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NCJ Number: 73433 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Liability and Criminal Justice Information
Journal: Security and Privacy Issue Brief  Issue:1  Dated:(September 1980)  Pages:complete issue
Corporate Author: SEARCH - National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
Washington, DC 20531
SEARCH - National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics
Sacramento, CA 95831
Grant Number: 80-BJ-CX-0007
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper describes recent court decisions dealing with the issue of personal liability of State and local officials from mishandling criminal justice information.
Abstract: Three distinct theories of liability, which permit suits against criminal justice agencies and employees, are based on (1) breach of a statute or its implementing regulations, (2) deprivation of constitutional rights, and (3) interference with interests traditionally protected by common law (tort law). Potential liability is limited by two important doctrines: the doctrine of offical immunity and doctrine of official immunity and the doctrine of vicarious liability. A survey of recent court decisions shows that no decision published since 1976 has found State or local officials personally liable for improper handling of criminal justice data. Recent decisions suggest, however, that State and local officials could be held liable for record malpractice merely because of negligent violation of recordkeeping standards. Recent cases' outcomes have generally been determined by the way the courts have dealt with the issues of negligence, vicarious liability, and liability of State officials based on Federal statutes. Recently, the courts rejected the theory of vicarious liability in cases involving Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act, while extending federally imposed liability of State defendants to include Federal statutory violations. The issue of personal liability of criminal justice employees for negligent violations remains unresolved; thus criminal justice officials are urged to monitor case law carefully in order to minimize exposure. Footnotes with references are included.
Index Term(s): Criminal justice information systems; Judicial decisions; Legal liability; Local government; Personnel; Records management; State government; United States of America
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