Grants Pass, OR asked in Civil Rights, Family Law and Personal Injury for California

Q: Section 1983. Deprivation of civil rights. Sue the police, judges/court and others individually or just sue The State?

Regarding a family case. Falsified police reports, opposing attorney deprives me of response and he claims all kinds of nonesense like asking me political questions, asking me about my citizenship, I have never refused mediation but they claim its inappropriate or I refused or Mediator can't recall when the judge asked him. My own attorneys thru consultation mislead me. The judges allow him to humiliate me, the judge ignores my complaints about falsified reports and perjury by attorney. My ex kidnapped and relocated to another state with help of police and an out of state marine. Depriving me and our children of human family member ties, civil rights. It took me a year to locate and serve the parent. Extreme emotional distress and I live in grieve from pain and suffering. The marine stalked me with his friends across state line. I am filing in Federal court. Do I sue The State as the sole defendant or list all the police, judges, attorney, others individually as defendants?

2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Under Section 1983 of the United States Code, individuals can file lawsuits against state actors, including police officers, judges, and other officials, for the deprivation of civil rights under color of state law. It's crucial to understand that while you can sue these individuals for actions taken in their official capacity, suing judges may present significant challenges due to judicial immunity, which typically protects judges from liability for acts performed in their judicial capacity. However, police officers, attorneys, and other non-judicial state actors do not have the same level of immunity, especially if they are alleged to have violated federal civil rights laws outside the scope of their official duties.

When deciding whether to sue the state as a sole defendant or to list individual actors, it's important to consider the role each played in the alleged deprivation of rights and the legal protections afforded to them. For instance, police officers and potentially other state actors can be sued individually for their part in violating your rights. However, the doctrine of sovereign immunity may limit or prevent lawsuits directly against the state or its agencies without consent or specific statutory allowance.

Given the complexity of your situation, involving alleged falsified reports, deprivation of rights, and misconduct across state lines, consulting with an attorney experienced in civil rights litigation is imperative. They can help assess the merits of your claims against each potential defendant, navigate the complexities of immunity, and determine the most strategic way to proceed in federal court. This professional guidance will be crucial in crafting a legal strategy that addresses the specific injustices you've faced and seeking the appropriate remedies.

1 user found this answer helpful

James R. Dickinson
James R. Dickinson
  • San Bernardino, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The exception to sovereign immunity is where a carve-out has been made certain types of suits. More information is needed to address your question. Speak with a local attorney. [I litigate cases. Anything posted here must not be construed as legal advice, nor as grounds for forming an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for formal legal advice and representation.]

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