Court of Appeals Orders District Court to Dismiss Case Against Town of East Windsor
Our client, the town of East Windsor, received a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on June 16, 2010, reversing a U.S. District Court decision denying summary judgment to the town. The Court of Appeals, in reversing the District Court, accepted Attorney Joshua Hawks-Ladds’ argument that a municipal police officer who went outside of the chain of command to anonymously complain about police management was not protected from discipline by the town for such conduct. The officer claimed that the town violated the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment by disciplining him for his conduct. The Court of Appeals stated that the police officer had a duty to report such matters within the chain of command and that the town officials who disciplined the officer for his conduct were immune from the officer’s lawsuit. The Court of Appeals ordered the District Court to dismiss the case against all defendants.