Though the code cites pertain to
the State of Washington, other states are likely to have similar codes
The case cites are from my files and have not been Shepardized,
should be looked into. Nonetheless, they show it is possible to fight
and win against city hall.
RCW 42.52.050 Confidential information--Improperly concealed
An employer is liable for unauthorized acts if they are done in
conjunction with other acts which are within the scope of the employee's
duties, citing Smith v. Leber, 34 Wn.2d 611, 623 (1949) and Dickinson v.
Edwards, 105 Wn.2d 457 (1986).
Footnote 5. ---- Public duty doctrine, in general
RCW 4.96.010 Tortious conduct of local governmental
entities--Liability for damages.
(1) All local governmental entities, whether acting in a governmental
or proprietary capacity, shall be liable for damages arising out of
their tortious conduct, or the tortious conduct of their past or
present officers, employees, or volunteers while performing or in good
faith purporting to perform their official duties, to the same extent
as if they were a private person or corporation. Filing a claim for
damages within the time allowed by law shall be a condition precedent
to the commencement of any action claiming damages. The laws
specifying the content for such claims shall be liberally construed so
that substantial compliance therewith will be deemed satisfactory.
(2) Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, for the
purposes of this chapter, "local governmental entity" means a county,
city, town, special district, municipal corporation, or
(3) For the purposes of this chapter, "volunteer" is defined
according to RCW 51.12.035. [1993 c 449 º 2; 1967 c 164 º 1.]
RCW 4.92.010 is similar to chapter 4.96 RCW, but pertains to the State,
rather than counties.
Federal Tort Claims Act:
"When is government officer or employee acting within the scope of
his office or employment for purposes of determining government
liability under 28 USC, section1356 (b), 6ALR FED 373?
The federal government, by its consent, is stripped of all immunities
with regard to negligent or wrongful acts or omissions by government
employees. Still, one cannot maintain an action for intentional torts,
strict liability, or discretionary acts by government agents.
("Discretionary" acts have been defined by the cases to mean
administrative decisions at the "planning level as opposed to those at
the "operational" level.
Case law HAS held that judges are accountable. See Com. v. Ellis, 429
Mass. 362, 371 (1999), where the Supreme
Judicial Court of Massachusetts recognized that "Article 5 . . .
provides that officers of government `are at all times
accountable to [the people]
Two cases to look at: Hafer v. Melo, 112 S.Ct. 358(1991). U.S.
Supreme Court held that state officials (including judges) can be sued
in their personal capacity. But you have to prove they violated your
rights by violating their oaths of office and "stepped down off the
bench," as some other private entity, in doing so.
Then see Sevier v. Turner, 742 F.2d 262 (6th Cir. 1984) where judges
were found liable for civil rights damages for initiating both civil and
criminal contempt proceedings against fathers in child support
proceedings which constituted non-judicial acts because, pursuant to a
contract with the county (all judges and counties have child support
enforcement contracts with state and feds) judges were responsible for
collecting overdue child support and directed hearing officers to
initiate criminal prosecutions against fathers and then later civil
contempt proceedings in which fathers who were not current in their
payments were incarcerated or made purge payments out of which judges
and hearing officers received part of their salaries (and/or
Judges collecting support to supplement their incomes and pensions,
not acting in a judicial capacity (acting in ministerial capacity) and
have no immunity whatsoever.
FALSE ARREST: MENTAL DISTRESS: SETTLEMENT.
Jackson v. Harrah 's, U.S. District Court, D. Nev., No. R-82-98 ECR,
Oct. 26, 1984.
s1983: MALICIOUS,PROSECUTION: FALSE ARREST AND IMPRISONMENT: INTENTIONAL
INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS: SETTLEMENT.
Lucas v. Township of Jefferson, U.S. District Court, D.N.J., No.
82-4242, June 11, 1984.
$55,000 settlement for a man who was accused of sexual assault and
incarcerated for 28 days although the evidence brought in a conviction
only for simple asault.
s1983: MUNICIPAL LIABILITY: FAILURE TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ATTENTION TO
DETAINEE: WRONGFUL DEATH: STRUCTURED SETTLEMENT.
Carter v. City of Flint, U.S. District Court, E.D.
Mich., No. 81-40016, Apr. 30, 1984.
Structured settlement with a present cash value of $750,000 for
POLICE TORTS: ASSAULT AND BATTERY: STRIP SEARCH: MALICIOUS PROSECUTION:
VIOLATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS: INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS:
COMPENSATORY AND PUNITIVE DAMAGES: ATTORNEY FEES.
Franklin v. City of Detroit, Wayne County 36th District Court, No.
4724312, Nov. 5, 1982.
Jury award of $330,000 in compensatory and punitive damages against
city of Detroit for police misconduct. An additional $35,175 was
awarded for attorney fees under 42 U.S.C., sec.1988.
MALICIOUS PROSECUTION -- COMPENSATORY AND PUNITIVE DAMAGES.
Kalomiris v Bykash, N.Y., Nassau County Supreme Court, No. 9460/76,
Bench verdict of $60,000 compensatory and $1million punitive damages
Section 1983: MUNICIPAL LIABILITY: POLICE TORT: RAPE OF ARRESTEE AFTER
DISCHARGE FROM CUSTODY: FAILURE TO SECURE PROMPT MEDICAL ATTENTION:
COMPENSATORY AND PUNITIVE DAMAGES.
Robinson v. Vanguard Insurance Co., Fla., Palm Beach County 15th
Judicial Circuit Court, No. 83-384 CA (L) 01 1, Mar. 21, 1984.
Jury verdict of $75,000 compensatory and $5,000 punitive damages for
38-year-old woman who was raped following her release from police
MUNICIPAL JUDGE LIABILITY: FALSE ARREST AND IMPRISONMENT: ACTION IN
EXCESS OF JURISDICTION: JUDICIAL IMMUNITY INAPPLICABLE: COMPENSATORY AND
King v. Love, U.S. District Court, W.D. Tenn., No. 81-2016-M, Nov. 10,
Jury verdict of $10,000 compensatory and $50,000 punitive damages
against defendant municipal court judge for wrongfully jailing plaintiff
ILLINOIS IMMUNITY CASE CITE:
Yates v. Village of Hoffman Estates, Illinois, 209 F.Supp. 757 (N.D. Ill. > 1962)
"not every action by a judge is in exercise of his judicial function.
... it is not a judicial function for a judge to commit an intentional
tort even though the tort occurs in the courthouse." Cf. Vickrey v. Dunivan,
1955, 59 N.M. 90, 279 P.2d 853.