qualified immunity


Definition of qualified immunity

law : immunity from civil liability that is conditioned or limited (as by a requirement of good faith or due care) especially : immunity from lawsuits that is granted to public officials (such as police officers) for acts that violate someone's civil rights if it can be shown that the acts do not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would be aware An officer conducting a search is entitled to qualified immunity where clearly established law does not show that the search violated the Fourth Amendment. Pearson v. Callahan, 555 U.S. 223 (2009) Wayne Jones's family won a small victory this month when the federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the officers involved in his killing could not claim qualified immunity. — Hailey Fuchs By bypassing qualified immunity, but paying out judgments assessed against the officers, Colorado's new law ensures that victims are made whole and that good cops aren't deterred from doing their jobs. — Nick Sibilla

First Known Use of qualified immunity

circa 1859, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of qualified immunity was circa 1859

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Cite this Entry

“Qualified immunity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/qualified%20immunity. Accessed 7 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for qualified immunity

qualified immunity

Legal Definition of qualified immunity

— see immunity


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