Thursday, April 8, 2010

Immunity applies when office holder is sued in his official capacity

The Supreme Court of Ohio today ruled, 6-1, that public officeholders, sued in their official capacity, are immune from liability pursuant to R.C. 2774.02, (political subdivision immunity analysis) rather than the “political subdivision employee” immunity standards set forth in R.C. 2744.03(A)(6).

In that case, the plaintiff sued the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts for publishing her private information online after receiving a traffic citation.

The First District Court of Appeals found that political subdivision employee analysis applied. However, the Supreme Court found that political subdivision analysis applied and that the Clerk of Courts was immune from such suit because it occurred in his official capacity.

The same analysis would be applicable to school board members when sued in their official capacity.

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