2011 Louisiana Laws
Revised Statutes
TITLE 42 — Public officers and employees
RS 42:1441.3 — Determination of master of officer of political subdivision for purposes of civil code article 2320 and other master-servant tort liability laws


LA Rev Stat § 42:1441.3 What's This?

§1441.3. Determination of master of officer of political subdivision for purposes of Civil Code Article 2320 and other master-servant tort liability laws

A. The master of an individual who is an elected or appointed public officer, official, or employee of a political subdivision, under the meaning and purpose of Civil Code Article 2320 and other laws imposing liability on a master for the offenses and quasi offenses of his servant, is the particular political subdivision of which such individual is a public officer, official, or employee.

B. Determinants of which political subdivision may be made liable as master for the offenses and quasi offenses of a public officer of a political subdivision under Civil Code Article 2320 and other laws imposing such master-servant liability, shall include:

(1) The territorial jurisdiction and territorial extent of the governmental body politic comprising the electorate who usually elects such public officer, if he is elected, or who usually elects the public officer who appoints such public officer, if he is appointed as an assistant, deputy, or other representative or designee of an elected public officer, and comprising the electorate whom such public officer primarily serves; if the office which the public officer holds is in the nature of a representative capacity on a multi-member board, council, commission, jury, or other multi-member body which acts as a whole, then the territorial jurisdiction and territorial extent of such multi-member board on which such public officer serves;

(2) The source of the funds used for the operating expenses of the office in which such public officer serves; and

(3) Unless such public officer is elected directly by the electorate of the political subdivision of which he is such officer, the office of the individual who has the right to control closely the daily time and physical activities of such public officer in carrying out his public duties.

C. Determinants of which political subdivision may be made liable as master for the offenses and quasi offenses of a public employee of a political subdivision under Civil Code Article 2320 and other laws imposing such master-servant liability and for finding an employer-employee relationship, shall include all of the following:

(1) The public officer or governmental body politic that exercises the power of selection and engagement of the public employee.

(2) The public officer or governmental body politic that supervises or has the right to control closely the daily time and physical activities of such public employee in carrying out his public duties.

(3) The public officer or governmental body politic that exercises the power of disciplinary actions and dismissal of the public employee.

(4) The source of the funds used for the payment of salaries or wages of the public employee.

D. As provided in R.S. 42:1, the term "public officer" includes anyone who holds any elective or appointive office created by constitution or law. The term is not synonymous with "state officer", as "public officer" includes not only public officers of the state but also public officers of parishes, municipalities, special districts, and other political subdivisions. While all offices created by the constitution or law are "public offices", they are not all "state offices", as they include parish offices, municipal offices, district offices, and offices of political subdivisions. A public officer may be the officer of a parish, municipality, district, or other political subdivision without being appointed by or under the direct control of the particular body which exercises the legislative functions of such parish, municipality, district, or political subdivision, in much the same manner as a public officer of the state may hold an office in the executive branch or may hold the office of a state court judgeship without being appointed by or under the direct control of the legislature.

E. As provided in R.S. 42:62, the term "political subdivision" means a parish, municipality, and any other unit of local government, including a school board and a special district, authorized by law to perform governmental functions; in addition, for the purposes of this Part, mayor's courts, justice of the peace courts, district attorneys, sheriffs, clerks of court, coroners, tax assessors, registrars of voters, and all other elected parochial officials shall be separate political subdivisions. The terms "state" and "state agency" mean the executive branch, the legislative branch, and the judicial branch of state government, or the parts thereof, as defined in R.S. 42:62.

F. Civil Code Article 2320 and other laws imposing liability on a master for the offenses and quasi offenses of his servant shall not extend or apply to and shall not impose liability upon any political subdivision for the offenses and quasi offenses of another political subdivision, the state, or any other governmental body politic, or of the officers, deputies, assistants, employees, appointees, designees, or representatives of such other political subdivision, the state, or any other governmental body politic.

G. Notwithstanding Paragraph (2) of Subsection B of this Section and Paragraph (4) of Subsection C of this Section, when a political subdivision serves as an independent third-party paymaster for another political subdivision, the state, any state agency, or any other governmental body politic or for any public officer, official, or employee thereof or is otherwise mandated to pay any salaries, stipends, wages, fees, or expenses of any public officer, official, or employee of another political subdivision, the state, any state agency, or any other governmental body politic, neither an employer-employee relationship shall be established nor a master-servant relationship created for the purpose of imposing liability upon the paying political subdivision for the offenses or quasi offenses of a public officer, official, or employee of the other political subdivision, the state, the state agency, or any other governmental body politic.

Acts 1985, No. 451, §1; Acts 1995, No. 828, §4, eff. Nov. 23, 1995; Acts 1999, No. 150, §1, eff. June 9, 1999; Acts 2006, No. 138, §1, eff. June 2, 2006; Acts 2008, No. 193, §1, eff. June 13, 2008.

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