After deciding on the causes of action that can be
brought, the victim of police misconduct must decide
whether to present these claims as common law tort actions
or as federal civil rights actions.
A. Common Law Tort Actions
A common law tort action is premised on the theory
that all persons owe a duty not to violate the rights of
A tort action based on police misconduct may be
premised either on intentional conduct or negligence.
False arrest, assault and battery and malicious prosecution
are examples of intentional torts while negligence in hiring,
training or supervising officers are examples of negligence
The elements of these various tort actions are set forth
Chapters 11 through 14.