Suing Government Officials In Georgia

Most members of the public do not realize that it is very difficult to sue a government official. As long as government officials are acting within the scope of their discretionary authority, they are typically immunized by law from legal liability for mistakes they make, even including claims involving negligence, gross negligence and/or recklessness. The main exception to this rule typically involves the operation of automobiles for which there has been a statutory waiver of sovereign immunity in Georgia. There are, however, other limited exceptions which can apply in certain particular cases. As an example, if a government official is acting outside the scope of his authority or even if he is performing a discretionary act, if he acts with intent to injure and/or acts maliciously, he or she can lose immunized status and be subject to legal liability for such willful acts. Again, these exceptions to the doctrine of official immunity are limited. Accordingly, if a claim is to successfully be brought against a government official, it is necessary that counsel be retained at the earliest opportunity.
Not only is there a procedure maze of hurdles that one must overcome to file a claim against a government official, as indicated in earlier blogs and other posts on this site, there are multiple ante-litem provisions that must be taken into consideration when considering a claim against a government official. Valid claims against those who abuse their authority can be successfully prosecuted if the facts establish an exception to claims of official immunity.

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