Washington Law Review


Courts disagree about whether an individual has a cause of action against a police officer under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 when that officer abandoned the individual in a dangerous environment following a traffic stop. Courts have not uniformly recognized an individual's right to personal security in roadside abandonment cases as fundamental and protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. Also, courts have required plaintiffs in these cases to show that an asserted right was clearly established at the time the officer acted in order to overcome the officer's qualified immunity defense. This requirement often bars plaintiffs from recovering under section 1983. This Comment argues that roadside abandonment violates the Fourteenth Amendment and is actionable under section 1983. This Comment also asserts that a showing of a police officer's deliberate indifference to the plaintiff's peril should be sufficient to defeat the defense of qualified immunity.

First Page