42 U.S.C. § 1983. Civil action for deprivation of rights
Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or
usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, 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, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, . . . ..