Torts – Causes of action relating to reporting to police, immunity under KRS 620.030, bad faith: Morgan v. Bird (COA 5/29/2009)

Morgan v. Bird
2007-CA-001630 05/29/2009 2009 WL 1491301

Opinion by Judge Lambert; Judges Moore and VanMeter concurred.

The Court affirmed an order of the circuit court dismissing appellants’ claims brought against a neighbor, a City, members of the city council and a police officer.

The Court held that the trial court properly dismissed the claim for failure to state a claim for which relief could be granted, as appellants failed to show that the neighbor acted in bad faith when she reported to the police her suspicion that appellants’ toddler son was drinking beer. Therefore, the neighbor was entitled to immunity under KRS 620.030. Further, the one disagreement related to the events did not suggest a level of malice or bad intent required to prove the neighbor acted in bad faith.

The Court further held that it did not matter that the neighbor reported the suspected neglect to her son, a member of a local law enforcement agency, as allowed by the statute.

The Court then held that because there was no bad faith by the neighbor and the officer properly followed the guidelines outlined in the statute for reporting the claim to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, the claims against the city and city council members for failure to properly supervise and/or train the officer were properly dismissed.

The Court further held that the trial court did not err in granting summary judgment on the claim that the officer illegally searched appellants’ home. The officer merely followed the Cabinet worker through the home as she conducted her investigation, appellants did not object to the officer entering their home, no property was seized and the officer’s observations had no weight on the Cabinet worker’s decision to place the child with a relative pending drug tests of the parents and a live-in friend.

The Court finally held that appellants’ claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress by the police officer was without merit.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are inappropriate, offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.