One of the realities of policing is that officers can potentially make mistakes and run into issues with civil, criminal, and administrative liability. When lawsuits by the public against police officers and agencies arise, they are usually filed under federal law as a Section 1983 case. Consider the first three steps of the Criminal Justice Decision Making Model: Step One: Define the problem (and the questions that need to be answered): Read the information on Civil Liability under Federal Law and Civil Liability under State Tort Law. What are the requirements for a Section 1983 case to be proven? Consider the pros and cons of pursuing a claim in federal or state court. What are some of the potential defenses for police officers who are facing 1983 claims? Examine Qualified Immunity and the legal protections it provides to police officers. What are the other potential consequences of police misconduct? Step Two: Gather evidence (law, policy, procedure, data) and evaluate for relevancy: What are the laws regarding liability of police officers in your state? What is the likelihood that such claims will succeed? Step Three: Weigh moral considerations and direct/indirect consequences: Should it be more or less difficult for the public to pursue claims against law enforcement? Should all police officers be protected by Qualified Immunity? What are the potential consequences for and against having more liberal laws in pursuing claims against police officers who allegedly commit misconduct?