• Public Official Immunity and Intentional Torts – A New Publication Available

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    Issues of governmental immunity and public official immunity arise relatively often in North Carolina appellate opinions.  Within this important area of the law, however, there remain challenging questions.  Among them is this:  Does public official immunity ever shield North Carolina public officials from personal liability for intentional torts, such as assault, battery, false imprisonment, and malicious prosecution?  School of Government faculty member Trey Allen recently took on this question. His new Local Government Law Bulletin, Do Intentional Tort Claims Always Defeat Public Official Immunity?, includes an in-depth examination of existing case law with a discussion of malice in the context of intent, and closes with a proposed framework for analysis of future cases.  If, like me, you could simply use a primer on public official immunity, the bulletin starts with that.  And at the end there’s a handy list of which public official positions are eligible for immunity and which are not.  (Examples: Superintendent of County Schools – yes.  School bus driver – no).  Check out the bulletin (it’s free!) here.

    Ann Anderson is an associate professor with the UNC School of Government and specializes in civil procedure, civil practice, and judicial authority.

    One thought on “Public Official Immunity and Intentional Torts – A New Publication Available”

    • Jim says:

      My ‘opinion’ is that far to many Public entities are granted immunity. Many know or should know that their actions are unlawful and they are ‘acting under the color of law and official right’, but outside the scope and preview of their actual job description.

      ‘We the People’ need our legislatures to put teeth into the laws concerning the unlawful or rightful acts and actions of Public Officers. Our legislatures make laws that suggests a certain act or action by a Public Official is unlawful, but fail to prescribe a punishment, and a Citizen whos’ rights have been violated are forced to Sue. Which is ridiculously costly and mostly affordable to most private People.

      The legislatures are quick however to prescribe the punishment for a seat belt or blinker infraction.

      Could it be they are protecting their own? A sort of Public service Blue Code similar to the Law Enforcement communities? They sure seem to remain silent on the issue, and it appears it is promoting our servants to engage in criminal acts as they know that 90% or more of the time they will never be ‘sued’ and win.

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