The Sheriff’s Civil Liabilities Division coordinates with the Department of Risk Management, County Counsel and independent law firms hired to defend the department and its employees in state and federal civil litigation. The nature of the litigations range from lethal force encounters, traffic collisions, in-custody deaths, property loss issues and use of force investigations. The division is also responsible for managing all worker compensation issues for the departments nearly 4,000 employees (sworn staff, professional staff and volunteer staff).
MODIFIED DUTY COORDINATOR:
The modified duty coordinator (MDC) is a sergeant who oversees the worker compensation claims and injury process for department employees who are injured in the course of their duties. The MDC is responsible for tracking all injured employees, their progress through the worker compensation process and ensuring they are getting the treatment for their injuries. The MDC works hand in hand with risk management adjusters to ensure the rights of the injured employees are adhered to and their overall wellbeing is taken care of.
The MDC works closely with the divisions medical retirement coordinator (MRC). The MRC is responsible for completing the disability retirement reports that are submitted to the San Bernardino County Employee Retirement Association Board for review. SBCERA has the final say in determining disability retirements for all county employees. Disability retirement packets are lengthy and require a great deal of work before final submission to the board.
CIVIL LITIGATION UNIT:
There are two investigators (one sergeant and one Civil Investigator) who handle all civil litigation work as well as one supervising registered nurse assigned to the division. Both investigators work closely with County Counsel, Risk Management and independent law firms hired by the county to defend the department and its members in litigation. Their duties include providing discovery for trial, answering interrogatories, investigating claims against the county, attending depositions, attending and participating in mediation, facilitating debriefings of critical incidents and monitoring cases that go to trial. They also teach at the basic academy, supervisor training courses and the Probation Department’s core course. The supervising registered nurse investigates all inmate medical related claims and helps provide discovery responses to litigation related to the departments custody division medical issues.
CLERICAL / SUBPOENA RESPONSE:
The division has three clerical staff members who respond to hundreds of subpoena requests throughout the year. This includes answering subpoenas for records, photographs, charts, files and DMV related cases. Subpoenas are often from criminal defense attorney’s representing offenders charged with crimes in their defense for the criminal courts.