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NCJ Number: 170679 Find in a Library
Title: State Constitutions: The Right Ticket for Some Torts
Journal: Trial  Volume:33  Issue:12  Dated:(December 1997)  Pages:38-42
Author(s): J Friesen
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 5
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: An alternative to using Federal civil rights laws when suing the State and its employees is the State constitution, and steps involved in establishing an effective claim against the State for violations of State constitutional rights are described.
Abstract: Federal remedies are not adequate when violators are State officials or the State itself. When a civil rights claim is brought against the State, the court must recognize the basic constitutional tort suit against the government defendant. In addition, the court must determine neither the State nor a State official can assert sovereign or government immunity for violations of the State bill of rights. If compensation and deterrence values are to be achieved, respondeat superior must be the rule in constitutional torts, as in ordinary torts. Litigants and courts have turned to several common law doctrines to redress violations of constitutional rights, and the existence of a State bill of rights empowers a common law court to supply a remedy for the breach of these rights. State constitutional tort theories and cases are discussed, with case law examples included. Questions to be investigated by attorneys preparing to file a civil suit to enforce rights secured by a State constitution are identified. 26 notes
Main Term(s): State courts
Index Term(s): Civil litigation; Civil proceedings; Civil remedies; Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Lawsuits; Torts
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