Attorney General's Opinion
Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal
May 10, 2004
Gerald D. Farrell, Jr., Chairman
State Marshal Commission
765 Asylum Ave.
450 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, Connecticut 06105
Dear Chairman Farrell:
In separate letters to us you requested our advice on two questions concerning indemnification of state marshals. Your first question seeks our opinion on whether state marshals serving capias warrants on behalf of Support Enforcement Services are entitled to indemnification by the State of Connecticut. Your second question asks whether state marshals who train new appointees would be indemnified under Connecticut General Statutes § 4-165. Our answer to both questions is no.
We conclude that state marshals serving capias warrants are independent contractors who do not qualify for the statutory indemnification afforded to state officers and employees. Instead, state marshals are required by statute to carry their own personal liability insurance. Similarly, state marshals under contract with the state to provide training services are independent contractors required to obtain their own personal liability insurance to protect themselves and the state from liability in connection with their training activities.
With respect to your first question you advised us that a select group of marshals has been specifically trained and authorized to use state vehicles for the service of capias warrants. You further advised us that the State Marshal Advisory Board has expressed concern about indemnification when marshals are serving capias warrants.
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 5-141d (a) provides for indemnification of state officers and employees. It states as follows:
State marshals are not included within the statutory definition of "state officers and employees" who may be indemnified pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 5-141d(a). Conn. Gen. Stat. § 4-141 provides, in part, as follows:
The General Assembly has specifically determined that state marshals are independent contractors, not state officers or employees. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 6-38a (a) , as amended by Public Act No. 03-224, provides that "[f]or purposes of the general statutes, 'state marshal' means a qualified deputy sheriff incumbent on June 30, 2000, under section 6-38 or appointed pursuant to section 6-38b, as amended by this act, who shall have the authority to provide legal execution and service of process in the counties in this state pursuant to section 6-38 as an independent contractor compensated on a fee for service basis, determined, subject to any minimum rate promulgated by the state, by agreement with an attorney, court or public agency requiring execution of service of process." Emphasis added.
Moreover, Conn. Gen. Stat. § 6-30a requires state marshals to carry personal liability insurance. It states as follows:
Furthermore, Conn. Gen. Stat. § 6-38b (i), as amended by Public Act No. 03-224, specifically prohibits a person from being a state employee and a state marshal at the same time. It states:
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 6-38a (a) makes it clear that state marshals are independent contractors and not state employees. See, Connecticut Attorney General Opinion No. 2001-028, Honorable Mitchell R. Harris December 20, 2001. As independent contractors, they are not covered by the indemnification provisions of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 5-141d (a). Rather, they are required to obtain personal liability insurance to protect the public from tortious acts committed in the performance of their official duties. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 6-30a; see also, Antinerella v. Rioux, 44 Conn. Supp. 368, 372 (1995).
Although state marshals are not entitled to indemnification by the state, Conn. Gen. Stat. § 6-38a (b) protects state marshals from personal liability with respect to entry on private property while performing executions or service of process, including the service of capias warrants on behalf of Support Enforcement Services. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 6-38a (b)states:
Your second question asks whether "the marshals, acting as an agent of the state in a training capacity, would be indemnified under Connecticut General Statute 4-165." For the reasons stated above, our answer to this question is no.
You advised us that as part of the training program for new marshals, your Commission would like the new marshals to train outside the classroom serving process with seasoned marshals. You further advised us that you contemplate entering into personal service contracts with existing marshals to provide the field training. Lastly, you advised us that the marshals who would do the field training are asking whether they would be indemnified under Conn. Gen. Stat. § 4-165.2
Our analysis with respect to your first question is similarly applicable here. The marshals performing the field training under a state contract would not be entitled to the protection of the indemnification statute since they are independent contractors, not state officers or employees. As independent contractors, the state contracts should require them to carry appropriate liability insurance to protect themselves and the state from liability in connection with their training activities.
Assistant Attorney General
1The exceptions contained in section 6-38f are not relevant for purposes of this opinion.
2General Statutes 4-165 is not an indemnification statute but rather an immunity statute. Conn. Gen. Stat. 5-141d is the indemnification statute.