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Defending Police Excessive Force Cases

The United States Supreme Court has held local governments are not liable for their employees' constitutional torts solely because they employ such tortfeasors. Unfortunately from a defense perspective, Iowa's Municipal Tort Claims Act significantly increases the exposure of local governments for constitutional torts committed by their employees, making them liable under a
mere respondeat superior theory. Nonetheless, a proper understanding of the background and purpose of § 1983 and relevant cases can help the practitioner properly analyze any available defenses and understand the intersection of federal and state law in this important area.
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Defending Police Excessive Force Cases


Local Government Liability
Qualified Immunity
Other Immunities
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Defending Police Excessive Force Cases


Gary D. Goudelock, Jr

City of Des Moines

  • Senior litigator in the litigation section for the city of Des Moines
  • Practice is dedicated to defending the city and its employees in all types of civil litigation with a special emphasis on defending police officers in Section 1983 litigation
  • Also defends the city and its employees in other civil litigation, including: premises liability, motor vehicle accidents, employment matters, and eminent domain appeals
  • Prior to joining the city of Des Moines’ legal team, was in private practice focusing on insurance defense litigation, business formation, probate and estate planning, and real estate transactions
  • Graduate, high honors, Drake Law School; B.A. degrees in music and German, Oklahoma State University
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Defending Police Excessive Force Cases

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