California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI)

3009. Public Entity Liability - Failure to Train (42 U.S.C. § 1983)—Essential Factual Elements

[Name of plaintiff] claims that [he/she] was deprived of [his/her] civil rights as a result of [name of public entity]'s failure to train its [officers/employees]. To establish this claim, [name of plaintiff] must prove all of the following:

1. That [name of public entity]'s training program was not adequate to train its [officers/employees] to properly handle usual and recurring situations;

2. That [name of public entity] was deliberately indifferent to the need to train its [officers/employees] adequately;

3. That the failure to provide proper training was the cause of the deprivation of [name of plaintiff]'s right [insert right, e.g., "of privacy"];

4. That [name of plaintiff] was harmed; and

5. That [name of public entity]'s failure to adequately train its [officers/employees] was a substantial factor in causing [name of plaintiff]'s harm.

"Deliberate indifference" is the knowing or reckless disregard of the consequences of one's acts or omissions. To establish deliberate indifference, [name of plaintiff] must prove that [name of public entity] knew or should have known that its failure to provide reasonable training would likely result in a violation of the right [e.g., "of privacy"] of a person in [name of plaintiff]'s situation.

Sources and Authority

42 U.S.C. section 1983 provides, in part: "Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State . . . subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law . . . ."

"Section 1983 claims may be brought in either state or federal court." (Pitts v. County of Kern (1998) 17 Cal.4th 340, 348 [70 Cal.Rptr.2d 823, 949 P.2d 920].)

"We hold today that the inadequacy of police training may serve as the basis for § 1983 liability only where the failure to train amounts to deliberate indifference to the rights of persons with whom the police come into contact. This rule is most consistent with our admonition in Monell and Polk County v. Dodson, that a municipality can be liable under § 1983 only where its policies are the 'moving force [behind] the constitutional violation.' Only where a municipality's failure to train its employees in a relevant respect evidences a 'deliberate indifference' to the rights of its inhabitants can such a shortcoming be properly thought of as a city 'policy or custom' that is actionable under § 1983." (City of Canton v. Harris (1989) 489 U.S. 378, 388-389 [109 S.Ct. 1197, 103 L.Ed.2d 412], internal citations and footnote omitted.)

"It would be hard to describe the Canton understanding of deliberate indifference, permitting liability to be premised on obviousness or constructive notice, as anything but objective." (Farmer v. Brennan (1994) 511 U.S. 825, 841 [114 S.Ct. 1970, 128 L.Ed.2d 811].)

"To prove deliberate indifference, the plaintiff must show that the municipality was on actual or constructive notice that its omission would likely result in a constitutional violation." (Gibson v. County of Washoe (2002) 290 F.3d 1175, 1186, internal citation omitted.)

" 'The issue in a case like this one . . . is whether that training program is adequate; and if it is not, the question becomes whether such inadequate training can justifiably be said to represent "city policy.' " Furthermore, the inadequacy in the city's training program must be closely related to the 'ultimate injury,' such that the injury would have been avoided had the employee been trained under a program that was not deficient in the identified respect." (Irwin v. City of Hemet (1994) 22 Cal.App.4th 507, 526 [27 Cal.Rptr.2d 433], internal citations omitted.)

(New September 2003)