11. Civil Process and Liability (12 hrs.). TCLEOSE LEARNING OBJECTIVES 07/30/04. Objectives. Unit Goal: 11.1. The student will understand the liability assumed resulting from improper acts or failure to act during daily law enforcement duties and in the execution of civil process.
11. Civil Process and Liability (12 hrs.)
TCLEOSE LEARNING OBJECTIVES
Unit Goal: 11.1. The student will understand the liability assumed resulting from improper acts or failure to act during daily law enforcement duties and in the execution of civil process.
11.1.1. Recognize that peace officers and the entity that employs them are liable for improper acts likely resulting in civil action.
The potential for civil liability in any action a peace officer takes has greatly increased in recent years.
When an alleged civil wrong occurs, the civil action is not usually limited to just the individual officer, but also involves the agency or political sub-division that represents the commissioning authority of the officer.
Although there are specific statutory prohibitions against these actions, agencies and officers may also be held civilly responsible.
Reference: Texas Criminal Law and Motor Vehicle Handbook
O’Connor’s Texas Rule (2003 Edition)
Web site is www.capitol.state.tx.us/statutes/statutes.html
11.1.2. Recognize the difference between criminal and civil liability for wrongful actions taken by peace officer.
In many cases before civil action is initiated, a case may be reviewed by the Grand Jury for criminal action or charges filed for penal or statutory violations of the law.
If the disposition results in a conviction and punishment is rendered, the officer(s) and his or her commissioning authority are most likely to be involved in civil action and is a totally separate action.
In today’s environment, if a wrong occurs from an act performed as a peace officer, criminal action will be reviewed and most likely will result in some sort of civil action.
Also note the cost of civil actions can be extremely costly individually and to the governmental entity.
Unit Goal: 11.2. The student will understand the difference between civil and criminal process.
Note to the instructor: You may wish to review 4.3.3 and 4.3.4 with students, including the chart of court structure in Texas.
11.2.1. Define laws, civil law and criminal law.
11.2.1. Identify the major differences between civil and criminal law.
Criminal law regulates the conduct of individuals through threats of fines and imprisonment.
In criminal cases, the state brings an action against an individual to punish him for breaking one of their laws.
Criminal judgments may result in the guilty party being assessed a fine only or a fine and period of confinement or community service.
In a criminal case, the defendant is adjudicated guilty or innocent based upon the evidence presented to a judge or jury beyond a reasonable doubt.
Civil law defines the legal significance of public and private acts and regulates conduct through injunctions and the award of money damages.
In a civil case, a person brings a lawsuit seeking some sort of redress for an injury he claims to have suffered. The person may be an individual, partnership, corporation, or sometimes the state. The redress that the person seeks is usually in the form of money. He asks the court to order his opponent to pay him monetary compensation or an injunction to the defendant for the wrongful act.
Civil judgments usually require the part adjudged of a wrongful act to compensate the wronged party in the form of money or the return or possession of property.In a civil case, a judgment is rendered in favor of the complaining party or the defendant or somewhere in between based upon the preponderance of evidence before a judge or jury.
11.2.2. Define the most common terms used in civil process.
Reference: Black’s Law Dictionary
Definitions of Civil Process Terms:
11.2.3. Define the most common Latin terms used in civil process.
Reference: Black’s Law Dictionary
Definitions of Civil Process Terms in Latin:
Unit Goal: 11.3. The student will understand the procedure and methods for a civil action
11.3.1. Identify the methods for a civil suit.
Methods for a civil suit:
1. Incident occurs resulting in a civil wrong
11.3.2. Identify the procedure for a civil suit.
11.3.3. List the persons authorized to serve process and their duties under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure (TRCP).
11.3.4. Identify the methods for service of citations.
"Our greatest battles are that with our own minds."-- Jameson Frank