Friday, April 17, 2015

Error by Clerk

The Mississippi Supreme Court decided DeSoto County, Mississippi v. T.D. and Aaron Dennis located here yesterday.  The issue was an error by a Justice Court clerk in failing to cancel a warrant.  The trial court had denied summary judgment and the county filed an interlocutory appeal arguing that sovereign immunity prohibited the suit.  The Mississippi Supreme Court revered and rendered the judgment.  The relevant language is below:

"Section 11-46-9 grants immunity to DeSoto County if: (1) its justice court clerk was “acting within the course and scope of [her] employment or duties” (there is no dispute that she was), and (2) the claim arises “out of a . . . judicial action or inaction, or administrative action or inaction of a . . . judicial nature . . . .”  We find that the Legislature could not have chosen language that more precisely and clearly provides immunity to the clerk. The statute uses no words of limitation. It provides immunity for all claims that arise from any “judicial action or inaction, or administrative . . . inaction of a . . . judicial nature . . . ."

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