The author examines the application of the official immunity doctrine to a situation where a federal district court issued contempt citations to local legislators in Yonkers who refused to pass legislation as required by a consent decree. The author argues that the function test for official immunity is by its very nature conclusory, and thus courts, in close cases, should use a separation of powers analysis to inform their application of the function test. Courts should deploy this separation of powers analysis by finding that where an official act was based on a mixture of powers, a rebuttable presumption should exist that the official was acting in an executive capacity and is only entitled to qualified immunity.
The Yonkers Case: Separation of Powers as a Yardstick for Determining Official Immunity,
17 Fordham Urb. L.J. 217
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ulj/vol17/iss2/4