The doctrine of sovereign immunity normally bars complaints against sheriffs deputies sued in their official capacity. A county
may waive sovereign immunity by purchasing liability insurance but only to the extent that coverage is provided. In N.C. a government entity can purchase liability insurance without waiving sovereign immunity. In Owen v. Haywood County, (2010) the N.C. Court of Appeals reviewed the exclusionary provision within the insurance policy, which stated that the insurance did not provide coverage to any claim where the covered person was entitled to sovereign immunity, and concluded that this particular language meant that Haywood County did not intend to waive its sovereign immunity.
- A Lawsuit Lesson on Sovereign Immunity (reamy.typepad.com)
- Oral arguments set in Leach suit vs. Texas Tech (cbssports.com)