Manchester Municipal Risk Management Authority

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Upcoming Meetings
10.06.20 DPS Advisory Committee Meeting
10.16.20 Parks & Recreation Committee Meeting
10.20.20 Fire/EMS Advisory Committee Meeting
10.20.20 Facilities Management Committee Meeting
11.05.20 Lower Peninsula Law Enforcement Committee Meeting
11.10.20 Technology & Cyber Security Advisory Committee Meeting

Featured Training
10.13.20 Effectively Managing Problem Employees
10.15.20 Effectively Managing Problem Employees
10.20.20 Managing Generational Differences in the Workplace
10.22.20 Managing Generational Differences in the Workplace

What's New/Hot Topic From MMRMA to You
MMRMA Updates Water/Beach Safety, Community Property Rental/Use Resources
Documents aim to help member parks and recreation departments manage risk.

August 2020 Risk Journal
RAP/CAP grant update. Applications welcome; next deadline is October 2. Plus virtual public meeting tips from a member and a parliamentary expert, and exploring direct supervision in jails.

June 2020 Risk Journal
Developing, Communicating Plans to Reopen During and After Pandemic; Managing Inmate Expectations a Key Component of Effective Jails

Court Weighs In on Absolute Immunity

Posted: Monday, July 8, 2013

As a result of a recent opinion by a divided Michigan Supreme Court, the absolute immunity provisions of the Michigan Governmental Immunity Statute that apply to the elected and highest appointed executive officials of government are applicable to these high-ranking officials even when performing lower-level duties. The majority in Petipren v. Jaskowski wrote:

“Consistent with the plain meaning of 'executive authority,' the highest executive official is entitled to absolute immunity under MCL 691.1407(5) even when performing acts that might otherwise be performed by a lower-level employee if those actions fall within the authority vested in the official by virtue of his or her role as an executive official.” 

In July 2008, Rodney Jaskowski, then police chief of Port Sanilac, Michigan, was involved in the arrest of Thomas Petipren, a musician performing at a community outdoor summer event. The job description of the Port Sanilac police chief included the authority to arrest and otherwise engage in related ordinary police functions.

Petipren thereafter filed suit in state court alleging assault and battery, false arrest, and intentional infliction of emotional distress as a result of the arrest. The trial court and court of appeals both refused to apply the absolute immunity provisions of the Act, because Jaskowski was acting in the role of an ordinary patrolman instead of police chief. As quoted above, a three-Justice majority of the Michigan Supreme Court disagreed with the lower courts and ruled in favor of absolute immunity for the police chief. (Two Justices abstained and two dissented.)

This decision should prove particularly valuable to law enforcement departments in smaller communities, in which chiefs may wear several hats as a result of smaller staffs of patrol officers.

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Michigan Municipal Risk
Management Authority

14001 Merriman Road
Livonia, MI 48154

MMRMA has been a leader in municipal risk since 1980 and remains committed to meeting the ever-expanding challenges faced by its membership. MMRMA's risk control services are designed to help its members identify, prevent, and mitigate losses through on-site surveys, training, and other services. MMRMA also provides its members with premier claims and legal services, sound financial management, and essential news on the latest developments in public risk management.


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