the circuits. (You can search “DeShaney” on this blog for many examples) But LaPorta is unusual in that it sharply distinguished between the constitutional interpretation issue posed and the Monell liability issue, a matter of statutory interpretation. This distinction is, of course, sound so far as it goes.

But LaPorta might have come out the other way had the Seventh Circuit found that the challenged conduct–the alleged policies of the City, which were clearly state action–caused the violation of the individual’s substantive due process rights because those policies created the danger to him. The argument is that the City’s policies effectively placed the gun in the off-duty officer’s hand. This the Seventh Circuit did not do because under its approach any state created danger was not sufficiently particularized. The Seventh Circuit also commented that the plaintiff had never explicitly raised the issue. Thus, DeShaney controlled: there was no substantive due process violation.

3. On DeShaney, substantive due process affirmative duties and cases raising those issues, see Nahmod, Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Litigation: The Law of Section 1983 §§ 3:59-3:61 (2022-23 ed. West/Westlaw).

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March 29, 2023 at 2:26 pm

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Save the Dates: Annual Section 1983 Conference (In-Person) on April 27-28, 2023


April 27 – 28, 2023
Chicago-Kent College of Law
565 W. Adams Street
Chicago, IL 60661
Eligible for IL MCLE Credit

Liability arising out of §1983 claims continues to present challenges for courts across the country, and the Supreme Court has a large impact in this dynamic area of law. Join us for this two-day in-person conference to get up-to-date on the latest cases, trends, and strategies affecting §1983 litigation. You have the opportunity to examine both the law of §1983 as well as the litigation strategies that underlie successful cases. Experts in the field address the most important issues and provide wisdom for you as you tackle this year’s cases, whether you represent plaintiffs or defendants. As always, the conference provides an analytical approach to problems and offers practical advice about how to solve them.


Gerald M. Birnberg, Founding Partner, Williams, Birnberg & Andersen LLP
Karen M. Blum, Professor Emerita and Research Professor of Law, Suffolk University Law School
Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean and Jesse H. Choper, Distinguished Professor of Law, University of California Berkeley School of Law
Jamie S. Franklin, Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Supervisor of Litigation Clinic, Chicago-Kent College of Law
Rosalie B. Levinson, Professor of Law Emerita, Valparaiso University School of Law
Sheldon H. Nahmod, University Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus, Chicago-Kent College of Law (Program Chair)
Noah Smith-Drelich, Assistant Professor of Law, Chicago-Kent College of Law

This conference is in-person ONLY and will not be live-streamed.


March 3, 2023 The Effect of Dobbs on Work Law Symposium
March 28, 2023 44th Annual Kenneth M. Piper Lecture


40th Annual Federal Sector Labor Relations + Labor Law Conference
The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
43rd Annual Kenneth M. Piper Lecture
38th Annual Section 1983 Civil Rights Litigation Conference
Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Panel
Never Again? Investigating and Prosecuting War Crimes: Then and Now
 Chicago-Kent College of Law, CLE Department
565 W. Adams Street, Chicago, IL 60661 


I hope to see many of you in Chicago for this in-person conference, together with our excellent and experienced speakers. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the CLE department or me personally via email:

I invite you to follow me on Twitter @NahmodLaw.

Written by snahmod

January 20, 2023 at 10:58 am

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A Student Drowns While On A Field Trip: The Separate State of Mind Hurdle in Substantive Due Process Affirmative Duty Cases

I have posted (too?) many times over the years on DeShaney substantive due process affirmative duty cases, emphasizing all the while that the threshold issue in such cases is whether there is an affirmative substantive due process duty to begin with.

Typically, the answer in these tragic cases is “no”–there is generally no constitutional duty to protect citizens from private harm–unless there is a special relationship or the state has created the danger. DeShaney v. Winnebago County, 489 U.S. 189 (1989). See generally on DeShaney and its progeny, NAHMOD, CIVIL RIGHTS AND CIVIL LIBERTIES LITIGATION: THE LAW OF SECTION 1983 secs. 9:59-9:61 (2022-23 ed.)(West/Westlaw).

But even where a section 1983 plaintiff is able to overcome the duty issue by, say, plausibly alleging that the state created the danger, that plaintiff may still lose because of the substantive due process state of mind requirement of at least deliberate indifference. As an example, consider Herrera v. Los Angeles Unified School Dist., 18 F.4th 1156 (9th Cir. 2021).

In Herrera, an autistic high school student drowned while on a field trip. His parents brought a section1983 substantive due process claim against various school defendants, all of whom were granted summary judgment by the district court. Finding that there was a state-created danger but still affirming, the Ninth Circuit pointed out that a school aide who was generally watching the student in the pool saw the student exit the shallow end of the pool and enter the locker room area, but he did not see the student shortly thereafter return to the pool and then drown.

The Ninth Circuit explained: “’[W]e have continued to apply the subjective standard in all state-created danger claims and in non-detainee failure-to-protect claims like the one presented here.” Because there was no genuine issue of fact in dispute that the school aide was subjectively unaware of any immediate danger to the student, the school aide was not deliberately indifferent, as required for a substantive due process failure to protect claim. Also, because other lifeguards were monitoring the area as well, the school aide did not abandon the student or leave him completely without protection. This too showed that the school aide did not act with deliberate indifference.


The Ninth Circuit applied a subjective deliberate indifference standard and not an objective one. It rejected the plaintiff’s argument that the student’s situation was analogous to that of the pretrial detainee in Kingsley v. Hendrickson, 576 U.S. 389 (2015), which applied an objective reasonableness standard to the pretrial detainee’s section 1983 substantive due process excessive force claim.

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Written by snahmod

January 12, 2023 at 11:36 am

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A Unique High-Speed Police Pursuit Case: The Plaintiff Might Win Against The Officer And City

High-speed police pursuit cases often end in serious bodily harm or death not only to the person pursued but to innocent bystanders as well. In most such cases the Fourth Amendment’s excessive force/reasonableness standard does not apply because there is no intentional seizure. Instead, as the Supreme Court held in the seminal decision in County of Sacramento v. Lewis, 523 U.S. 833 (19098), substantive due process applies and the appropriate standard is ordinarily “purpose to do harm,” and not the usual substantive due process standard of deliberate indifference.

This high standard serves at least two purposes: (1) it reflects the fact that these situations involve split-second decision making with no real opportunity to deliberate and (2) it serves a gatekeeper function in keeping such tort-like cases out of the federal. (This is one example of variable constitutional states of mind. Another is the Eighth Amendment)

The Seventh Circuit’s Flores Decision

Now consider Flores v. City of South Bend, 997 F.3d 725 (7th Cir. 2021). “Erica Flores’s life came to an untimely end when Officer Justin Gorny of the South Bend, Indiana, police department careened through residential streets and a red light at speeds up to 98 mph to reach a routine traffic stop he was not invited to aid, crashed into Flores’s car, and killed her.”

The Officer’s Potential Liability Under Substantive Due Process

Here, according to the Seventh Circuit, the decedent’s estate plausibly stated a substantive due process claim against the officer individually and the city for failure to train. The court, citing County of Sacramento, observed that “[i]dentical behavior considered reasonable in an emergency situation might be criminally reckless when state actors have time to appreciate the effects of their actions.” Ruling that deliberate indifference applied here, and not purpose to do harm, since the officer had the opportunity to deliberate, the court then went on to find that the officer’s “reckless conduct, unjustified by any emergency or even an order to assist in a routine traffic stop that five officers had under control, allows the inference that he subjectively knew about the risk he created and consciously disregarded it.” This constituted the requisite criminal recklessness for his liability. “The law does not provide a shield against constitutional violations for state actors who consciously take extreme and obvious risks.”

The City’s Potential Liability for Failure to Train

As to the city’s liability under a failure to train theory–see City of Canton v. Harris, 489 U.S. 378 (1989)–the decedent’s estate also plausibly alleged that the city acted with deliberate indifference because it failed to address the “known recklessness” of its police officers as a group and of the officer here. This was not a “one-free- bite” situation just because the defendant had never killed anyone before. The Seventh Circuit observed: “Notably, failure-to-train liability does not require proof of widespread constitutional violations before that failure becomes actionable; a single violation can suffice where a violation occurs and the plaintiff asserts a recurring, obvious risk.” According to the Seventh Circuit, this principle was not inconsistent with Supreme Court failure to train precedent even though the Court had not yet expressly so held.


Flores demonstrates the importance of determining at the outset in a substantive due process case like this one whether the high-speed pursuit involved the need for quick decision making by police. If it did, then the purpose to do harm standard, virtually impossible to meet in most cases, applies. In this case, though, the officer deliberately insinuated himself into the situation which turned tragic because of his involvement, thereby triggering, according to the Seventh Circuit, the deliberate indifference standard for individual liability, a much easier standard to meet. See, on substantive due process, ch. 3 of Nahmod, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Litigation: The Law of Section 1983 (2022-23 Ed)(West/Westlaw)

As to the city’s potential liability for failure to train, note that the Seventh Circuit acknowledged that in its view–not yet approved by the Supreme Court, and the subject of disagreement in the circuits–a single violation is enough for such liability where there is a recurring and obvious risk even in the absence of a showing of widespread constitutional violations. See, on failure to train liability, ch. 6 of my Treatise.

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Happy New Year to you and your family.

Written by snahmod

January 2, 2023 at 1:54 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

The Second Circuit Rules That Contracts Clause Violations Are Actionable Under Section 1983

The Contracts Clause

The Contracts Clause, U.S. Const. Art I, § 10, provides: “No State shall … pass any … Law Impairing the Obligation of Contracts.”

The Supreme Court has developed a three-part Contracts Clause test: (1) does the state law operate as a substantial impairment of the contractual relationship; (2) if so, does the state have a significant, legitimate public purpose behind the regulation; and (3), if so, is the adjustment of the rights and responsibilities of the contracting parties based on reasonable conditions and is it appropriate to the public purposes justifying the state regulation? See, generally, Energy Reserves Group, Inc. v. Kansas Power and Light Co., 459 U.S. 400 (1983).

As I noted in previous posts, there is a split in the circuits on whether Contracts Clause violations are actionable under section 1983. See

The Second Circuit has now joined those circuits–the Seventh and Ninth–ruling that the answer is yes. (The Fourth and Sixth Circuits have ruled the other way).

The Melendez Decision

In Melendez v. City of New York, 16 F.4th 992 (2nd Cir. 2021), the plaintiff landlords sued a city and city officials under section 1983 for prospective relief alleging, among other claims, violations of the Contracts Clause arising out of the city’s enactment during the Covid-19 pandemic of the Guaranty Law (the “Law”) rendering permanently unenforceable personal liability guarantees of commercial lease obligations arising between March 7, 2020 and June 30, 2021.

Reversing the district court, the Second Circuit ruled in a thoughtful and lengthy opinion evaluating Supreme Court precedent that this claim was improperly dismissed. It agreed with the district court that the Law substantially impaired plaintiffs’ commercial leases but disagreed that the Law was appropriate and reasonable to advance a significant and legitimate public purpose. Among other considerations, the Law did not merely defer guaranty obligations but permanently and entirely extinguished them. In addition, the Law did not “condition the relief it affords on guarantors owning shuttered businesses or, even if they do, on their ever reopening those businesses.” .

Judge Carney concurred in the result in part and dissented in part in an equally thoughtful and lengthy opinion, disagreeing with the majority on the Contracts Clause claim and arguing for a more deferential standard.


As I have argued, the better view is that Contracts Clause violations are indeed actionable under section 1983.

I invite you to follow me on Twitter @NahmodLaw.

Written by snahmod

November 3, 2022 at 9:24 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Bill of Attainder Violations and Section 1983

By its terms, section 1983 creates damages and prospective relief remedies for deprivations by state and local government officials, and by local governments themselves, of rights, privileges and immunities secured by the Constitution and laws. But what constitutional violations are covered?

It might be thought that, inasmuch as section 1983 was enacted in 1871 by Congress under its Fourteenth Amendment section 5 powers, only violations of the Fourteenth Amendment (equal protection and due process) and incorporated provisions (the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments) of the Bill of Rights are covered. However, that turns out not to be the case.

Violations of Article I, §10, prohibiting Bills of Attainder, may also be actionable. See Zilich v. Longo, 34 F.3d 359 (6th Cir. 1994), where the plaintiff, a former city council member, sued a mayor and other officials under section 1983, alleging that a city council resolution denouncing him was, among other things, a Bill of Attainder prohibited by Article I, §10 of the Constitution. After canvassing Supreme Court case law which set out the three elements of a Bill of Attainder–specificity, punishment and lack of a judicial trial–the Sixth Circuit found that the element of punishment was missing. All the ordinance did was authorize the law director of the city to go to court to seek recovery of amounts considered illegally obtained by the plaintiff. There was no confiscation of plaintiff’s property. The fact that the resolution criticized the plaintiff by name and accused him of improper behavior was not sufficient. “Plaintiff has not cited, and our research has not disclosed, a single case in which a court has held that judging a member’s qualifications constitutes a bill of attainder.” 34 F.3d at 362. The court thus reversed the district court’s denial of summary judgment to the defendants on this issue.

Compare, though, Reynolds v. Quiros, 990 F.3d 286 (2nd Cir. 2021), where the plaintiff state prisoner, who was serving a life sentence for murder, sought prospective relief under section 1983 against corrections officials. He alleged, among other claims, that they violated Article I, §10 through his placement in a special circumstances unit pursuant to a Connecticut statute governing his conditions of confinement that was enacted after his offense, trial and conviction. The Second Circuit did not expressly address the question whether Bill of Attainder violations are actionable under section 1983 but assumed that they were and went on to affirm the district court’s grant of prospective relief. It found that the defendants’ challenged conduct per the Connecticut statute satisfied the requirements of an unconstitutional Bill of Attainder: specification of the affected persons, punishment and the lack of a judicial trial.


Not only may Bill of Attainder violations be actionable under section 1983, but so too may violations of the Ex Post Facto Clause and the Contracts Clause. See Nahmod, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Litigation: The Law of Section 1983 sec. 3:3 (2022-23 Edition)(West/Westlaw).

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Written by snahmod

October 13, 2022 at 9:37 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Three Scholars Discuss Government Funding and Church-State Separation after Carson (Video)

The Decalogue Society of Chicago invited Professors Nicole Garnett of Notre Dame Law School, Michael Helfand of Pepperdine Law School and me to speak about government funding and church-state separation in light of the Supreme Court’s June 2022 decision in Carson v. Makin.

This on-line program, held on September 20, 2022, went for a little over two hours. I spoke first about the Religion Clauses in general, including their history and purposes, and what some of the Founders thought. Professor Garnett spoke next about the complicated relationship between the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses. She was then followed by Professor Helfand, who spoke about government funding and the Carson case. Each of us spoke for about one-half hour, and there was a question-answer period after that.

Spoiler alert: during the question-answer period, I took a strong strict-separation position and criticized the current Supreme Court majority in several respects. First, in disregarding the historical evidence of the dangers of blurring the lines between government and religion and, consequently, thinking that religious “wars” cannot happen here. And second, in naively (disingenuously?) considering itself “objective” in its Religion Clause decisions and thereby disregarding the “passive” virtue of judicial restraint.

Below is the link. I hope you find the program informative and useful.

I invite you to follow me on Twitter @NahmodLaw.

Written by snahmod

October 13, 2022 at 9:02 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Off-Duty Police and State Action/Color of Law

Police officers when on the job and exercising government power are state actors subject to the Fourteenth Amendment and incorporated constitutional provisions, including the Fourth Amendment.

(I discuss extensively the various state action tests and Supreme Court and circuit decisions in Ch. 2 of my Treatise, Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Litigation: The Law of Section 1983 (2022-23 Ed.)(West/Westlaw).

But what happens when police officers are off-duty and they engage in conduct that would clearly be unconstitutional if they were on-duty? Or to put this another way, when do police officers who are ordinarily state actors lose that status and no longer act “under color of law” for section 1983 purposes? I call this the “converse” of the typical state action question.

Consider in this connection a 2021 decision of the Fifth Circuit, Gomez v. Galman, 18 f.4th 769 (5th Cir. 2021)(per curiam). In this case, two off-duty New Orleans police officers drinking in a bar allegedly harassed and beat the plaintiff unconscious. Reversing the district court which had dismissed the complaint, the Fifth Circuit ruled that the plaintiff adequately alleged that the officers acted under color of law. It applied its “nexus” test in reaching this conclusion: “to determine whether an officer acted under color of law, we must consider: (1) ‘whether the officer misused or abused his official power’ and (2) ‘if there is a nexus between the victim, the improper conduct, and the officer’s performance of official duties.’ Bustos v. Martini Club, Inc., 599 F.3d 458, 464–65 (5th Cir. 2010).”

According to the Fifth Circuit, even though the officers were off-duty and in a bar drinking, they used their authority as police officers when one of them gave the plaintiff a direct order to stop and not leave the bar’s patio area, which he obeyed. Then, when plaintiff attempted to drive away after he was beaten, both officers ordered him to stop and get out of his car, which plaintiff did. Also, the officers acted as if the plaintiff was being arrested, they called for backup and they had identified themselves as police officers. For these reasons, there was a sufficient nexus alleged for state action/color of law purposes.

Judge Ho concurred, explaining why this was not an easy state action case:

“As a strictly doctrinal matter, this is a close case. Gomez alleges that he believed his assailants were police officers, and that for that reason, he complied with their orders, rather than flee to avoid further injury. But he never explains why he believed the defendants were police officers. He does not allege that they wore uniforms, displayed their badges, or otherwise presented themselves to him as police officers. And it is not Gomez’s subjective beliefs, but the officers’ conduct, that determines whether the defendants acted “under color of [state law]” as required under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. … So I can see how the district court might have concluded that this case cannot proceed under § 1983.”

Judge Ho thus questioned the relevance of a plaintiff’s subjective beliefs for state action purposes but went on to point out that in this case the fact that the officers later called for backup was objective evidence that state action was present. He also observed that the alleged acts of the officers were “contemptible.”

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Written by snahmod

September 13, 2022 at 10:21 am

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Additions to List of 2021 Term Section 1983-Related Supreme Court Decisions

After I posted earlier, I realized that I had inadvertently omitted two per curiam excessive force decisions from the 2021 Term in which the Supreme Court ruled in favor of granting qualified immunity to law enforcement officers. So below is the corrected list, with my apologies.

Supreme Court Decisions in the 2021 Term

  • Kennedy v. Bremerton School Dist: Free Exercise Clause protection for public on-field prayer of high school football coach (see §3:15)
  • Carson v. Makin: Maine prohibition of tuition assistance for parents of school children attending private religious schools in school districts without public high schools violates Free Exercise Clause (see §3:15)
  • New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn. v. Bruen: New York statute requiring anyone seeking a license for concealed carry of handgun to show “proper cause” violates Second Amendment (see §3:16)
  • Vega v. Tekoh: Miranda violations standing alone not actionable under §1983 (see §3:25)
  • Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization: overruling Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey (see §§3:37, 3:52 and 3:78)
  • Thompson v. Clark: §1983 Fourth Amendment malicious prosecution and meaning of favorable termination (see §§3:66, 3:67, 9:30, 9:58 and 9:64)
  • City of Tahlequah v. Bond: per curiam excessive force qualified immunity decision in favor of law enforcement (see §8:63)
  • RivaVillegas v. Cortesluna: per curiam excessive force qualified immunity decision in favor of law enforcement (see §8:63)
  • Nance v. Commissioner, Georgia Dept. of Corrections: injunctive relief challenge to method of execution as §1983 claim and not habeas corpus (see §§9:57 and 9:64)

Written by snahmod

August 16, 2022 at 5:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized