I. Purpose

To clarify the proper claims handling procedures for those claims which fall within the classification of 1983 civil rights cases.

II. Background

Civil rights claims filed against the State under 42 U.S.C. Sec.1983 are unique in that they are not subject to the notice provisions required for general tort claims. Quite often these types of claims originate as personnel actions and escalate into civil rights claims. This unique development pattern often leads to attempted settlement of the claim outside the normal claims settlement process. This, in turn, often results in a failure to consult those people with the expertise and the authority to settle these types of claims.

III. Policy

The Attorney General’s staff, in concurrence with the Department of Administration, has exclusive settlement authority for 1983 civil rights cases. State Risk Management funds may be used to cover plaintiff’s attorneys fees and damages in such a claim. The University campus does not have the authority to independently bind any State Risk Management funds. The Attorney General’s staff must be involved in the settlement process.

IV. Procedure

A. Any time a civil rights claim or incident arises which could result in the use of risk management funds, notify Corey Finkelmeyer, Assistant Attorney General, and John Vick, Bureau of State Risk Management.

B. Notification must occur before any settlement negotiations are initiated with the plaintiff.

C. The campus or System may eventually be given authority to handle negotiations, but funds will not be payable from State Risk Management unless prior approval has been given by the Department of Justice and the Department of Administration for the settlement.