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GTTF scope of employment question heads to Md. high court

Maryland’s Court of Appeals may determine if members of Baltimore’s Gun Trace Task Force who falsely arrested a man for possession of a gun were acting within the scope of their employment if the judges agree to answer a certified question from a federal judge.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles B. Day agreed last week to certify a question of law to the state’s highest court in Ivan Potts’ lawsuit against three of the members of the corrupt police department unit. The parties, who settled the case for $32,000, are now litigating who has to pay the judgment and filed a joint motion seeking the Court of Appeals’ guidance.

Both the Maryland Local Government Tort Claims Act and Baltimore’s memorandum of understanding with the police require the city to indemnify only employees acting within the scope of their employment. City Solicitor Andre M. Davis has maintained that the GTTF officers were outside the scope due to their participation in a racketeering conspiracy.

The Court of Appeals is permitted to answer questions of Maryland law that will help resolve litigation in other courts.

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