Holding: Under the Supreme Court's decision in Monell v. New York City Dep't of Social Services (1978), a plaintiff who sues a local government for civil rights violations under federal law must show that his injury was the result of a policy or custom of the local government to obtain an injunction or a declaratory judgment. (Kagan, J., recused).
Plain English Holding: A person suing a city for violation of her civil rights must show that her rights were violated by a city policy (rather than by the unauthorized conduct of a city employee) to obtain any relief against the city, even if the plaintiff is seeking only an injunction or a declaration that her rights were violated. (Kagan, J., recused).
Judgment: Reversed and remanded, 8-0, in an opinion by Justice Stephen Breyer on November 30, 2010. (Kagan, J., recused).