Moreover, the refusal of necessary complaint information violated the First Amendment such action was taken by the official to prevent or frustrate Defendant’s right to petition the government for a redress of grievance. You cannot improve any public body if there is a lack of freedom of information concerning what that public body is doing and who is doing it. The First Amendment is very important in this context as it is fundamental for the dissemination of information. However, Defendant contends that even if he did follow the official around demanding his name, this neither interfered with his duties nor violated any law. See, United States v. Sampson, 371 U.S. 75, 76-79 (1962) (a complaint is insufficient as a matter of law if a defendant can admit to all the allegations charged and still not have committed a crime). The statutes under which the State seeks conviction both require proof that Defendant had knowledge that his actions were criminal. See A.R.S §13-2921(A) (“A person commits harassment if, with intent to harass or with knowledge that the person is harassing another person”); A.R.S. § 13-2904(A) (A person commits disorderly conduct if, with intent to disturb the peace or quiet of a neighborhood, family or person, or with knowledge of doing so”). Defendant was merely attempting to procure employee information to submit a complaint to the government concerning the actions of government officials, and was on the phone with the government when the arrest prevented him from completing his complaint. The right to petition the government for a redress of grievance is clearly established, and was demonstrably violated by the Parks official refusing to provide his name and the police arresting Defendant for protesting the action, thus putting a stop to a complaint in progress. Next, we turn to the State’s ludicrous argument that First Amendment protections do not apply to parks officials. Prior to the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment and the development of the incorporation doctrine, the Supreme Court held in Barron v. Baltimore, 32 U.S. (7 Pet.) 243 (1833), that the Bill of Rights applied only to the federal, but not any state governments. Even years after the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Supreme Court in United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1876) still held that the First and Second Amendment did not apply to state governments. However, beginning in the 1920s, a series of United States Supreme Court decisions interpreted the Fourteenth Amendment to incorporate most portions of the Bill of Rights, making these portions, for the first time, enforceable against the state governments. In Gitlow v. New York, 268 U.S. 652 (1925), the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution had extended the reach of certain limitations on federal government authority set forth in the First Amendment—specifically the provisions protecting freedom of speech and freedom of the press—to the governments of the individual states. Since that time the Court has repeatedly held that Due Process extends First Amendment protections to the actions of local officials. See, e.g., De Jonge v. Oregon, 299 U.S. 353 (1937) (holding that the Fourteenth Amendments due process clause applies to freedom of assembly); Edwards v. South Carolina, 372 U.S. 229 (1963) (holding that the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution forbade state government officials to force a crowd to disperse when they are otherwise legally marching in front of a state house.). The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution each contain a Due Process Clause. The constitutional guarantee of due process of law prohibits all levels of government from arbitrarily or unfairly depriving individuals of their basic constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property. The Supreme Court of the United States interprets the Clauses as providing four protections: procedural due process (in civil and criminal proceedings), substantive due process, a prohibition against vague laws, and as the vehicle for the incorporation of the Bill of Rights. Papachristou v. City of Jacksonville, 405 U. S. 156, 162 (1972); Cramp v. Board of Public Instruction, 368 U. S. 278, 287 (1961); United States v. Harriss, 347 U. S. 612, 617 (1954); Jordan v.De George, 341 U. S. 223, 230-232 (1951); Lanzetta v. New Jersey, 306 U. S. 451, 453 (1939); Connally v. General Construction Co., 269 U. S. 385, 391 (1926); United States v. Cohen Grocery Co., 255 U. S. 81, 89 (1921); International Harvester Co. v. Kentucky, 234 U. S. 216, 223-224 (1914). State and local officials who abuse their official power act under color of state law. The governing principle is that “‘[m]isuse of power, possessed by virtue of state law and made possible only because the wrongdoer is clothed with the authority of state law, is action taken “under color of” state law.’” Monroe v. Pape, 365 U.S. 167, 184 (1961) (quoting United States v. Classic, 313 U.S. 299, 325–26 (1946)). The state action doctrine is designed to preserve a private sphere free of constitutional restraints, as well as to ensure “that constitutional standards are invoked when it can be said that the state is responsible for the specific conduct of which the plaintiff complains.” Brentwood Acad. v. Tenn. Secondary Sch. Athletic Ass’n, 531 U.S. 288, 295 (2001) (emphasis added) (citations, quotation marks, and brackets omitted). Liability may always be imposed against defendants in personal capacity suits even if the violation of the plaintiff’s federally protected right was not attributable to the enforcement of a governmental policy or practice. “[T]o establish personal liability in a § 1983 action, it is enough to show that the official, acting under color of state law, caused the deprivation of a federal right.” Hafer v. Melo, 502 U.S. 21, 25 (1991) (quoting Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. 159 (1985)) (emphasis added). The command of the Fourteenth Amendment is that no State shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the due process of law. A State acts by its legislative, its executive, or its judicial authorities. It can act in no other way. The constitutional provision, therefore, must mean that no agency of the State, or of the officers or agents by whom its powers are exerted, shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the [due process of law]. Whoever, by virtue of public position under a State government, . . . denies or takes away the [due process of law] violates the constitutional inhibition; and, as he acts in the name and for the State, and is clothed with the States power, his act is that of the State. This must be so, or the constitutional prohibition has no meaning. Ex Parte Virginia, 100 U.S. 339 (1879) (emphasis added). Thus, the prohibitions of the Fourteenth Amendment extend to all action of the State denying due process or equal protection of the laws; whatever the agency of the State taking the action. See, e.g., Virginia v. Rives, 100 U. S. 313 (1880); Pennsylvania v. Board of Directors of City Trusts of Philadelphia, 353 U. S. 230 (1957); Shelley v. Kraemer, 334 U.S. 1 (1948); Derrington v. Plummer, 240 F.2d 922 (1956); Department of Conservation and Development v. Tate, 231 F.2d 615 (1956).
Posted on: Mon, 22 Sep 2014 03:40:38 +0000
Recently Viewed Topics