Supreme Court: Temporary Government Employee Is Entitled To Same Immunity From Lawsuits As Full-Time Public Workers


In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on April 17, 2012 that a private employee working for a governmental body is entitled to the same qualified immunity as full-time public employees. Filarsky v. Delia.


Steve Filarsky is an attorney who was retained by the city of Rialto, California, to conduct internal investigations of city employees. He investigated Firefighter Nicholas Delia, who the city suspected of abusing sick leave. Delia was observed buying building supplies while on leave, but then he claimed he had not used them. In his role as an investigator for the city, Filarsky ordered Delia to produce the unused materials to prove his claim. After first objecting, the firefighter placed the material on his lawn for inspection.

Delia then sued Filarsky for alleged violations of the Fourth and Fourteenth amendments. Those amendments respectively guard against unreasonable searches and seizures and prohibit governments from depriving people of property (without certain steps being taken to ensure fairness). Filarsky claimed qualified immunity. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled against Filarsky. But the Supreme Court overturned the 9th Circuit's ruling, saying Filarsky was entitled to the same immunity as any other Rialto employees.

Please see full alert below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

Written by:

Published In:

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Fisher & Phillips LLP | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.