Washington Law Review




Washington marital communities have been immune since 1890 from liability for tortious acts committed by a public officer in performance of his official duties. The Washington Supreme Court reviewed this rule once again in an action for false arrest and imprisonment against a Port of Seattle commissioner. Defendant, an employer ex officio of the security guard at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, personally arrested and maintained custody over plaintiff for a period in excess of three hours. Plaintiff sued the commissioner, his marital community, and Port of Seattle. Suit against Port of Seattle was dismissed, but judgment was entered against defendant and the marital community. On appeal, held: Prosecution of a marital community's business includes salaried public employment, and the community is liable for a public officer's tortious acts committed under the color or purported authority of his office even though the act was committed negligently, maliciously, or in excess of his authority. Kilcup v. McManus, 64 Wn.2d 771, 394 P.2d 375 (1964).

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