Legal Memorandum: Elements of Section 1983 Claim in VI

Issue: Under federal law in the Virgin Islands, what must a plaintiff establish in order to prevail on a 42 U.S.C. 1983 claim?

Area of Law: Constitutional Law, Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Section 1983 Claim; Deprivation of rights; Constitutional rights
Jurisdiction: Federal, Virgin Islands
Cited Cases: 249 F. Supp. 2d 146
Cited Statutes: 42 U.S.C. 1983
Date: 04/01/2015

            42 U.S.C. § 1983 provides:

Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer’s judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable. For the purposes of this section, any Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia shall be considered to be a statute of the District of Columbia.

To prevail on a § 1983 claim, a plaintiff must establish (1) the conduct was committed by a person acting under color of law; (2) the defendant deprived the plaintiff of rights, privileges, or immunities under the Constitution or laws of the United States; (3) the plaintiffs must show the defendant’s conduct caused the deprivation of federal constitutional rights; and (4) the defendant’s conduct must have been intentional, grossly negligent, or must have amounted to reckless or callous indifference to the constitutional rights of others.  Neris v. Vivoni, 249 F. Supp. 2d […]

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