Barone v. City of Springfield

Plaintiff filed a 42 U.S.C. 1983 action against the City and its employees, alleging that she was retaliated against in her employment as a Community Service Officer for the police department. The Ninth Circuit held that plaintiff was fulfilling her professional duty for the Department when she spoke at the City Club event. Therefore, because she spoke as a public employee, and not as a private citizen, her speech was unprotected, and her First Amendment retaliation claim failed. The panel held, however, that the Amended Agreement restricted private citizen speech on matters of public concern and failed the Pickering balancing test. Therefore, the Amended Agreement restrained plaintiff's speech as a private citizen on matters of public concern and defendants failed to present justifications sufficient to warrant the overbroad restrictions. Therefore, the prospective restriction violated the First Amendment and the panel reversed as to this claim. Finally, the panel reversed and remanded on the issue of Monell liability. View "Barone v. City of Springfield" on Justia Law