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The Supreme Court has often faced the question of whether an individual who alleges that he has been injured by a state or local official or by a local governmental entity, can bring a constitutional tort action under section 1983 when state doctrines of sovereign or official immunity would make it impossible for the individual to prosecute an ordinary tort suit in the relevant state court. The Court has consistently held that when an official violates a substantive provision of the Constitution, only an immunity that is consistent with the purpose of section 1983 and the Consitution can be tolerated.

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