government tort – committed by a government employee, agent, or instrumentality:

     This page is continued from Civil Law Self-Help >>>> Section 1 >>>> Torts >>>> Types of Torts:


government tort:

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. — akwrongful denial of benefits

Related Terms:

Tort Claims Acts – federal and state Acts of Congress that waive sovereign immunity, thus allowing governments to be sued for torts committed by its employees and agents.

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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[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4


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