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Second Circuit Review: Pleading Standards for §1983 Claims Against Government Supervisors

January 27, 2021

Litigation of counsel Martin Flumenbaum and firm chairman Brad Karp’s latest Second Circuit Review column, “Pleading Standards for §1983 Claims Against Government Supervisors,” appeared in the January 27 issue of the New York Law Journal. The authors discuss the Second Circuit’s decision in Tangreti v. Bachmann, which clarified the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision in Iqbal v. Ashcroft on §1983 claims against government supervisors. Section 1983 provides a cause of action against a person who, acting under color of state law, deprives a plaintiff of a constitutionally protected right. Following the Second Circuit’s decision, a plaintiff may no longer state a viable claim against a government supervisor by showing that the supervisor behaved knowingly or with deliberate indifference that a constitutional violation would occur at the hands of her subordinates, unless that is the same state of mind required for the underlying constitutional deprivation. Rather, to plead a claim, a plaintiff must show a deliberate, intentional act on the supervisor’s part to violate legal rights. Litigation associate Patrick Cordova assisted in the preparation of this column. 

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