Federal civil rights claims are known to be among the most complex areas of the law and require, for a successful defense, experienced litigators who are well-versed in constitutional law. RJA’s client, a police officer for the City of Revere, was sued in federal court in Boston for, among other things, allegedly violating the plaintiff’s First, Second and Fourth Amendment rights through an earlier arrest.
Recognizing that the heart of the plaintiff’s case was his civil rights claims, RJA began the defense through a motion to dismiss strategically targeted at just those claims. Although the standard for a motion to dismiss includes the requirement that the Court accept as true all of the factual allegations made by the plaintiff in his complaint, RJA still was able to convince the federal judge to dismiss all of the plaintiff’s civil rights claims under the Second and Fourth Amendments and, as for the First Amendment, was able to convince the judge to dismiss all of the plaintiff’s possible theories except for one.
With the civil rights claim whittled down to one theory under the First Amendment, discovery proceeded, including a number of depositions of key witnesses. Following the development of the case through discovery, RJA filed a motion seeking judgment in favor of the Revere police officer on the sole remaining civil rights claim. After a written opposition to the request and an oral argument, the federal judge agreed that the plaintiff could not sustain his First Amendment claim. As a result, the Revere police officer prevailed on all of the federal civil rights claims made against him.
RESULT: Dismissal of all federal civil rights claims against RJA’s client.
RJA Counsel: Andrew J. Gambaccini, criminal appeals attorney