[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Hempstead as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 5-17-1983 by L.L. No. 5-1983]
Editor's Note: This local law also repealed former Art. I, Village Liability, adopted 9-1-1953 by L.L. No. 1-1953.
[Amended 9-7-1993 by L.L. No. 7-1993; 5-21-2013 by L.L. No. 5-2013]
It is the intent of the Mayor and Board of Trustees of the Incorporated Village of Hempstead to confirm that since the adoption of this article it has been and continues to be the intention of said Board pursuant to the provisions of the Municipal Home Rule Law of the State of New York to adopt the provisions of § 6-628 of the Village Law of the State of New York and § 50-e, Subdivision 4, of the General Municipal Law of the State of New York so that prior written notice to the Village shall be required in such instances as are set forth hereinafter in § 39-1B. The requirement of written notice described in said section of the Village Code is deemed to be in the best interests of the Village of Hempstead.
Damages or injuries due to defective street, highway, bridge, culvert, crosswalk, sidewalk, traffic sign, parking field, walkway, footpath or bicycle pathway; notice to Village required. No civil action shall be maintained against the Incorporated Village of Hempstead for injuries or damages to person or property sustained by reason of any defect whatsoever in its streets, highways, bridges, culverts, crosswalks, sidewalks, traffic signs, parking fields, walkways, footpaths or bicycle pathways or for injuries or damages to person or property sustained by reason of any defect in its streets, highways, bridges, culverts, crosswalks, sidewalks, traffic signs, parking fields, walkways, footpaths or bicycle pathways or in consequence of the existence of snow or ice upon any of its streets, highways, bridges, culverts, crosswalks, sidewalks, traffic signs, parking fields, walkways, footpaths or bicycle pathways, unless said streets, highways, bridges, culverts, crosswalks, sidewalks, traffic signs, parking fields, walkways, footpaths or bicycle pathways, no matter where situated, have been constructed or maintained by the Village, pursuant to statute, and written notice of said defect causing the injuries or damages was actually given to the Village Clerk in accordance with § 39-1B hereof, nor shall any action be maintained for injuries or damages to person or property sustained by reason of any defect or in consequence of the existence of snow or ice unless written notice thereof, specifying the particular place, location and condition, was actually served upon the Board of Trustees by such as is hereinafter described upon the Village Clerk and there was a failure or neglect to cause the particular defect to be remedied or the snow or ice to be removed or to make the place otherwise reasonably safe within a reasonable time after the receipt of due notice.
Service of due notice of any defect described in this article shall be accomplished by personal service or of service by registered or certified mail upon the Village Clerk.
Nothing herein contained, however, shall be held to revive any claim or cause of action now barred by any existing requirement or statute of limitations nor to waive any existing limitation now applicable to any claim or cause of action against the Village of Hempstead.
[Adopted 5-6-1980 by L.L. No. 5-1980]
The purpose of this article is to provide legal and financial protection for those individuals serving the Village of Hempstead from claims which may be brought against them in their individual capacity for actions taken while in the performance of their official duties and responsibilities. In enacting this article, the Board of Trustees finds that the State of New York has enacted similar provisions for the legal and financial security of its officers and employees and further finds that such security is also required for local personnel. By enactment of this article, the Board of Trustees does not intend to limit or otherwise abrogate any existing right or responsibility of the Village or its employees with regard to indemnification or legal defense. It is solely the intent of this article to provide similar coverage for local employees as is presently provided for state employees so as to continue to attract qualified individuals to local government service.
As used in this article, unless the context otherwise requires, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any person holding a position by election, appointment or employment in the service of the Village of Hempstead, whether or not compensated, or a volunteer expressly authorized to participate in a municipally sponsored volunteer program, but not including an independent contractor. The term "employee" shall include a former employee, his estate or judicially appointed personal representative.
Upon compliance by the employee with the provisions of § 39-7 of this article, the Village shall provide for the defense of the employee in any civil action or proceeding in any state or federal court arising out of any alleged act or omission which occurred or is alleged in the complaint to have occurred while the employee was acting within the scope of his public employment or duties, or which is brought to enforce a provision of 42 U.S.C. § 1981 or 1983. This duty to provide for a defense shall not arise where such civil action or proceeding is brought by or on behalf of the Village of Hempstead.
Subject to the conditions set forth in Subsection A, the employee shall be entitled to be represented by the Village Attorney; provided, however, that the employee shall be entitled to representation by private counsel of his choice in any civil judicial proceeding whenever the Village Attorney determines, based upon his investigation and review of the facts and circumstances of the case, that representation by the Village Attorney would be inappropriate, or whenever a court of competent jurisdiction, upon appropriate motion or by a special proceeding, determines that a conflict of interest exists and that the employee is entitled to be represented by private counsel of his choice. The Village Attorney shall notify the employee in writing of such determination that the employee is entitled to be represented by private counsel of his choice. The Village Attorney may require, as a condition to payment of the fees and expenses of such representation, that appropriate groups of such employees be represented by the same counsel. If the employee or group of employees is entitled to representation by private counsel under the provisions of this section, the Village Attorney shall so certify to the Village Board. Reasonable attorney's fees and litigation expenses shall be paid by the Village to such private counsel from time to time during the pendency of the civil action or proceeding, subject to certification that the employee is entitled to representation under the terms and conditions of this article by the head of the department, commission, division, office or agency in which such employee is employed and upon the audit and warrant of the Village Treasurer. Any dispute with respect to representation of multiple employees by a single counsel or the amount of litigation expenses or the reasonableness of attorney's fees shall be resolved by the court upon motion or by way of a special proceeding.
Where the employee delivers process and a request for a defense to the Village Attorney as required by § 39-7, the Attorney shall take the necessary steps, including the retention of private counsel under the terms and conditions provided in Subsection B above on behalf of the employee, to avoid entry of a default judgment pending resolution of any question pertaining to the obligation to provide for a defense.
The Village shall indemnify and save harmless its employees in the amount of any judgment obtained against such employees in any state or federal court or in the amount of any settlement of a claim, provided that the act or omission from which such judgment or settlement arose occurred while the employee was acting within the scope of his public employment or duties. The duty to indemnify and save harmless prescribed by this section shall not arise where the injury or damage resulted from intentional wrongdoing or recklessness on the part of the employee.
An employee represented by private counsel shall cause to be submitted to the Board of Trustees any proposed settlement which may be subject to indemnification by the Village, and if not inconsistent with the provisions of this article, the Mayor shall certify such settlement and submit such settlement and certification to the Village Attorney. The Attorney shall review such proposed settlement as to form and amount and shall give his approval if in his judgment the settlement is in the best interest of the Village. Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize the Village to indemnify or save harmless an employee with respect to a settlement not so reviewed and approved by the Village Attorney.
Upon entry of a final judgment against the employee or upon the settlement of the claim, the employee shall cause to be served a copy of such judgment or settlement personally or by certified or registered mail within 30 days of the date of entry or settlement upon the Mayor; and if not inconsistent with the provisions of this article, such judgment or settlement shall be certified for payment by the Mayor. If the Attorney concurs in such certification, the judgment or settlement shall be paid upon the audit and warrant of the Village Treasurer.
The duty to defend or indemnify and save harmless provided by this article shall be conditioned upon:
Delivery to the Village Attorney or his assistant at his office by the employee of the original or a copy of any summons, complaint, process, notice, demand or pleading within five days after he is served with such document; and
The full cooperation of the employee in the defense of such action or proceeding and in the defense of any action or proceeding against the state based upon the same act or omission and in the prosecution of any appeal.
The benefits of this article shall inure only to employees as defined herein and shall not enlarge or diminish the rights of any other party, nor shall any provision of this article be construed to affect, alter or repeal any provision of the Workers' Compensation Law.
The provisions of this article shall not be construed to impair, alter, limit or modify the rights and obligations of any insurer under any policy of insurance.
The provisions of this article shall apply to all actions and proceedings pending upon the effective date thereof or thereafter instituted.
Except as otherwise specifically provided in this article, the provisions of this article shall not be construed in any way to impair, alter, limit, modify, abrogate or restrict any immunity available to or conferred upon any unit, entity, officer or employee of the Village, or any right to defense and/or indemnification provided for any governmental officer or employee by, in accordance with or by reason of any other provision of state or federal statutory or common law.