1. A tort committed by the government through an employee, agent, or instrumentality under its control. * The tort may or may not be actionable, depending on whether the government is entitled to sovereign immunity. A tort action against the US. government is regulated by the Federal Tort Claims Act, while a state action is governed by the state’s tort claims act.
Types of Government Torts:
constitutional tort – a violation of one’s constitutional rights by a government officer, redressable by a civil action filed directly against the officer.
tortious denial of benefits – the improper, often baseless refusal to recognize a valid claim for financial assistance. — aka wrongful denial of benefits.
official misconduct – public officer’s corrupt violation of assigned duties by malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance. — aka misconduct in office; misbehavior in office; malconduct in office; misdemeanor in office; corruption in office; official corruption; political corruption.
- feasance – the doing or accomplishment of an act, condition, or obligation.
- malfeasance – a wrongful, unlawful, or dishonest act; especially, wrongdoing or misconduct by a public official.
- misfeasance – the performance of a duty or act which one ought or has a right to do, but in a manner such as to infringe upon the rights of others.
- nonfeasance – the negligent failure to act when a duty to act exists.
abuse of power – misuse or improper exercise one’s authority in a way that is tortious, unlawful, or outside its proper scope.
- abuse of discretion – an adjudicator or appellate court’s failure to exercise sound, reasonable, and legal decision-making, unsupported by the evidence, thereby leading to a denial of justice.
- arbitrary and capricious – a concept which permits a court to substitute its judgment for that of an administrative agency’s unreasonable decision which ignores the law or facts of the case. — aka arbitrary.
- capricious (caprice) – contrary to the evidence or established rules of law; whimsical rather than logistic.
malice exception – a limit on public officials’ qualified immunity, whereby they can face civil liability for willfully exercising discretion in a way that violates a known or well-established right.
- qualified immunity – a public official’s immunity from civil liability when performing a discretionary function, as long as the conduct does not violate a clearly established constitutional or statutory right. — aka prima facie privilege.
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