If you or a loved one have been a victim(s) of an unlawful arrest, unlawful search and seizure, or police brutality, or if you or a loved one have been killed or maimed by law enforcement due to any form of police misconduct, you may have a claim in Federal Court for damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Under most circumstances, the officer being sued receives free legal representation from the county or state they work for. Additionally, if the court rules that the officer has violated your rights, that same county or state will likely pay for his wrongdoing. Since the state is paying the bills, the state will more than likely rely on qualified immunity to avoid civil liability. Below, read the standard a plaintiff must overcome to avoid having their lawsuit dismissed based on qualified immunity.