Legal Memorandum: Commerce Clause Violations Repeated Warnings

Issue: Under federal law as applied in Hawaii, are allegations of continuing threats of enforcement sufficient for a plaintiff to state a viable claim upon which relief is appropriate under 42 U.S.C. 1983?

Area of Law: Constitutional Law, Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Commerce clause violations; Repeated warnings or threats of enforcement; Injunctive and declaratory relief and monetary damages
Jurisdiction: Federal, Hawaii
Cited Cases: 468 U.S. 641; 48 F.3d 391
Cited Statutes: 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Date: 02/01/2001

The law is clear that 42 U.S.C. § 1983 permits claims for injunctive and declaratory relief and monetary damages against appropriate defendants for violations of the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.  Dennis v. Higgins, 498 U.S. 439, 440-41 (1991); Kleenwell Biohazard Waste v. Nelson & Gen. Ecology Consultants, Inc., 48 F.3d 391, 393 (9th Cir. 1995).  Repeated warnings or threats of enforcement provide the requisite immediacy for injunctive and declaratory relief.  See, e.g., Time, Inc. v. Regan, 539 F. Supp. 1371, 1382 (S.D.N.Y. 1982), aff’d in part, rev’d in part on other grounds, 468 U.S. 641 (1984).


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