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The Supreme Court Chamber in the Minnesota Capitol in St. Paul. (Staff photo: Kevin Featherly)

Supreme Court Digest: June 8, 2022



Public Employment


The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe sued appellants Mille Lacs County Attorney and Mille Lacs County Sheriff in federal court. Appellants sought indemnification and defense of the lawsuit from respondent State under the State Tort Claims Act. The State Tort Claims Act provides that “[t]he state shall defend, save harmless, and indemnify any employee of the state” who is subject to a claim “arising out of an alleged act or omission occurring during the period of employment . . . if the employee was acting within the scope of employment.” The dispute in this case was whether appellants were “employees of the state” when they undertook the conduct that was the subject of the lawsuit.

The Supreme Court held that appellants were not entitled to defense and indemnification by the respondent State of Minnesota because they were not employees of the State for purposes of the State Tort Claims Act under Minn. Stat. § 3.736, subd. 9. Affirmed.

A20-1083 Walsh v. State (Court of Appeals)

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