Manchester Municipal Risk Management Authority

Member Login

Upcoming Meetings
02.20.19 Fire/EMS Advisory Committee Meeting
03.05.19 DPS Advisory Committee Meeting
03.07.19 2019 Risk Management Workshop
03.14.19 Administrative Advisory Committee Meeting
03.14.19 U.P. Law Enforcement Advisory Committee Meeting
03.26.19 Technology & Cyber Security Advisory Committee Meeting

Featured Training
02.19.19 Inmate Manipulation Training
03.12.19 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Workshop
03.12.19 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Workshop
04.03.19 Sexual Harassment Active Bystander Training
04.03.19 Sexual Harassment Active Bystander Training
04.26.19 Rapid Deployment to Active Shooter
04.29.19 Tactical Encounters for Patrol Officers
05.02.19 Tactical Encounters for Patrol Officers
05.20.19 Public Labor Law and Effective Grievance Processing for Supervisors
05.29.19 Emerging Legal Trends & Liability Management for SWAT & Emergency Response Operations

What's New/Hot Topic From MMRMA to You
MMRMA Announces $1.5 Million Distribution from State Pool Retention Fund
Board declares distribution based on recommendation from the State Pool Committee.

February 2019
Smart Onboarding and Orientation Practices; MMRMA Updates Five Valuable Risk Control Brochures; Preview of Risk Management Workshop

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.

« Return to Hot Topic Page

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.


site by wedü