Over the last thirty years, the Court has decided a number of cases which illustrate an on-going struggle to find the proper place for section 1983 in the federal court system and, consequently, what ultimately qualifies as adequate procedural due process within the context of the statute. This note will examine the history of Court decisions involving section 1983 in order to provide the proper background for examining the Court's most recent decision in Zinermon v. Burch, a case which itself has added to an already confusing field of legal study. Within this historical background, however, the Court has actually provided many of the analytical tools necessary to address and solve the theoretical and practical problems presented by section 1983 in procedural due process jurisprudence today. This note will endeavor to use these tools to construct a framework for recognizing the proper scope of section 1983 in guaranteeing due process protections. Finally, this note will examine the direction that the Supreme Court may take in the future with regards to section 1983. Special attention will be paid to the new composition of the Court, as well as to the viewpoints of its individual members.
Note, Section 1983 and the Parratt Doctrine after Zinermon v. Burch: Ensuring Due Process Rights or Turning the Fourteenth Amendment into a Font of Tort Law, 39 Clev. St. L. Rev. 445 (1991)