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7th Circuit: No First Amendment rights violation

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld summary judgment in favor of a northern Indiana school board regarding prior restraint and First Amendment retaliation claims made by a teacher.

In Gregory G. Samuelson v. LaPorte Community School Board, et al., No. 06-4351, Gregory Samuelson filed an action under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 against his employer LaPorte Community School Corporation (LSC), alleging violations of the First and 14th Amendments, and the Indiana Constitution, following his removal by the school board as coach of the girls' varsity basketball team.

Samuelson claimed his contract as coach was not renewed because he publicly expressed his views about issues relating to the school without following the school's bylaws for chain-of-command policy.

Both parties filed for summary judgment on the claims; Samuelson's response abandoned his 14th Amendment and Indiana Constitution violation claims. The U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, granted summary judgment in favor of the school corporation.

The 7th Circuit affirmed the ruling, finding Samuelson's First Amendment rights were not violated because the school corporation's chain-of-command policy doesn't constitute prior restraint because it doesn't restrict speech protected by the First Amendment. The speech addressed in the policy is speech grounded in the public employee's professional duties and is not protected, wrote Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook.

Samuelson couldn't present concrete evidence to show his contract as basketball coach wasn't renewed as a result of his circumventing the chain-of-command policy on various school-related issues, so summary judgment on his claim in favor of LSC was correct, wrote Chief Judge Easterbrook.

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  1. I need an experienced attorney to handle a breach of contract matter. Kindly respond for more details. Graham Young

  2. I thought the slurs were the least grave aspects of her misconduct, since they had nothing to do with her being on the bench. Why then do I suspect they were the focus? I find this a troubling trend. At least she was allowed to keep her law license.

  3. Section 6 of Article I of the Indiana Constitution is pretty clear and unequivocal: "Section 6. No money shall be drawn from the treasury for the benefit of any religious or theological institution."

  4. Video pen? Nice work, "JW"! Let this be a lesson and a caution to all disgruntled ex-spouses (or soon-to-be ex-spouses) . . . you may think that altercation is going to get you some satisfaction . . . it will not.

  5. First comment on this thread is a fitting final comment on this thread, as that the MCBA never answered Duncan's fine question, and now even Eric Holder agrees that the MCBA was in material error as to the facts: "I don't get it" from Duncan December 1, 2014 5:10 PM "The Grand Jury met for 25 days and heard 70 hours of testimony according to this article and they made a decision that no crime occurred. On what basis does the MCBA conclude that their decision was "unjust"? What special knowledge or evidence does the MCBA have that the Grand Jury hearing this matter was unaware of? The system that we as lawyers are sworn to uphold made a decision that there was insufficient proof that officer committed a crime. How can any of us say we know better what was right than the jury that actually heard all of the the evidence in this case."

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