Reforming Qualified Immunity Act
This bill modifies the defense of qualified immunity in civil actions for deprivation of rights. Qualified immunity is a judicially created doctrine that protects government employees or those acting with state authority from being held personally liable for constitutional violations.
The bill provides that under the statute allowing a civil action alleging deprivation of rights under color of law, it shall not be a defense or immunity to any such action that (1) the defendant was acting in good faith or believed that his or her conduct was lawful at the time it was committed; (2) the rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution or laws were not clearly established at the time of their deprivation; or (3) the state of the law was such that the defendant could not reasonably have been expected to know whether his or her conduct was lawful.
A defendant sued in his or her individual capacity shall not be liable if specified conditions apply (concerning the defendant's belief that conduct was lawful or judicial decisions addressing the validity of laws), such as when the defendant establishes that, at the time the deprivation occurred, the conduct alleged to be unlawful was specifically authorized or required by a federal or state statute or regulation.
A municipality or other unit of local government shall be liable for a violation by an agent or employee of the municipality or unit of local government acting within the scope of his or her employment.