On February 8, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed the federal district court’s dismissal of a former police captain’s First Amendment claims against the City of Chicopee and its Mayor.  The plaintiff alleged that he was retaliated against in violation of the First Amendment for his participation in one or more government investigations.  Robinson Donovan argued and the First Circuit agreed that all of the plaintiff’s alleged speech was made pursuant to his official duties and not as a citizen and therefore was not protected by the First Amendment.

In this case, the district court also took the unusual step of dismissing the plaintiff’s state law claims against the Mayor.  The First Circuit agreed that the complaint’s allegations regarding the Mayor’s conduct were insufficient to support any state law claim against the Mayor and it affirmed the dismissal of those claims.

For more information regarding Gilbert v. City of Chicopee, et al., please contact Nancy Frankel Pelletier or David S. Lawless.