Amicus Brief

Klepacki v Hagar Township; Izzy DiMaggio, Supervisor; and Deborah Kelley, Clerk

Case Year: 2016
Case Forum: U.S. Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
Keywords: Government Tort Liability Act (GTLA), immunity, proximate cause
Amicus Counsel:

Mary Massaron | Josephine DeLorenzo | Plunkett Cooney |
38505 Woodward Ave Suite 2000 | Bloomfield Hills MI 48304 |

CoAmicus Parties:

1. Michigan Townships Association (MTA)
2. Michigan Municipal League Liability & Property Pool (Pool)
3. Michigan State Public Corporation Law Section (PCLS)


Under Michigan’s GTLA, when a defendant raises the affirmative
defense of individual governmental immunity, the court must determine whether the individual is entitled to absolute immunity under MCL 691.1407(5). When determining whether the government official in question is “the elective or highest appointive executive official” and whether he or she
“acting within the scope” of his or her executive authority, Michigan courts do not require extensive proofs, but rather, they turn to controlling statutes that authorize a public official’s position and define his or her duties. It follows that the district court here needed only to reference the applicable statutes governing townships to determine that the supervisor and clerk are elected executive officials responsible for conducting township business and are therefore entitled to absolute immunity. Even under the standard for lower level employees, Defendants are entitled to governmental immunity. MCL 691.1407(2)(c) provides in clear and unambiguous language that a governmental employee retains his individual immunity from tort liability unless his conduct amounts to gross
negligence and that gross negligence is “the” proximate cause of the injury or damage.



MSC requested LDF amicus brief? No
Case Number: 2015-17
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