THEODORE FRANKLIN DAVIS v. KNOX COUNTY, TENNESSEE - Articles

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Posted by: Chandra Williams on Nov 30, 2015

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Amanda Lynn Morse and David S. Wigler, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Knox County, Tennessee.

Attorneys 2:

Forrest L. Wallace, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Theodore Franklin Davis.

Judge(s): SUSANO

We granted this interlocutory appeal in order to consider whether Knox County can rely upon the defense of quasi-judicial immunity with respect to the allegations against it in the complaint filed by the plaintiff Theodore Franklin Davis. At an earlier time, Davis entered into a plea agreement in criminal court. In the agreement, he consented to comply with all of the requirements of the Knox County Pretrial Services Office during his six-month probation. One of the requirements was that he would wear a Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring unit (the SCRAM) to track his alcohol consumption. Pretrial Services – a department of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office and an agent of Knox County – installed and monitored the device. Davis alleges that the agents of Pretrial Services were negligent in the installation of, and their refusal to adjust, the SCRAM. He alleges that the SCRAM exacerbated his diabetic condition. Knox County raised the defense of quasi-judicial immunity and later moved to dismiss. The trial court denied Knox County’s motion, holding that it was not entitled to raise the defense of quasi-judicial immunity. We hold that Knox County is entitled to assert the defense of quasi-judicial immunity under Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-20-206 (2012). Accordingly, we reverse the trial court’s judgment and dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint.