Legal Issues in Departments

Departments and Legal Issues

Damian Anderson

Columbia College

             There are several basics types of tort which include: negligence, intentional, and constitutional (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012). A tort can be defined as “a private injury inflicted on one person by another person for which the injured party may sue in a civil action” (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012). Some of the action brings about “an award of money damages” (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012). Negligence torts revolve around a person’s reasonableness, or the “standard of the reasonable prudent person” (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012). Within this type of tort, the defendant is only liable if they could’ve anticipated that the acts or omission of acts “would result in injury to another” (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012). With intentional torts, the action surrounding the circumstances involves voluntary action such as assault, fraud, and false arrest (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012). Constitutional torts revolve around the Constitutional rights, privileges, and immunizations that are violated by criminal justice practitioners (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012).

Cops actually have several constitutional right such as the following: 1)free speech, right to privacy, searches and seizures (following probable cause),  and a right against self incrimination (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012). A police officer is actually liable for “damage caused by their actions” (Swason, Territo, Taylor, 2012). These damages must have been caused by actions in which exceeded the limited of an officer’s permissible behavior (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012).

Vicarious liability is defined as “a legal doctrine known as, respondent superior imposing liability on supervisors and manager for their tortuous conduct of their employees” (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012). This doctrines have developed due to our industrial society and showed an effort to “allocate risk to those who could not afford to pay for the complaint of the damages” Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012).  Examples of these include: 1) neglect hiring,  a department held liability for injuries of a individual by an officer whom was a bad hire, 2) negligent assignment, retention, and entrustment, an chief of police could be held responsible for damages by an officer who was required to be reassigned,  and 3) negligent direction and supervision,  when an supervisor chooses not to terminate a high risk situation involving an officer injuries civilians such as a high speed chase in a crowded downtown area (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012).

The Supreme Court in several situations has ruled against many laws in which created an equal basis for straight as well as gay individuals. In regards to police departments, the supreme court has helped create standards to be upheld on the line or respect and discrimination. For example, department now enforce discriminary actions for those harassing an individual for their sexual preference or gender (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012).










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