Fall 2022 Course Schedule

Section 1983 Litigation (LAW-986-001)
Stephen Wermiel

Meets: 02:00 PM - 03:20 PM (TuTh)

Enrolled: 19 / Limit: 30

Administrator Access


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Section 1983 is a principal vehicle for enforcing constitutional rights against violations by state and local officials and local governments. This course will examine the law of Section 1983, from excessive force claims against police to prisoner litigation to challenges to local government regulation. The body of law includes a web of procedural issues as to when damages are appropriate, when qualified immunity blocks relief, and more.
The class includes a number of role-playing exercises, guest speakers, and extensive discussion and focuses on both caselaw and some practice exercises. Grading is based on class participation and writing projects, including a short paper in the first half of the semester and a longer paper at the end of the semester. With substantial additional writing, the class may be used to fulfill the Upper Level writing Requirement with the professor’s approval.

Textbooks and Other Materials

The textbook information on this page was provided by the instructor. Students should use this information when considering purchases from the AU Campus Store or other vendors. Students may check to determine if books are currently available for purchase online.

The casebook for this course is CURRENT ISSUES IN CONSTITUTIONAL LITIGATION 3rd edition by Sarah Ricks and Evelyn Tanenbaum, Carolina Academic Press, 2020 ISBN# 9781531019181.

First Class Readings

The readings for the first week of class are in the casebook and listed on the syllabus. Copies of the first two assignments will be posted on Canvas in case book orders are late arriving.


Use your MyAU username and password to access the syllabus in the following format(s):