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Flashcards in Chapter 14 Chapter review Deck (12):

3. What is a Bivens action?

Federal officials can be sued under one of two complaints. The first is a Bivens action for a violation of constitutional rights. The Bivens action applies only to the individual, not to the government.


2. Explain the meaning of “acting under the color of state law” as it relates to U.S. Code 42, Section 1983 actions.

following the constitution - not violating rights as a federal agent or local law enforcer


4. What are the primary negligence theories applicable to police supervision and management?

Negligent Hiring
Negligent Assignment, Retention, and Entrustment
Negligent Direction and Supervision
Negligent Training


5. Describe procedural and substantive due process.

The former, as its name implies, refers to the legality of the procedures used to deprive police officers of status or wages, such as dismissal or suspension from their job. Substantive due process is a more difficult and elusive concept. Simply, substantive due process is the requirement that the basis for government disciplinary action be reasonable, relevant, and justifiable.


6. Identify when department rules and policies might infringe on the free speech of officers.

the state may place restrictions on the speech of its employees that it could not impose on the general citizenry. However, these restrictions must be reasonable. Generally, disputes involving the infringement of public employee speech will be resolved by balancing the interests of the state as an employer against the employee’s constitutional rights.There are two basic situations in which a police regulation or other action can be found to be an unreasonable infringement on the free speech interests of an officer. The first is when the action is overly broad. A Chicago Police Department rule prohibiting “any activity, conversation, deliberation, or discussion which is derogatory to the Department” was ruled overly broad because it prohibited all criticism of the department by police officers, even if the criticism occurred in private conversation. The same fate befell a New Orleans Police Department regulation that prohibited statements by a police officer that “unjustly criticize or ridicule, or express hatred or contempt toward, or . . . which may be detrimental to, or cast suspicion on the reputation of, or otherwise defame, any person.” The second situation in which a free speech limitation can be found unreasonable is in the way in which the government action is applied. The most common shortcoming of police departmental action in this area is a failure to demonstrate that the statements by the officer being disciplined adversely affected the operation of the department. 157 Thus, a Baltimore police regulation prohibiting public criticism of departmental action was held to have been applied unconstitutionally to a police officer who was president of the police union and who had stated in a television interview that the police commissioner was not leading the department effectively and that “the bottom is going to fall out of this city.” In this case, no significant disruption of the department was noted. However, when two officers of the Kinloch, Missouri Police Department publicly complained of corruption within city government, the court held that the “officers conducted a campaign... with complete disregard of chain of command motivated by personal desires that created disharmony among the 12-member police force.” Because the allegations were totally unfounded and were not asserted correctly through channels instituted by state “whistle-blower” procedures, the dismissals were upheld. A more


7. What is a Brady violation?

In a landmark 1963 case (Brady v. Maryland), 208 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the suppression of any evidence by the prosecution favorable to the accused violates the due process clauses of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution. As a result, prosecutors were compelled to disclose to the defense any and all evidence that might be exculpatory for the accused—meaning any evidence that could possibly clear the suspect must be presented to the defense. Such evidence could include physical evidence, fingerprints, DNA, photographs, and the alike, that conflicts with the prosecutor’s evidence, and any evidence that could impeach the credibility of a prosecution witness.


8. Describe the circumstances when an officer can use deadly force.



9. Identify the four elements that must be proven in order to sue the police for negligence in a high-speed pursuit.



10. Describe a police department’s responsibility in reducing liability in high-speed pursuits.



11. Identify the desired outcomes of effective training of police officers in dealing with emotionally disturbed persons.



1983 action.

primary civil rights statute involved in litigation against municipal and state police officers.


1. What are the three general categories of torts?

Negligence Torts Our society imposes a duty on individuals to conduct their affairs in a manner that does not subject others to an unreasonable risk of harm. This responsibility also applies to criminal justice practitioners. If a police officer’s conduct creates a situation recognizable as dangerous by a reasonable person in like circumstances, the officer will be held accountable to those injured as a result of his or her conduct. In negligence suits, defendants are not liable unless they foresaw or should have anticipated that their acts or omissions would result in injury to another. The key in negligence suits is the standard of the reasonably prudent person, also referred to as reasonableness. Was the care provided at the same standard that a reasonably prudent person would observe under a given set of circumstances? 5 Examples of negligence involving police officers often arise from pursuit driving incidents in which the officers violate common traffic laws, such as speeding, running a stop sign, or failing to control their vehicles, resulting in the injury or death of another person.
Intentional Torts An intentional tort is the voluntary commission of an act that to a substantial certainty will injure another person. It does not have to be negligently done to be actionable. Intentional torts are therefore voluntary and deliberate acts, such as assault, false arrest, false imprisonment, and malicious prosecution.
Constitutional Torts The duty to recognize and uphold the Constitutional rights, privileges, and immunities of others is imposed on police officers and other criminal justice practitioners by statute, and violation of these guarantees may result in a specific type of civil suit. Most of these suits are brought under Title 42, U.S. Code, Section 1983, in federal court. In our system of government, there are court systems at both federal and state levels. However, federal courts are intended to be courts of somewhat limited jurisdiction and generally do not hear cases involving private, as opposed to public, controversies unless a question of federal law is involved or the individuals involved in the lawsuit are residents of different states. Even then, the suit can be decided in a state court if both parties to the controversy agree to have the dispute settled there. As a result, most tort suits have been brought in state courts.