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  1. Author Essay
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The Bartletts contend that when they previously applied for other positions in the division, they were never told their relationship would affect their ability to move up the ranks. People in other city departments have supervised their family members, according to the complaint. The city later placed the unit under the Fire Department. During those two years, Baumgartner dropped one emergency response unit, cut lifeguard services at Huntington Dog Beach and restricted overtime, according to the complaint.

Michael Bartlett told the fire chief, and Baumgartner stopped assigning himself shifts meant for others, according to the lawsuit. Contact Us. Facebook Twitter Show more sharing options Share Close extra sharing options.

Author Essay

Huntington Beach lifeguards grab onto a rescue water craft. A judge ruled against two brothers in the Marine Safety Division who claimed the city wrongfully used its anti-nepotism policy to disqualify them from the lieutenant position. April 5, However, Bartlett claims that he never attempted to harm the troopers. On April 14, , Bartlett was charged on counts of disorderly conduct and resisting or interfering with arrest. These charges were subsequently dropped on February 4, On March 2, , Bartlett filed a lawsuit against the troopers, alleging that they had violated his constitutionally protected rights under 42 U.

Specifically, Bartlett brought claims for false arrest , excessive force , malicious prosecution , and retaliatory arrest. Bartlett also brought a claim under 42 U. Both parties moved for summary judgment. The court held that, even if the troopers had probable cause to arrest Bartlett, this did not prevent Bartlett from succeeding on his claim for retaliatory arrest. The troopers filed a petition for a writ of certiorari on February 16, Nieves argues that a plaintiff bringing a 42 U.

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Brief for Petitioners , Nieves and Weight at Nieves contends that Supreme Court precedent governing First Amendment retaliation claims supports requiring a probable cause element for retaliatory arrest cases. Specifically, Nieves points to the Supreme Court case of Hartman v.

Moore , where the Court held that a plaintiff must prove that there was no probable cause in their case in order to succeed in a retaliatory prosecution claim. Nieves maintains that the rationale behind Hartman should apply here because the lack of probable cause is an important and essential tool in clarifying whether retaliatory motives factored into the decision to prosecute or arrest, as causation is difficult to determine in these types of cases.

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Further, Nieves argues that speech can constitute a legitimate reason for an arrest if, for example, the speech indicates to the officers that the speaker may interfere with their duties. Nieves insists that a probable cause element is necessary in Section actions because a plaintiff could easily allege that an arrest was motivated by illegitimate reasons related to speech.

Nieves argues that a probable cause requirement would overcome this issue because the lack of probable cause for arrest will tend to show that retaliation was the cause of the arrest. Nieves also asserts that Court precedent has established a preference for using objective tests to govern police conduct, rather than relying on the subjective intentions of arresting officers.

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Moreover, Nieves maintains that the Court has established a preference for clear-cut, bright-line rules for law enforcement over case-by-case analysis and that a probable cause test aligns with this preference. Bartlett counters that the plain text of Section definitively rejects the probable cause requirement proposed by Nieves. Brief for Respondent , Bartlett at 14— Specifically, Bartlett argues that there is no way to read a requirement of proof of lack of probable cause to arrest into the statutory language—such an element would require plaintiffs to prove two constitutional violations.

Bartlett also maintains that adding a probable cause element to First Amendment retaliatory arrest claims would require plaintiffs to prove a Fourth Amendment violation too because an arrest without probable cause is a Fourth Amendment violation. Furthermore, Bartlett asserts a probable cause element would allow police to silence protected First Amendment speech claims because probable cause of some crime arguably exists in almost every arrest. Bartlett also contends that Supreme Court precedent does not support a probable cause element for First Amendment retaliatory arrest claims.

However, Bartlett maintains this problem does not exist for retaliatory arrest claims because police officers have only qualified immunity, rather than absolute immunity, and causation in these types of cases is not nearly as complex. Bartlett asserts that the only question for a jury regarding causation in First Amendment retaliatory arrest cases is whether the arresting officer wanted to discipline the plaintiff for their speech. Nieves contends that Supreme Court precedent has established that the necessary components of Section claims are informed by the common law of torts , and that a probable cause element for First Amendment retaliatory arrest claims is consistent with the common law.

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Nieves proposes that the closest common law analogies to retaliatory arrest claims are malicious prosecution, malicious arrest, and false imprisonment claims. Nieves asserts that both malicious arrest and malicious prosecution claims, as well as false imprisonment claims in most jurisdictions, were defeated by the existence of probable cause at common law—even where the arresting officer did in fact have a improper reason for the arrest.

Additionally, Nieves argues that the rationale behind the common law rule allowing probable cause to defeat these claims, that officers would be overwhelmed with lawsuits for malicious arrest and have difficulty proving their innocence without such a rule, applies with equal force to First Amendment retaliatory arrest claims under Section Nieves maintains that the fact that probable cause defeated analogous common law claims supports a probable cause requirement in First Amendment retaliatory arrest cases under Section because Congress intended Section to be informed by settled common law principals.

Bartlett counters that the common law background surrounding Section does not support a probable cause requirement for First Amendment retaliatory arrest claims. Brief for Respondent , Bartlett at 19— Specifically, Bartlett asserts that an analogy to common law malicious arrest is misplaced because the First Amendment itself is a rejection of common law doctrine. Bartlett asserts that while common law doctrines like false arrest and malicious arrest may be informative of Fourth Amendment constraints as they involve similar conduct, they are not relevant to First Amendment claims like Section actions.

Further, Bartlett claims that even if the common law were relevant, false arrest is more closely related to retaliatory arrest claims than malicious prosecution. However, Bartlett maintains that even common law false arrest and false imprisonment do not support inserting a probable cause requirement here because probable cause was not enough by itself to constitute a defense to liability at common law.

Finally, Bartlett asserts that Supreme Court precedent rejects the idea that the presence of probable cause should prevent an officer from being held liable for an arrest made in bad faith. Nieves argues that the proposed probable cause element conforms neatly with the values of the First Amendment. Nieves contends that Court precedent establishes that a lesser standard that does not contain a probable cause element is appropriate for only a small subset of retaliatory arrest cases.

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Thus, Nieves maintains that the probable cause element should be required in more typical retaliatory arrest cases where an individual is alleged to have violated constitutional rights and that this comports with First Amendment values for two reasons. First, Nieves asserts that individual officers are far less capable of targeting and suppressing speech than a deliberate government policy and that the First Amendment is primarily—though not solely—oriented toward protecting speech aimed at effecting social and political change or discourse.

Second, Nieves argues that citizens have other avenues beyond Section claims to discourage police officers from making retaliatory arrests, such as citizens recording instances of law enforcement making retaliatory arrests and filing complaints with the police department or by establishing a pattern of retaliatory arrests that do begin to threaten First Amendment rights. Bartlett counters that the probable cause element defeats the purposes and values of the First Amendment. Brief for Respondent , Bartlett at Bartlett argues that while an individual officer may not have the same power to curb speech that official government policy does, officers with the power to conduct arrests protected from Section claims by the existence of arguable probable cause would allow the government to attack any citizen whose speech was disfavored. Furthermore, Bartlett insists that even individual arrests by individual police officers can and do create a chilling effect on speech that goes beyond the individual arrested, allowing such officers to broadly harm First Amendment rights.