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Cypen & Cypen
NEWSLETTER
for
AUGUST 1, 2003

Stephen H. Cypen, Esq., Editor

Never Forget - September 11, 2001

1. FLORIDA PREMIUM TAX DISTRIBUTION AMOUNTS RELEASED:
The Florida Division of Retirement, Municipal Police Officers’ & Firefighters’ Retirement Trust Funds office, has released the 2002 premium tax distribution figures under Chapter 175, Florida Statutes (Firefighters), and Chapter 185, Florida Statutes (Police Officers). Premium tax distributions for firefighters total just over $40 Million and for police officers, almost $54.5 Million. Again, the City of Miami leads in both categories: Fire - $3,763,000.00 and Police - $5,678,000.00. Both lists can be viewed in their entirety at http://www.frs.state.fl.us/frs/mpf/2002_Fire.htm and http://www.frs.state.fl.us/frs/mpf/2002_Police.htm.

2. FLORIDA WILL HOLD 35TH ANNUAL P&F CONFERENCE:
On September 24-26, 2003, the Florida Division of Retirement, Municipal Police Officers’ & Firefighters’ Retirement Trust Funds office, will hold its 35th Annual Police Officers’ and Firefighters’ Pension Trustees Conference at the Tampa Westshore Marriott, Tampa, Florida. The first day is designed for new trustees. The second and third days will be the regular conference program for all trustees, service providers, participants and all other interested parties, dealing with: legislation, legal issues, actuarial issues, investments and other retirement related issues. As always, this conference is a do-not-miss.

3. COST OF FIDUCIARY LIABILITY POLICIES SOARS:
The cost of fiduciary liability insurance, including coverage for trustees of pension funds, continues to skyrocket by as much as 150% over last year, according to a plansponsor.com summary of a RIMS Benchmark Survey. Insurers fear a mass of litigation because of substantial underfunding, questionable loans to sponsor organizations, corporate scandals and bankruptcy -- all of which highlight the problem faced by public fund trustees: they are in the same pool with directors and officers of corporations. However, one bright spot may be that the number of policies increased only slightly, suggesting that supply may be catching up to demand, creating more stability in the market.

4. FEDERAL APPEALS COURT HOLDS THAT GEORGIA COUNTY SHERIFFS ARE STATE ACTORS IMMUNE FROM CIVIL RIGHTS SUITS:
In an 89-page, 6-5 decision, the Eleventh U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals has concluded that the Sheriff of Clinch County, Georgia, in establishing use-of-force policy at the jail and in training and disciplining his deputies in that regard, is entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity from excessive force cases under §1983. In reversing the lower court’s denial of the Sheriff’s motion for summary judgment, the appellate court found that Sheriffs’ duties and functions are derived directly from the state, performed for the state and controlled by the state. The opinion does not address individual liability of the Sheriff or his deputies for using excessive force. The five dissenters, whose views make up almost half the opinion, felt the majority’s argument implies that Eleventh Amendment immunity extends beyond Sheriffs to city police officers, county police officers and even private security guards. Manders v. Lee, Case No. 01-13606 (U.S. 11th Cir., July 28, 2003) (en banc).

5. WRONG AGAIN, BURRITO BREATH:
We have another funny from the Associated Press, which seems to have a knack for this sort of thing. An inmate accused of violating his work release program by having alcohol on his breath says it was all in the burritos. An attorney says his client, William Dolge, 45, had a burrito soaked in beer, which resulted in his testing positive for a low amount of alcohol about two weeks ago when he returned to jail from his job. The County Attorney says he suspected Dolge washed the burritos down with something more than water. The judge has instructed Dolge’s attorney to bring the recipe -- and a sample if he can -- to the next hearing. Dolge had been granted work release while serving time for driving with a suspended license. Burp.

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Items in this Newsletter may be excerpts or summaries of original or secondary source material, and may have been reorganized for clarity and brevity. This Newsletter is general in nature and is not intended to provide specific legal or other advice.


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