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Legal Memorandum: Actions of an Off-Duty Police Officer

Issue: Whether an off-duty police officer who is hired as a security guard by a hospital is an employee of the hospital, the city, or both when he commits an assault and battery upon a psychiatric patient incident to arrest according to Florida law. The following authorities are instructive:

Area of Law: Criminal Law, Employee Law
Keywords: Off-duty police officer; Employee of hospital; Commits assault and battery
Jurisdiction: Florida
Cited Cases: 627 So. 2d 1272; 33 S.W.3d 713; 523 So. 2d 722
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 01/01/2005

McWain v. Greyhound Lines, Inc., 357 So. 2d 780 (Fla. 3d DCA 1978) (Whether off-duty police officer was the agent of private employer was a question of fact.).

Dean v. Rouillier, 597 So. 2d 961 (Fla. 5th DCA 1992) (Auxiliary deputy sheriff performing “nondelegable police power function” cannot bind a private utility by his negligence.).

F.T. Blount Funeral Home v. City of Tampa, 627 So. 2d 1272 (Fla. 1st DCA 1993) (Where city selects the officer, provides the equipment, and requires off-duty officers to respond to police business, the officer remains the city’s agent.).

White v. Revco Discount Drug Ctrs., Inc., 33 S.W.3d 713 (Tenn. 2000) (Under Restatement (Second) of Agency ‘ 226, an off-duty police officer may be a dual agent of the private employer and the city if he serves both masters.).

Lovelace v. Anderson, 785 A.2d 726 (Md. Ct. App. 1999) (“The same basic principles of agency law, for determining whether actions of employees generally are within the scope of particular employment relationships, are equally applicable to police officers.”).

Mount Sinai Hosp. v. City of Miami Beach, 523 So. 2d 722 ( Fla. 1st DCA 1988) (Off-duty police officer who was injured while working as a security guard was a hospital employee, not a city employee, for workers= compensation benefits.).

City of Hialeah v. Weber, 491 So. 2d 1204 (Fla. 1st DCA 1986) (Off-duty police officer was a city employee when […]

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