State Action Law and Legal Definition

State action is a term used to refer to the basis for a legal claim for damages against a governmental body for a violation of a person's civil rights. Any activity by the government of a state, any of its branches or employees who uses the "color of law" to violate an individual's civil rights.

The Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits anyone, by virtue of public position under a state government, to deprive another of property, life, or liberty, without due process of law, or deny or take away the equal protection of the laws. All state legislation, and state action of any kind, which impairs the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States, or which injures them in life, liberty, or property without due process of law, or which denies to any of them the equal protection of the laws is prohibted by the Fourteenth Amendment.