As the remedial machinery for enforcing individual federal constitutional rights against municipalities, state and local officials, and other defendants who acted under color of state law, Section 1983 of Title 42 of the U.S. Code is a fundamental part of American law. Professor Emeritus of Law Martin A. Schwartz, one of the nation’s leading experts on Section 1983 litigation, examines the essential aspects of Section 1983 law in Schwartz on Section 1983. Carefully organized to follow the progression of Section 1983 litigation, the comprehensive and incisive discussions provide practitioners with the guidance they need to successfully deal with all aspects of litigation. Throughout the chapters, the author provides invaluable “Practical Commentary” in which he shares personal observations from over 50 years of litigating, consulting, teaching, and writing about the law of Section 1983, as well as advice through each step of litigation, including in:

  • Determining whether to assert a claim in federal or in state court
  • Determining whether to name an official in her personal or official capacity, or in both capacities
  • Evaluating false arrest, malicious prosecution, and other related claims
  • Understanding the standard of judicial review governing the plaintiff’s equal protection claim and the litigation significance of that standard
  • Evaluating whether a claim has factual or legal basis or a realistic chance of success to name a municipal entity as a defendant
  • Understanding the separate issues of supervisory liability and municipal liability
  • Understanding the various abstention doctrines that provide defendants’ attorneys with a wide array of potential defenses that can lead to dismissal of a federal court action and a stay of federal court proceedings
  • Understanding the law governing remedies
Providing essential insight into the complex statute and accompanying case law, Schwartz on Section 1983 is an indispensable resource for practitioners.
Publication Date: January 2021
Last Updated: July 2023
ISBN: 9781402435720
Page Count: 864 pages
Number of Volumes: 1