Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Breadth of Judicial Immunity from § 1983 Actions

From Green v. Mallia, 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 22775 (5th Cir. Nov. 1, 2010):

The Supreme Court "has consistently adhered to the rule that judges defending against § 1983 actions enjoy absolute immunity from damages liability for acts performed in their judicial capacities." [Footnote 7. Dennis v. Sparks, 449 U.S. 24, 27, 101 S. Ct. 183, 66 L. Ed. 2d 185 (1980) (internal quotation marks omitted).]

The are only two instances when judicial immunity does not apply: 1) when the judge was not acting in his judicial capacity; and 2) when the judge acted in complete absence of jurisdiction, even if the actions were judicial in nature. [Footnote 8 Mireles v. Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 11-12, 112 S. Ct. 286, 116 L. Ed. 2d 9 (1991).]

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