Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Classic Legal Cases re Public Entity Liability

Monell v. New York City Dept. of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658 (1978) was decided by the United States Supreme Court and the court overruled its prior holding in Monroe v. Pape that municipalities did not qualify as "persons" under Section 1983 ( Monroe v. Pape, 365 U.S. 167 (1961)). In Monroe v Pape, the City of Chicago had been dismissed from the case and the police officer, Frank Pape, paid the fine. (The Monroe v Pape ruling affirmed the right of citizens to seek compensation beyond exclusion of evidence for actions taken "under color of law" by state and local officials, but the Monell decision expanded it to include local governments explicitly.)

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