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Probationary Officer’s Refusal To Retract Truthful Report Is Protected Free Speech

Jason Jackler was a probationary police officer in Middletown, New York. On January 5, 2006, Jackler was dispatched to a “Mobil on the Run” convenience store in Middletown to assist MPD Sergeant Gregory Metakes in the arrest and transportation of one Zachary T. Jones. When Jackler arrived, Jones was handcuffed with his hands behind his back. Jackler opened the rear driver-side door of his patrol car and Metakes placed…

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Officer’s Speech About Alleged Affair Not Constitutionally Protected

In Garcetti v. Ceballos, 547 U.S. 410 (2006), the Supreme Court held that if a public employee engages in speech “pursuant to job duties,” then the speech is unprotected by the First Amendment’s free speech guarantees. As the Supreme Court held, “the First Amendment protects a public employee’s right, in certain circumstances, to speak as a citizen addressing matters of public concern. It is well established, however, that a…

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Participation In An Internal Affairs Investigation Not Protected By First Amendment

The ramifications of Garcetti v. Ceballos, 547 U.S. 410 (2006), continue to be felt in free speech cases brought by public employees. In Garcetti, the Supreme Court held that where speech is made as part of an employee’s job, it is not protected by the First Amendment. The teachings of Garcetti allow an employer to retaliate against an employee for speech made in the course of the job without…

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The Next Extension Of Garcetti: Employer Rules Forbidding Speech About Agency Matters

The reverberations from the Supreme Court’s decision in Garcetti v. Ceballos, 547 U.S. 410 (2006), are still being felt. In Garcetti, the Supreme Court held that to receive First Amendment protection, a public employee must speak “as a citizen on a matter of concern.” The Court ruled that speech arising out of an employee’s job is completely unprotected by the First Amendment, even if the content of the speech…

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Giving Tickets Not Entitled To First Amendment Protection

Under the Supreme Court’s decision in Garcetti v. Ceballos, 547 U.S. 410 (2006), “where public employees make statements pursuant to their official duties, they are not speaking as citizens for First Amendment purposes, and the Constitution does not insulate their communications from employer discipline.” Following Garcetti, dozens of courts have held unprotected by the First Amendment a variety of forms of job-related speech made by public safety employees. Zigmund…

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A Roundup Of Free Speech Cases

Reverberations from the Supreme Court’s decision in Garcetti v. Ceballos, 547 U.S. 410 (2006) continue to be felt in the area of the free speech rights of public employees. A series of recent cases shows continuing debate in the Court over when an employee’s job-related speech is protected by the First Amendment. As a general proposition, the right of a government employee to speak about matters of public concern…

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