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Cleveland State Law Review


Section 1983 litigation, Ohio law


This review of § 1983 litigation in the Ohio courts has three principal goals. First, it provides an introduction to state court § 1983 litigation for Ohio lawyers and judges. Commentators have recognized the importance of state court § 1983 litigation, and the Supreme Court has begun to pay greater attention to state court § 1983 cases. Nonetheless, most § 1983 materials focus on the federal courts. Moreover, the few works addressing litigation of § 1983 claims in state courts either lack an Ohio focus or, where there is such a focus, deal narrowly with specific Ohio issues. This article seeks to bridge this gap by providing judges and lawyers with a broad overview of § 1983 litigation in the Ohio courts.Second, the article addresses a number of the unique procedural and remedial issues that have arisen, or are likely to arise, in § 1983 litigation in the Ohio courts. These issues are sometimes suggested by judicial opinions, but the special problems of litigating federal claims in state courts are often not fully appreciated or adequately addressed. Moreover, the article draws on § 1983 litigation from other state courts for insights and analysis not always available from federal court decisions. Finally, by taking an in-depth look at § 1983 litigation in a particular state, the article contributes to an understanding of what is actually happening in § 1983 litigation throughout the country.