Senator NIA H. GILL
District 34 (Essex and Passaic)
Eliminates qualified immunity defense for law enforcement officers.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning law enforcement and supplementing Title 59 of the New Jersey Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Notwithstanding the provisions of the “New Jersey Tort Claims Act,” N.J.S.59:1‑1 et seq. or any other law to the contrary, a law enforcement agency or officer shall not be entitled to a qualified immunity defense.
2. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill provides that a law enforcement agency or law enforcement officer would not be entitled to a qualified immunity defense in response to a cause of action.
Under the qualified immunity doctrine, government officials are immune from civil liability when their conduct does not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known. In determining whether a government official is entitled to qualified immunity, a court is required to inquire whether: (1) the facts, taken in the light most favorable to the party asserting the injury show the officer s conduct violated a constitutional right; and (2) that constitutional right was clearly established at the time that defendant acted.
It is the sponsor’s intent to eliminate the qualified immunity defense when it protects law enforcement officers from accountability for wrongful activity.