Color of Law
The appearance of a legal right.
The act of a state officer, regardless of whether or not the act is within the limits of his or her authority, is considered an act under color of law if the officer purports to be conducting himself or herself in the course of official duties.
Under the CIVIL RIGHTS ACT of 1871 (42 U.S.C.A. SECTION 1983), color of law is synonymous with STATE ACTION, which is conduct by an officer that bears a sufficiently close nexus to a state so that the action is treated as though it is by the state.