State department not allowed to raise purely procedural immunity issue late
In Stone v. Department of State Police, the Court ruled that the defendant could not belatedly raise purely procedural defects in the Plaintiff's claim notice without complying with the time limit on affirmative defenses. The Plaintiff had been struck, in her vehicle, by two different State Police cruisers and filed a personal injury claim against the Department. When her attorneys sent the State the necessary Notice of Intent to File a Suit, however, the attorneys did not have Stone's signature verified by a Notary Public. They instead argued that it was verified by the attorney's signature "as an officer of the court."
The Court of Appeals agreed that the attorney could not meet the statutory notice requirement for verification before a notary public, but nevertheless held that this error was purely procedural and was waived by the Defendant's procedural error in failing to raise the issue in a timely manner.