See Bolin v. Black, 875 F.2d 1343, 1347 (8th Cir. 1989) (citing Monell v. Department of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658, 694 (1978); Harris v. Pirch, 677 F.2d 681, 685 (8th Cir. 1982)); Jones v. Huckabee, 369 Ark. 42, 49, 250 S.W.3d 241 (2007) (noting that the court may look to federal case law interpreting Section 1983 for guidance in construing the Arkansas Civil Rights Act, citing A.C.A. § 16-123-105(c)).
As to any civil rights claims based on your own actions, qualified immunity will protect you from liability if you are sued under Section 1983, unless your conduct violates “clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known.” Hope v. Pelzer, 536 U.S. 730, 739, 122 S.Ct. 2508, 153 L.Ed.2d 666 (2002) (citation omitted). And a suit under the Arkansas Civil Rights Act is analyzed the same was as a suit under Section 1983. See Rainey v. Hartness, 339 Ark. 293, 5 S.W.3d 410 (1999). The question of qualified immunity is a question of law to be determined from all of the existing facts and circumstances based on whether reasonable officers knew or should have known that their conduct violated constitutional law. Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 818 1982). As further explained by one of my predecessors: Under the doctrine of qualified immunity, an individual is immune from trial if the actions complained of were taken in good faith in the performance of one’s duties, and the acts do not violate any clearly established constitutional right. Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800 (1982). The test for the applicability of qualified immunity turns upon the “objective legal reasonableness of the action,” assessed in light of legal rules that were “clearly established” at the time the action was taken. See Anderson v. Creighton, 483 U.S. 635 (1987). The immunity is “qualified” because it does not obtain where the activity is in violation of clearly established law that a reasonable person would have known. Robinson v. Beaumont, 291 Ark. 477, 725 S.W.2d 839 (1987); Matthews v. Martin, 280 Ark. 345, 658 S.W.2d 374 (1983). Op. Att’y Gen. 99-363.
Harris v. Pirch, supra n. 1, at 685. See also Wilson v. City of North Little Rock, 801 F.2d 316, 322 (8th Cir. 1986) (noting that a cause of action predicated on breach of a duty to supervise or control subordinates may be maintained only if the supervising officer “demonstrated deliberate indifference or tacit authorization of the offensive acts by failing to take remedial steps following notice of a pattern of such acts by his subordinates.”)
A.C.A. § 19-10-305(a) Supp. 2011).
A.C.A. § 16-21-147 (Repl. 1999).
See South Central Ark. Drug Task Force v. Ray, 56 Ark. App. 30, 31-32, 937 S.W.2d 682 (1997) (discussing the South Central Arkansas Drug Task Force program).
A.C.A. § 16-81-106(g)(13) (Supp. 2011) (addressing the arrest authority of certified law enforcement officers).
Accord South Central Arkansas Drug Task Force, supra n. 6 (drug task force employee determined to be a state employee entitled to workers’ compensation benefits where prosecuting attorney directed the task force and employee’s position was funded through federal grants and state matching funds handled through the State Treasury).
It perhaps also bears noting that you are cloaked with absolute immunity from suit under the common law when the acts complained of are committed within the scope of your prosecutorial duties. See generally Culpepper v. Smith, 302 Ark. 558, 792 S.W.2d 293 (1990).
Ark. Const. art. 5, § 20.