Section 1983 Claim Law and Legal Definition

Section 1983 of Title 42 of the United States Code ("42 USCS § 1983") is part of the Civil Rights Act of 1871. This provision is the primary means of remedying constitutional violations by state actors. The provision was enacted to prevent post-Civil War racial violence in the Southern states. Section 1983 provides a mechanism for seeking redress for an alleged deprivation of a litigant's federal constitutional and federal statutory rights by persons acting under color of state law.

42 USCS § 1983 states that:

Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation,custom, or usage, of any state or territory, 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.