Today, the Petitioner’s merits brief was filed in Los Angeles County v. Humphries, No. 09-350. The brief can be viewed here. The questions presented in Humphries are:
- Are claims for declaratory relief against a local public entity subject to the requirement of Monell v. Department of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658 (1978) that the plaintiff demonstrate that the constitutional violation was the result of a policy, custom or practice attributable to the local public entity as determined by the First, Second, Fourth and Eleventh Circuits, or are such claims exempt from Monell’s requirement as determined by the Ninth Circuit?
- May a plaintiff be a prevailing party under 42 U.S.C. §1988 for purposes of a fee award against a local public entity based upon a claim for declaratory relief where the plaintiff has not demonstrated that any constitutional violation was the result of a policy, custom or practice attributable to the public entity under Monell?
- May a plaintiff be a prevailing party on a claim for declaratory relief for purposes of a fee award under 42 U.S.C. §1988 where there is neither a formal order nor judgment granting declaratory relief, nor any other order altering the legal relationship between the parties in a way that directly benefits the plaintiff?
Humphries will be argued during the 2010 Term.