Category: Civil Rights & Liberties

Age Discrimination Claims

On October 25, 2019, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals handed down its decision in Gill v. DIRTT Environmental Solutions Incorporated. In doing so, the court reiterated the legal principles governing claims for age discrimination in the workplace when the employee’s evidence is only circumstantial. Facts in Gill In 2005, DIRTT hired Gill as its [..]

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Mississippi Legislation 2019 – Part 1

Mississippi Legislation 2019 Mississippi Legislation 2019:  The Mississippi legislature works every year to make laws or modify them. The following are a few 2019 updates concerning civil rights and liberties. Criminal Justice Reform The first notable legislation is HB 1352, short title Criminal Justice Reform Act. This bill’s intent is to help formerly incarcerated individuals [..]

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Title VII, sexual orientation and transgender status

On October 8, 2019, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral argument on the question of whether Title VII bars discrimination in the workplace on the basis of sexual orientation and/or transgender status. The Court will take up three cases. Those are: Zarda v. Altitude Express, Inc., in which Zarda claimed he was fired [..]

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Government retaliation against political candidates

  In Griggs v. Chickasaw County, Mississippi, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals again issued an opinion on the subject of government retaliation for the exercise of free speech. We previously wrote on these topics here and here. Today, we look at a situation in which a local government fired an employee because he intended [..]

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Section 1983 ratification claim

We previously wrote here about Section 1983 and the ratification theory of liability. On June 21, 2019, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued it opinion in Young v. Humphreys County and affirmed the lower court’s judgment based on that theory. The facts in Young On September 2, 2015, Plaintiff Carl Young bought three empty [..]

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Section 1983 – independent intermediary rule

In Buehler v. City of Austin, Texas, 824 F.3d 548 (5th Cir. 2016), the Fifth Circuit again applied its independent intermediary rule to a false arrest claim. The facts in Buehler are fairly simple. Officers of the Austin Police Department arrested Buehler on three occasions for interfering with police duties while he filmed APD interactions with [..]

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New excessive force decision

On May 21, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued its opinion in Valderas v. City of Lubbock. The issue in that case was whether Valderas could maintain a Section 1983 claim for the use of excessive force by the police. Facts of the case. Lubbock police went to a [..]

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Arrest warrant issued on faulty affidavit

We recently wrote about a Section 1983 claim when a person was arrested based upon a false affidavit signed by a law enforcement officer. Today, we discuss another situation in which a faulty affidavit can give rise to a constitutional rights violation. On September 18, 2018, United States District Judge Carlton W. Reeves issued an [..]

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Section 1983 claim for malicious criminal prosecution

Here, we discuss a Section 1983 claim for malicious criminal prosecution. Recently, the Fifth Circuit issued its opinion in Winfrey v. Rogers, 901 F.3d 483 (5th Cir. 2018). In that case, Richard Winfrey (“Junior”)  was arrested and charged with murder after a botched investigation and various alleged violations of Junior’s Fourth Amendment rights. The State [..]

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Retaliatory arrests for exercising free speech

Last year, the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach. In its opinion, the Court addressed the interplay between lawful arrests and the use of government power to suppress free speech. As the Court said, “an arrest deprives a person of essential liberties, but if there is probable [..]

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