Kelley v. BurnellAnnotate this Case
Defendant Ralph Burnell petitioned the Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus to direct the Bibb Circuit Court to vacate its 2011 order that denied his motion to dismiss claims Plaintiff Christi Burry Kelley filed against him. In 2007 while she was an inmate at the Bibb County jail, Plaintiff slipped in the shower and was injured. Petitioner was the warden of the jail at the time. Plaintiff sued the warden, the jail, the sheriff's department, and the sheriff, alleging negligence and wantonness. Defendants moved to dismiss, arguing among other things that the trial court did not have jurisdiction to hear the claims against them under state immunity. The trial court dismissed as to the County, the jail and the sheriff's department and sheriff, but denied the motion as to Defendant. Defendant argued on appeal to the Supreme Court that he was entitled to State immunity because he was being sued for money damages for actions that arose out of his performance of his duties as a deputy sheriff. Finding that Defendant established a clear legal right to the dismissal of Plaintiff's claims against him, the Supreme Court issued the writ.