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Line Staff Litigation: A Different Kind of Self-Defense

NCJ Number
Corrections Today Volume: 52 Issue: 5 Dated: (August 1990) Pages: 146,148,150,152-157
W C Collins
Date Published
9 pages
For the benefit of correctional personnel who may be involved in a lawsuit related to their work performance, this article provides detailed information on the procedures and preparation for a civil suit.
The article first advises that virtually every State has a statutory procedure by which State employees sued in the line of work are defended by the State attorney general and indemnified for any costs of litigation. Employees of local governments may also have the same kind of protection and assistance, but there is greater variance in this regard than with State employees. The description of the beginnings of a lawsuit focuses on the summons and complaint and the defendant's prompt and proper response to it. The article then describes various pretrial proceedings and options, including the process of discovery whereby both the defendant and plaintiff are entitled to obtain all the facts to be presented at trial by the other side. Other pretrial matters considered are the motion to dismiss and the motion for summary judgment. Specific advice is offered the defendant for testifying. The article concludes with a description of the appeal process.