At The Sanders Firm, P.C. we also work on civil rights cases which involve private actors who commit actions under color of law. These situations involving abuse of power are often more complex than the more common complaints that are defined as being actions under color of law.
Private actors, those who are private citizens and are not involved in law enforcement or do not hold a position in the government, may also be in violation of state and federal law. There are a variety of ways in which a person may be considered to be a private actor acting under color of law.
For example, a private actor may be the head of a company who decides to terminate someone’s employment after being pressured to do so by a government official. A private actor may also be someone who claims to be a law enforcement official but is not one and acts to deprive one of their property. Other examples of private actors include private security officers employed by a government contractor who overstep their authority and state university officials suspending students without due process.
The private actor area under color of law is exceedingly diverse and demands intensive investigation and analysis. As it is with so many areas of the law, the private actor aspect is often being redefined by various courts and through different cases.