Sunday, October 24, 2010


To establish a “policy or practice” in the absence of a formal agency rule or guideline will usually require proof of repeated incidents suggesting a pattern or practice. “[T]he scope of § 1983 liability does not permit such liability to be imposed merely on evidence of the wrongful action of a single city employee not authorized to make city policy.” /228/ Nonetheless, a single decision made by the “final policy making authority,” such as the governing body of an agency or one having the power to finally decide on its behalf, can constitute a “policy” under Section 1983. This is because “[t]he ‘official policy’ requirement was intended to distinguish acts of the municipality from acts of employees of the municipality, and thereby make clear that municipal liability is limited to action for which the municipality is actually responsible.” /229/

in reference to: 8.3 Damage Claims Against Cities and Counties Under Section 1983 | Federal Practice Manual for Legal Aid Attorneys (view on Google Sidewiki)

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