Bailiff supervising eviction is sued for assault and gross negligence
Fred Dixon appealed to the Court of Appeals after the Circuit Court refused to dismiss a wrongful death/assault action against him. The action was brought by the family of John Mazur. They alleged that Dixon, a court bailiff, threw Mazur against a telephone pole and battered Mazur's head while executing an eviction order, resulting in an intracranial bleed and Mazur's death. Dixon argued that he was entitled to immunity as a "state official" and as a quasi-judicial officer. The Court denied Dixon's claim on both grounds. It noted that under existing precedent, not all state employees are state officers and Dixon is analogous to a State Trooper--and thus not a state "official." The Court also held that there is no quasi-judicial immunity for an alleged assault.