US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Opinions
Garza v. Escobar
Opinion Date: August 28, 2020
Judge: Stuart Kyle Duncan
Areas of Law: Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Labor & Employment Law
The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's First Amendment claim alleging political retaliation. Plaintiff was the Crime Victims Unit (CVU) Coordinator for the 229th Judicial District Attorney's Office and defendant was her boss, the District Attorney. As a preliminary matter, the court rejected plaintiff's claim that the district court erred by disposing of the complaint at the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) stage. On the merits, the court held that plaintiff's employment was not shielded by the First Amendment and the district court correctly concluded that she was subject to the patronage dismissal exception to First Amendment retaliation claims. In this case, plaintiff's position as CVU Coordinator is a confidential or policymaking role, and one for which "party affiliation is an appropriate requirement for effective performance." The court also held that because plaintiff has not plausibly alleged a constitutional claim, her municipal liability claim was also properly dismissed.
Louisiana Law Blog
Louisiana Law, News, Issues and Comments from Attorneys at the Shoultz Law Firm