Public Officials Immunity from Damages In Georgia
public officials are immune from damages that result from their performance of discretionary functions, unless those functions were undertaken with malice or intent to cause injury. Schmidt v. Adams, 211 Ga. App. 156 (438 S.E.2d 659) (1993).
If the damages complained of arise from discretionary actions, the employees have official immunity. If the damages arise from the performance or nonperformance of ministerial duties, the employees do not have official immunity.
"The decision of whether acts of a public official are ministerial or discretionary is determined by the facts of the particular case." Nelson v. Spalding County, 249 Ga. 334, 336 (2) (a) (290 S.E.2d 915) (1982).
A ministerial act is commonly one that is simple, absolute, and definite, arising under conditions admitted or proved to exist, and requiring merely the execution of a specific duty.
A discretionary act, however, calls for the exercise of personal deliberation and judgment, which in turn entails examining the facts, reaching reasoned conclusions, and acting on them in a way not specifically directed. Stone v. Taylor, 233 Ga. App. 886, 888 (2) (506 S.E.2d 161) (1998).