Frivolous lawsuits and frivolous defenses have always been around. We see one such frivolous defense in the appeal filed by University of the Incarnate Word. UIW is being sued by the family of Cameron Redus. Mr. Redus was shot by a UIW police officer in 2013 after a traffic stop. The family sued UIW. Now, UIW is making a silly claim. The university is claiming the UIW police department is a state entity, so as to be protected by “qualified immunity.” Qualified immunity means the state, which is normally immune from suit, has not passed a statute removing that immunity. If the UIW police department is immune from suit, then the lawsuit will be dismissed.
But, wait, isn’t UIW a private school? Yes, it is. It would be a huge stretch to turn the UIW police department into an arm of the state government. This is a frivolous appeal in the sense that the chances of success are extremely small. Very likely, this is simply an attempt to delay the lawsuit. UIW, like most defendants, hope to delay and just wear down the plaintiff. For better or for worse, that is our adversarial system of justice works.