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Police Indemnification Assumptions Challenged in New Study

When a citizen's civil rights are violated by the police, one of the most-widely legal remedies is a federal Civil Rights suit, also known as 1983 actions, but a recent study by Joanna C. Schwartz, Assistant Professor of Law at the University of California school of Law.  Her article, entitled "Police Indemnification," challenges the commonly-held belief that, "police officers pay settlements and judgments out of their own pockets."

Police officers, even those whose actions violate a plaintiff's constitutional rights, are protected by the doctrine of "qualified immunity," if he (or she) did not violate "clearly established law," which the Supreme Court has held protects "all but the plainly incompetent or those who knowingly violate the law." See: Malley v. Briggs, 475 U.S. 335, 341 (1986).  

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Related legal case

Malley v. Briggs