DePaul University College of Law
The fundamental principle in the law of municipal liability under § 1983 is that municipalities may be held liable only for their own conduct, not for the conduct of municipal employees. Stated somewhat differently, municipalities may not be held vicariously liable for the conduct of municipal employees but rather can be held liable only when municipal policy is the moving force behind the violation. While this principle is simple to state, it has proven difficult to apply.
Jack M. Beermann,
Municipal Responsibility for Constitutional Torts
DePaul Law Review
Available at: https://scholarship.law.bu.edu/faculty_scholarship/1993