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Owen V. City of Independence Mo.

Autor:   •  February 25, 2011  •  Essay  •  275 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,493 Views

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Owen v. City of Independence, Missouri. 445 U.S. 622 (1980)

In February 1967 the City Manager of Independence Missouri appointed George Owen to an indefinite term as Chief of Police. After many internal issues the City Council voted to fire Owen in April of 1972. The City Manager then fired Owen. Owen requested a hearing on his firing but was denied. Owen then filed suit against the City, the City's manager and members on the City council in Federal District Court under Section 1983 claiming that he was terminated without notice of the reasons for the discharge or a hearing in violation of his Constitutional rights to procedural and substantive due process under the Fourteenth Amendment. The District Court after a bench trial ruled in favor of the city. Owen then appealed the decision in The United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit. The court heard the case and ruled that Owen's Fourteenth Amendments rights were violated but based on Monroe v. Pape, Owen could not bring any action under section 1983 against the City of Independence because it was not a person and all the respondents, including the city, were entitled to qualified immunity from liability based on the good faith of the city officials involved. Owen then petitioned the Unites States Supreme Court to hear his appeal. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case and reversed the lower court's rulings based on Monell v. New York City Dept. of Social Services stating that a municipality has no immunity from liability under section 1983 from its constitutional violations, and may not assert the good faith of its officers as a defense to such liability.


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