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                                         96 N.J.L.J. 1373
                                        December 6, 1973


Appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court


County Attorney
Defending Accused Jail Guard

    An inquiry by a county counsel has been addressed to this Committee. A jail guard in one of the county jails has been named as defendant in a complaint filed in a municipal court by a party arrested and brought to the county jail. The complaint alleges that the jail guard committed an assault and battery upon the arrested party. The action of the jail guard was in the course of his employment by the county. The inquirer has advised the board of freeholders that in his opinion the county owed the jail guard a legal defense in the matter of the complaint and because of our Opinion 106, 90 N.J.L.J. 97 (1967), outside counsel selected by the jail guard has been retained by the board of freeholders to represent the jail guard.
    The inquiry is whether the county counsel may represent the jail guard or whether outside county counsel must be secured. In our opinion, the county counsel or his assistant cannot appear on behalf of the defendant jail guard in a criminal proceeding, but outside attorney should be engaged.

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