Can you sue a Judge in Michigan?
Let’s face it, sometimes Judges get things wrong. When they do, one option is to take an appeal, but can you sue a Judge in Michigan?
The Michigan Court of Appeals is an intermediate higher court and can overturn a lower court’s decision when it makes an error in judgment and if the Michigan Court of Appeals makes an error in judgment, the Michigan Supreme Court can overturn the Michigan Court of Appeals.
What if a trial court’s decision is more than an error in judgment? What if the trial court’s decision causes injury to property or a person? For example, can you sue a judge in Michigan if the divorce court awards custody or parenting time to a parent who injures a child? What if you warned the Michigan divorce court that the person would do so? Can you sue the Judge?
The answer is no. You cannot sue a Judge in Michigan unless . . .
When the Michigan legislature passed the Governmental Liability for Negligence Act 170 in 1964, it created immunity for Judges acting within the scope of judicial authority. The Michigan law is contained in Section 691.1407 of Michigan Compiled Laws.
Section (5) of the Governmental Liability for Negligence Act 170 of 1964 provides:
(5) A judge . . . is immune from tort liability for injuries to persons or damages to property if he or she is acting within the scope of his or her judicial authority.
So as long a Judge is acting within the scope of his/her authority, you cannot sue a judge in Michigan, even if the Judge cause injury to a person or property.
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By: Daniel Findling