Author: KCLL Staff

Section 1983 Litigation, Third Edition

Section 1983 Litigation (Third Edition) analyzes the large number of recurring issues that arise in litigation under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This monograph contains new sections on discovery, Bivens claims, new material on stops and searches, and model jury instructions. It includes case law from the October 2013 Supreme Court term ending June 30, 2014, and major courts of appeals and select district court decisions reported through June 30, 2014.

Section 1983

“Section 1983” refers to 42 U.S.C. §1983, the federal statute that enables you to file a civil action for deprivation of constitutional and federal statutory rights by persons acting under “color of law.” Originally enacted in 1871, Section 1983 litigation experienced a period of dormancy, until 1961 and the landmark Supreme Court case, Monroe v. Pape, 365 U.S. 167 (1961), which gave private litigants a federal court remedy as a first resort rather than only in default of (or after) state action.  Today, Section 1983 actions most commonly involve 1st Amendment issues like freedom of speech; 4th Amendment issues like search and seizure or use of force; 8th Amendment issues like cruel and unusual punishment; and 14th Amendment claims of due process violations.


Washington State Digital Archives

Included in the suite of online collections at the Washington State Digital Archives are select Superior Court case records from Chelan, Skagit and Snohomish counties. To search these case records, visit the current collections portion of the Washington State Digital Archives web site, select Search from the main menu and then select the Superior Court Records collection in the Record Series drop-down box.  You can search all counties simultaneously or narrow your search to a specific Superior Court.  Getting copies of the records you find is not free. You are allowed to view the top portion of the first page of any record for which there is an image but if you want to see the entire document you will need to pay the associated fee. Make sure you also check the scope or coverage note for the court you are searching so you understand what is and is not available in that county’s collection.

Washington State Judicial Opinions

Free access: The Washington State Judicial Opinions Website provides free public access to the precedential, published appellate decisions from the Washington State Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.

There is no charge to search, retrieve or save documents from this website, and there is no copyright on opinion text. The site, however, is for personal, not commercial, use.

Consumer Education and Training Services (CENTS)

CENTS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and was co-founded in 1995 by Federal Bankruptcy Judge Karen A. Overstreet and leading members of the Washington bankruptcy bar. CENTS is funded by foundation grants, special events, and individual contributions.

CENTS is affiliated with the King County Bar Association and has created programs with the support of the Washington Attorney General’s Office, the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions, Foundation for Financial Planning Seattle Foundation, and the Consumer Protection and Education Fund.

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