P sued Ds claiming, they injured him by placing upon him extremely tight physical restraints, thereby unlawfully 'subjecting' him 'to the deprivation of' a right 'secured by the Constitution' of the United States. Ds asserted a qualified immunity from § 1983 lawsuits and moved to dismiss the action. A private firm, not the state government, employed the guards. The court held that the law did not grant the guards immunity from suit. It denied their motion to dismiss. The guards appealed. The Court of Appeals conceded that other courts had reached varying conclusions about whether, or the extent to which, private-sector defendants are entitled to immunities of the sort the law provides governmental defendants. It held that privately employed prison guards were not entitled to immunity. The Supreme Court granted certiorari.