Imbler v. Pachtman
Argued November 3, 1975
Decided March 2, 1976
Full case namePaul Kern Imbler, Petitioner, v. Richard Pachtman, District Attorney.
Citations424 U.S. 409 (more)
96 S. Ct. 984; 47 L. Ed. 2d 128; 1976 U.S. LEXIS 25
Case history
Prior500 F.2d 1301 (9th Cir. 1974); cert. granted, 420 U.S. 945 (1975).
A state prosecuting attorney who acts within the scope of his duties in initiating and pursuing a criminal prosecution and in presenting the State's case, is absolutely immune from a civil suit for damages under § 1983 for alleged deprivations of the accused's constitutional rights.
Court membership
Chief Justice
Warren E. Burger
Associate Justices
William J. Brennan Jr. · Potter Stewart
Byron White · Thurgood Marshall
Harry Blackmun · Lewis F. Powell Jr.
William Rehnquist · John P. Stevens
Case opinions
MajorityPowell, joined by Burger, Stewart, Blackmun, Rehnquist
ConcurrenceWhite, joined by Brennan, Marshall
Stevens took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.

Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409 (1976), was a United States Supreme Court case in which district attorneys or prosecutors were found to have full immunity from civil suits resulting from their government duties.[1]

Imbler, a defendant in a murder trial, had been convicted and sentenced when the district attorney, Pachtman, revealed new evidence that he said had recently surfaced and which exonerated Imbler. Imbler used the new evidence to successfully free himself, then brought up a civil suit alleging that Pachtman had withheld evidence. The suit, however, was dismissed on the grounds that Pachtman had prosecutorial immunity, a finding which the Supreme Court affirmed.

See also


  1. ^ Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409 (1976).