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Official immunity is distinguishable from sovereign immunity. Whereas sovereign immunity protects government itself (e.g. state, city, town, village, etc.), official immunity protects its officers. “Sovereign immunity shields the state from suit in its own courts and confers immunity from liability for torts committed by its officers and employees. Official immunity, on the other hand, shields the state officials and employees themselves in certain circumstances.” In short, sovereign immunity pertains to when a municipality is sued and official immunity to when its officers are sued.

If you have additional questions, please contact the staff at the VLCT Municipal Assistance Center. Members may reach us at or 1-800-649-7915 for assistance.

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