Presentation on theme: "CIVIL LIABILITY Instructor: John M. Balloni. Duration: Two Hours Instruction Methods: Lecture, discussion, overheads and video."— Presentation transcript:
CIVIL LIABILITY Instructor: John M. Balloni. Duration: Two Hours Instruction Methods: Lecture, discussion, overheads and video.
What is Civil Liability? –Tort – civil wrong. Damage to bodily integrity, freedom, dignity or property right. Bodily harm – burglary / assault. Personal freedom – inaccurate suspect information. Dignity – body cavity searches. Property Interest – larceny in progress that does not get dispatched.
Three categories of tort Intentional wrong. Neglect – omission V commission. Strict Liability – Harm to one where duty is owed by law or special duty.
Criminal Vs Civil Preponderance of evidence as opposed to proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Actual Vs Punitive damages.
Why sue us? Deep pockets. Dispatcher or call taker can be first link to county Vicarious liability: (travel blame up the ladder Negligent supervision Negligent hiring Negligent training Negligent retention
Duty General (What we owe all people.) Special duty – what we owe when courts or we create it. (Orders of protection, or when we say we will protect them.)
Federal Vs State suits Usually both. Feds are involved per federal statute title 42 USC 1983. Done under color of law or authority. (We speak for police). Causes loss of any civil right. (Any constitutionally guaranteed right or federally protected right.). 1976 amendment allowed for the recovery of attorney fees. Compensatory and punitive damages. Constitutional Amendments.
Protections and avoiding liability You will get sued! (People can sue for almost anything.)
Qualified Immunity Vs Absolute Immunity Absolute restricted to judges, prosecutors and legislators. Qualified – Good faith and probable cause exceptions. Reasonable and within the scope of employment. Common sense and good judgment.
Avoiding liability Action in accordance with rules and regulations. Pursuant to a statute presumed to be valid. Based on orders from supervisors. In accordance with advice from legal council.
Indemnification You are generally indemnified by county (But be careful). Indemnification ends if you acted outside the scope of your employment.
Lawsuits Notice of claim: within 90 days & only really reserves right to sue. County is self-insured. Most claims are settled (even when you did not do anything wrong.).