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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today

In Gregory Samuelson v. LaPorte Community School (ND Ind., CJ Miller), a 17-page opinion, Judge Ripple affirms the district court's grant of summary judgment on Samuelson's First Amendment claims.

A. We first consider whether LSC’s chain-of-command policy, Guideline 1110, constitutes a prior restraint. * * *

The guidelines merely establish a chain of command in order to maintain efficient resolution of issues that an employee’s duties require him to address in the course of his employment. Such expression, the Supreme Court has made clear, is not protected by the First Amendment. See Garcetti, 547 U.S. at 421-22. Consequently, restriction of that expression cannot constitute a prior restraint. See NTEU, 513 U.S. at 465-66; Crue, 370 F.3d at 678. The district court properly granted summary judgment for LSC on this claim. * * *

B. We next consider Mr. Samuelson’s allegation that LSC retaliated against him for engaging in speech protected by the First Amendment. * * *

In short, Mr. Samuelson has failed to establish that the instances that he claims are protected expression played a role in the decision of the Board. Consequently, the district court properly granted summary judgment to LSC on Mr. Samuelson’s First Amendment retaliation claims.

Conclusion. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the district court.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 22, 2008 01:26 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions