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The Supreme Court has repeatedly noted that 42 U.S.C. § 1983 8 creates '`a species of tort liability' in favor of persons who are deprived of `rights, privileges, or immunities secured' to them by the Constitution.' Carey v. Piphus, 435 U.S. 247, 253 (1978), quoting Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409, 417 (1976). See also Smith v. Wade, 461 U.S. 30, 34 (1983); Newport v. Fact Concerts, Inc., 453 U.S. 247, 258 -259 (1981). Accordingly, when § 1983 plaintiffs seek damages for violations of constitutional rights, the level of damages is ordinarily determined according to principles derived from the common law of torts. See Smith v. Wade, supra, at 34; Carey v. Piphus, supra, at 257-258; cf. Monroe v. Pape, 365 U.S. 167, 196, and n. 5 (1961) (Harlan, J., concurring). Damages in tort cases are designed to provide ' compensation for the injury caused to plaintiff by defendant's breach of duty.' 2 F. Harper, F. James, & O. Gray, Law of Torts § 25.1, p. 490 (2d ed. 1986) (emphasis in original), quoted in Carey v. Piphus, supra, at 255. See also Bivens v. Six Unknown Federal Narcotics Agents, 403 U.S. 388, 395, 397 ...

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