New York Consolidated Laws, Education Law - EDN § 3811. Costs, expenses and damages a district charge in certain cases

1. Whenever the trustees or board of education of any school district, or any school district officers, have been or shall be instructed by a resolution adopted at a district meeting to defend any action brought against them, or to bring or defend an action or proceeding touching any district property or claim of the district, or involving its rights or interests, or to continue any such action or defense, all their costs and reasonable expenses, as well as all costs and damages adjudged against them, shall be a district charge and shall be levied by tax upon the district.  Whenever any superintendent, principal, member of the teaching or supervisory staff, member of a committee on special education or subcommittee thereof, surrogate parent as defined in the regulations of the commissioner of education, or any trustee or member of the board of education of a school district or non-instructional employee of any school district other than the city school district of the city of New York or any board of cooperative educational services shall defend any action or proceeding, other than a criminal prosecution or an action or proceeding brought against him by a school district or board of cooperative educational services hereafter brought against him, including proceedings before the commissioner of education, arising out of the exercise of his powers or the performance of his duties under this chapter, all his reasonable costs and expenses, as well as all costs and damages adjudged against him, shall be a district charge and shall be levied by tax upon the district or shall constitute an administrative charge upon the board of cooperative educational services provided that (a) such superintendent, principal, member of the teaching or supervisory staff, member of a committee on special education or subcommittee thereof, surrogate parent as defined in the regulations of the commissioner of education, non-instructional employee of any school district or board of cooperative educational services or such trustee or member of a board of education of such school district or board of cooperative educational services shall notify the trustees or board of education or board of cooperative educational services in writing of the commencement of such action or proceedings against him within five days after service of process upon him;  and (b) the trustees or board of education or board of cooperative educational services shall, at any time during the ten days next following the notice to them of the commencement of such action or proceedings, have the right to designate and appoint the legal counsel to represent such superintendent, principal, member of the teaching or supervisory staff, member of a committee on special education or subcommittee thereof, surrogate parent as defined in the regulations of the commissioner of education, non-instructional employee of any school district or board of cooperative educational services or such trustee or member of the board of education or board of cooperative educational services in such action or proceedings against him, in the absence of which designation and appointment within the time specified such superintendent, principal, member of the teaching or supervisory staff, member of a committee on special education or subcommittee thereof, surrogate parent as defined in the regulations of the commissioner of education, non-instructional employee of any school district or board of cooperative educational services or such trustee or member of the board of education or board of cooperative educational services may select his own legal counsel;  (c) it shall be certified by the court or by the commissioner of education, as the case may be, that he appeared to have acted in good faith with respect to the exercise of his powers or the performance of his duties under this chapter.

2. If the amount claimed hereunder be disputed by a district meeting, the board of education or the board of trustees, it shall be adjusted by the county judge of any county in which the district or any part of it is situated.


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