Monroe (plaintiff) filed suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the city of Chicago and other defendants on allegations that city police officers violated Monroe’s constitutional rights. Monroe alleged that police officers placed him under arrest and searched his home without a warrant. Monroe claimed that the police subsequently detained and interrogated him without access to the court or to the representation of counsel. No formal charges were issued. The city moved the district court to dismiss Monroe’s complaints on the theory that Section 1983 did not provide a civil cause of action for relief from acts performed in the ambit of governmental functions. The district court dismissed Monroe’s complaint. Monroe appealed and the appellate court affirmed the dismissal. Monroe petitioned the Supreme Court for review.