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City Violates First Amendment and Due Process Rights

Gloucester, Mass., Plaintiff is an elected official, dedicated to community service, who discussed a volunteer program with a constituent who happens to be a high school student. Defendants, seeking political advantage, mischaracterized the encounter as something nefarious. Defendants unfairly maligned Plaintiff and barred him from entering a school premises or attending school sponsored events, in an attempt to smear him.  In a meeting with the City Attorney, the Plaintiff was told that he “may feel as though [his] due process rights have been violated, and I would likely agree with [him], but that this is a much better result than the alternative.”  The implication here was never clarified, but the threat was palpable.

RLG filed suit on behalf of the plaintiff, and sought an immediate preliminary injunction.   Even though the City would not back down before that, once they knew they were going to be shellacked at a hearing before a federal judge, they tried to back down.  However, the doctrine of “voluntary cessation” prohibits the government from violating someone’s rights, then playing “hide and seek” with the Constitution.  They were forced to answer for it, and an Order was issued to RLG’s client’s benefit.

Result:  The City government paid the plaintiff $90,000.

Key documents:


Preliminary Injunction Motion

Opposition to Motion for Preliminary Inunction

Reply Brief in Support of Preliminary Injunction

Order on Preliminary Injunction

Disclaimer:  While in this case, Randazza Legal Group procured a $90,000 settlement for the plaintiff, this is not an indicator of future success.  If you have a similar case, you may have different results.

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