Issue: When does a plaintiff have a cause of action under 42 U.S.C. 1983?
|Area of Law:||Constitutional Law|
|Keywords:||Civil rights violation; Cause of action|
|Cited Cases:||810 F.2d 426; 521 U.S. 399; 873 F.2d 814; 126 F.3d 617; 449 U.S. 24; 582 F.2d 1071; 6 F.3d 211; 3 F.3d 89; 297 U.S. 233; 307 U.S. 496|
|Cited Statutes:||42 U.S.C. § 1983|
A complaint states a cause of action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by alleging facts that, read in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, state a claim for violation of civil rights by the defendants who were acting under state law. Beckham v. Grand Affair of N.C., Inc., 671 F. Supp. at 420 (W.D.N.C. 1987). In a § 1983 conspiracy case, the defendant is entitled to dismissal only by a showing that there is no set of facts to support the plaintiff’s allegation that the defendant engaged in a conspiracy, under color of state law, to deprive the plaintiff of a constitutional right. Id.
When the plaintiff alleges that the defendant was involved in a conspiracy that culminated in an unconstitutional deprivation of due process by a wrongful arrest and unlawful search and seizure of property, the plaintiff’s allegations are sufficient to state a § 1983 cause of action. Id. Likewise, a plaintiff’s allegation that each of the defendants agreed to a conspiracy, along with allegations of the defendants’ actions and the defendants’ positions in a conspiracy, is sufficient to withstand a motion to dismiss. Liner v. DiCresce, 905 F. Supp. 280, 286 (M.D.N.C. 1994). The elements of a conspiracy may be established by circumstantial evidence, as long as the evidence leads to the inference that the defendants “positively or tacitly came to a mutual understanding to try to accomplish a common and unlawful plan.” Hinkle v. City of Clarksburg, 81 F.3d 416, 421 (4th Cir. 1996). Allegation of […]