1. The Laws of New York
  2. Consolidated Laws
  3. General Municipal
  4. Article 4: Negligence and Malfeasance of Public Officers; Taxpayers' Remedies


Section 50-J Liability of police officers for negligence in the performance of duty

General Municipal (GMU)

Liability of police officers for negligence in the performance of duty. 1. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general, special or local law, charter or code to the contrary, every city, county, town, village, authority or agency shall be liable for, and shall assume the liability to the extent that it shall save harmless, any duly appointed police officer of such municipality, authority or agency for any negligent act or tort, provided such police officer, at the time of the negligent act or tort complained of, was acting in the performance of his duties and within the scope of his employment.

  2. For purposes of this section, a police officer of any such municipal corporation, authority or agency, although excused from official duty at the time, shall be deemed to be acting in the discharge of duty when engaged in the immediate and actual performance of a public duty imposed by law and such public duty performed was for the benefit of the citizens of the community wherein such public duty was performed and the municipal corporation, authority or agency derived no special benefit in its corporate capacity.

  3. No action or special proceeding instituted hereunder shall be prosecuted or maintained against the municipality, authority or agency concerned or such police officer unless notice of claim shall have been made and served upon such municipality, authority or agency in compliance with section fifty-e of this chapter. Every such action shall be commenced pursuant to the provisions of section fifty-i of this chapter.

  4. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the city of New York.

  5. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the New York city housing authority.

  6. a. In addition to the requirements of subdivision one of this section, upon discretionary adoption of a local law, ordinance, resolution, rule or regulation, any city, county, town, village, authority, or agency shall provide for the defense of any civil action or proceeding brought against a duly appointed police officer of such municipality, authority or agency and shall indemnify and save harmless such police officer from any judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction whenever such action, proceeding or judgment is for punitive or exemplary damages, arising out of a negligent act or other tort of such police officer committed while in the proper discharge of his duties and within the scope of his employment. Such municipality, authority or agency is hereby authorized and empowered to purchase insurance to cover the cost of such defense and indemnification.

  b. The determination of whether any such police officer properly discharged his duties within the scope of his employment shall be made in a manner which shall be promulgated by the chief executive officer or if there be none, the chief legislative officer, and adopted by the governing board of such municipality, authority or agency.

  * NB There are 2 § 50-j's