Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Matthews v. City of New York

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

February 26, 2015

CRAIG MATTHEWS, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
CITY OF NEW YORK; RAYMOND KELLY, as Commissioner of the New York City Police Department; JON BLOCH, a deputy inspector in the New York City Police Department; and MARK SEDRAN, a lieutenant in the New York City Police Department, Defendants-Appellees

Argued April 24, 2014

Page 168

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. No. 12-cv-1354 -- Paul A. Engelmayer, Judge. Officer Craig Matthews brought suit alleging that the City of New York retaliated against him for speaking to his commanding officers about an arrest quota policy at his precinct of the New York City Police Department (" NYPD" ). The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Paul A. Engelmayer, Judge) granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment, holding that Matthews spoke as a public employee, not as a citizen, and that his speech was thus not protected by the First Amendment. We conclude that because Matthews's comments on precinct policy did not fall within his official duties and because he elected a channel with a civilian analogue to pursue his complaint, he spoke as a citizen. Accordingly, we VACATE the district court's grant of summary judgment and REMAND for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

CHRISTOPHER DUNN, (Erin Harrist, Arthur Eisenberg, Alexis Karterton, on the brief), New York Civil Liberties Union Foundation, New York, N.Y., for Appellant.

MARTA ROSS, (Edward F.X. Hart, William S.J. Fraenkel, on the brief) for Zachary W. Carter, Corporation Counsel of the City of New York, New York, N.Y., for Defendants-Appellees.

Before: WALKER and HALL, Circuit Judges, and MURTHA, District Judge.[*]

OPINION

Page 169

John M. Walker, Jr., Circuit Judge

Officer Craig Matthews brought suit alleging that the City of New York retaliated against him for speaking to his commanding officers about an arrest quota policy at his precinct of the New York City Police Department (" NYPD" ). The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Paul A. Engelmayer, Judge ) granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment, holding that Matthews spoke as a public employee, not as a citizen, and that his speech was thus not protected by the First Amendment. We conclude that because Matthews's comments on precinct policy did not fall within his official duties and because he elected a channel with a civilian analogue to pursue his complaint, he spoke as a citizen. Accordingly, we VACATE the district court's grant of summary judgment and REMAND for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

BACKGROUND

I. Matthews's Speech about the Quota System

Since 1999, Craig Matthews, an NYPD police officer, has been assigned to the 42nd Precinct (" the Precinct" ) in the Bronx. He alleges that starting in 2008, unnamed supervisors in the Precinct implemented a quota system mandating the number of arrests, summons, and stop-and-frisks that police officers must conduct. Matthews also alleges that Lieutenant Mark Sedran " refined the quota system" by creating a point system that awarded points to police officers for issuing what Sedran considered " 'good' summonses" and subtracted points for less desirable summonses. Compl. ¶ 18, Joint App'x 25. Matthews alleges that officers were under pressure to comply with the quota system.

In February 2009, Matthews, believing that the quota system was damaging to the NYPD's core mission, reported its existence to then-Captain Timothy Bugge, the Precinct's commanding officer at that time. In March and April of 2009, Matthews again reported the quota system's existence to Captain Bugge, and, in May 2009, Matthews reported the same to an unnamed Precinct executive officer.

In January 2011, Matthews met with then-Captain Jon Bloch, the Precinct's new commanding officer, and two other officers in Captain Bloch's office. Matthews told them about the quota system and stated that it was " causing unjustified stops, arrests, and summonses because police officers felt forced to abandon their discretion in order to meet their numbers," and that it " was having an adverse effect on the precinct's

Page 170

relationship with the community." Compl. ¶ 28, Joint App'x 28.

II. Matthews's Complaint and the Defendants' Motion to Dismiss

On February 28, 2012, Matthews filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that the NYPD retaliated against him in violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article I, § 8 of the New York State Constitution because he spoke to the Precinct's leadership about the arrest quota policy. Although not relevant to this appeal, which is limited to the narrow question of whether Matthews spoke as a citizen or as a public employee, the alleged acts of retaliation consist of punitive assignments, denial of overtime and leave, separation from his career-long partner, humiliating treatment by supervisors, and negative performance evaluations.

On March 16, 2012, the defendants moved to dismiss, arguing that Matthews's speech was made pursuant to his official employment duties and was thus unprotected. The district court (Barbara S. Jones, Judge ) granted the defendants' motion to dismiss. See Matthews v. City of New York, No. 12 Civ. 1354, 2012 WL 8084831 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 12, 2012). On November 28, 2012, a panel of this court vacated the dismissal and remanded, holding that " [t]he record in this case is not yet sufficiently developed . . . to determine as a matter of law whether Officer Matthews spoke pursuant to his official duties when he voiced the complaints." Matthews v. City of New York, 488 F.App'x 532, 533 (2d Cir. 2012). The panel stated that discovery was necessary as to " the nature of the plaintiff's job responsibilities, the nature of the speech, and the relationship between the two." Id. (internal quotation marks omitted).

On remand, after the case was reassigned to District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer, the following evidence relevant to this appeal was developed in discovery.

III. Matthews's Employment Duties

Matthews stated in an affidavit that the vast majority of his time as a ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.