Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

Willful and Malicious Act Required for Minnesota fficial Immunity Precludes Summary Judgment

Minnesota state prisoner Brooks Fisher was assaulted during his imprisonment between 1998 and 2003. He sued the State of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Corrections plus several employees under § 1983 and the state constitution for First, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment violations and negligence claims. The Ramsey County District Court denied summary judgment in favor of the defendants on immunity grounds, and the state appealed.

On de novo review, the Minnesota Court of Appeals addressed two forms of immunity. The Court first concluded that official immunity can only be granted if the complaint of conduct was discretionary and, if so, officials acted willfully and maliciously. Because this latter question presented a genuine issue of material fact, the denial of summary judgment was affirmed on this ground.

On the defense of sovereign immunity, the Court reversed the denial of summary judgment, concluding that neither Minnesota nor its employees could be sued in their official capacities. See Fisher v. State of Minnesota, Minnesota Court of Appeals, Case No. C3 05 495 (Oct. 17, 2006) (unpublished), 2006 WL 2947530.

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login

Related legal case

Fisher v. State of Minnesota