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Boler v. Earley, 865 F.3d 391 (6th Cir. 2017), is a significant Sixth Circuit case involving the Safe Drinking Water Act, 42 U.S.C. secs. 300g-1 et seq (SDWA). It arose out of the disturbing and infamous events involving the contaminated drinking water of residents of Flint, Michigan. The plaintiffs were residents of Flint, Michigan, who were adversely affected by water contamination. They sued various state and local officials and entities under section 1983 alleging substantive due…
It’s not easy being a section 1983 plaintiff in federal court. There are many procedural hurdles facing such a section 1983 plaintiff who seeks damages and/or declaratory and injunctive relief. Among these hurdles are justiciability doctrines such as standing and ripeness, various statutory bars such as the Tax Injunction Act, statutes of limitations, claim and issue preclusion, the Eleventh Amendment and various abstention doctrines that amount to an exhaustion of judicial remedies requirement. See generally…
What follows is a link to the Save-the-Date announcement for the forthcoming 36th Annual Section 1983 Conference to be held in Chicago on April 11-12, 2019. This announcement includes registration information. Featured speakers include Karen Blum, Rosalie Levinson, Erwin Chemerinsky, Kimberly Bailey, John Murphey, Gerry Birnberg and me. https://cle.kentlaw.edu/database/PDF/2018Dec21-3937-sec83%20-%20save%20the%20date%20flyer%202019.pdf If you have any questions, please contact either me at snahmod@kentlaw.edu or our CLE department at CLE@kentlaw.iit.edu. Thanks.…
Section 1983 makes actionable violations of “rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution.” This includes not only violations of incorporated provisions of the Bill of Rights such as the First, Second, Fourth and Eighth Amendments but also the Fourteenth Amendment’s stand-alone provisions, the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses. As a result of Supreme Court contraceptive, abortion and homosexual sodomy decisions–see Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965); Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113…
Background I posted several times previously on Manuel v. City of Joliet, 137 S. Ct. 911 (2017), an important section 1983 malicious prosecution case that came out of Seventh Circuit and made it to the Supreme Court, which reversed and remanded. My most recent post on Manuel, which can serve as background, is here: https://nahmodlaw.com/2017/05/15/manuel-v-city-of-joliet-the-court-rules-section-1983-malicious-prosecution-claims-can-be-based-on-the-fourth-amendment-but-otherwise-punts/ Recall that after the plaintiff in Manuel was arrested on March 18, 2011, and charged with possessing unlawful drugs, he…
I lectured on the Religion Clauses, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) at the New Mexico State Bar Convention in Ruidoso, New Mexico, in August, 2017. The lecture lasted an hour and nine minutes. It is a good overview and summary and can also serve as a useful introduction, even for non-lawyers, to those who want to become knowledgeable quickly about these topics. Below is…
Local Government Liability Under Section 1983 for Failure to Train or Supervise Police in Excessive Force Cases The Supreme Court ruled almost thirty years ago in City of Canton v. Harris, 489 U.S. 378 (1989), that local governments can be liable under section 1983 for damages for their deliberately indifferent failures to train or supervise their employees who, as a result, commit constitutional violations. Under this standard, there must be a close connection–both in terms…
Sexual abuse charges are obviously very serious for all concerned. So when police officers investigate, arrest and charge sexual abuse, especially when the charges involve minors, they must be very careful. The following Sixth Circuit decision serves as a cautionary tale. Wesley v. Campbell, 864 F.3d 433 (6th Cir. 2017) Wesley dealt with the false arrest of the plaintiff for sexual abuse of students. In this case, the Sixth Circuit upheld, as not excessive, a jury’s…
Over the years I have posted many times about the difficulty plaintiffs have in surmounting the no-affirmative duty substantive due process rule of DeShaney v. Winnebago County Dept. of Social Services, 489 U.S. 189 (1989). This case declared that government has no affirmative duty to protect or rescue individuals from private harm. See Nahmod, CIVIL RIGHTS AND CIVIL LIBERTIES LITIGATION: THE LAW OF SECTION 1983 secs. 3:59-3:61 (4th ed. 2017)(West). As noted in the voluminous case…
Please indulge me with this post of my remarks on receiving the Abner Mikva Award on July 24, 2018, from the Chicago Lawyers’ Chapter of the American Constitution Society. Thanks, Geoff [Geoffry Stone is Professor of Law at University of Chicago Law School]. It is indeed an honor to be introduced by one of the premier constitutional law and First Amendment scholars of this generation, a worthy successor to the great Harry Kalven at U…