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.

Cope v. Brosius

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

May 4, 2018

EDWARD J. COPE, Plaintiff.
v.
GRETCHEN BROSIUS, et al., Defendants.

          Carlson Magistrate Judge

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Matthew W. Brann United States District Judge

         Defendants moved for summary judgment on Plaintiff's Amended Complaint. For the reasons that follow, that motion will be granted.

         I. BACKGROUND

         During all times relevant to this lawsuit, Plaintiff Edward J. Cope was employed as a police officer with the Borough of Northumberland (“Borough”).[1]In 2004, he was assigned to the detective division of that police department, [2] in which he remained until the division was eliminated in November 2010.[3]

         Several times during his career as a police officer, Mr. Cope spoke out about various problems he perceived within the local government and the police department.[4] Several times during this same period, Mr. Cope's superiors at the police department issues letters clarifying and highlighting department policies.[5]

         On December 16, 2011, Mr. Cope, along with fellow police officers, operated a Taser on an intern.[6] As a result of that conduct, Mr. Cope received warnings from the chief of police, Defendant Timothy Fink, and the then-current mayor, Defendant Leonard Zboray.[7]

         Mr. Cope initiated the instant suit on November 29, 2012, [8] and the operative complaint[9] contains five counts. Three of those counts remain at the time of the instant motion: Count I, a First Amendment retaliation claim, Count II, a civil rights claim against the Borough, and Count III, a procedural due process claim.

         Defendants moved for summary judgment on all three counts on April 11, 2017. On March 14, 2018, Magistrate Judge Martin C. Carlson issued a Report and Recommendation, to which Mr. Cope objected on March 28, 2018.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Standard of Review

         Summary judgment is granted when “the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”[10] A dispute is “genuine if a reasonable trier-of-fact could find in favor of the non-movant, ” and “material if it could affect the outcome of the case.”[11] To defeat a motion for summary judgment, then, the nonmoving party must point to evidence in the record that would allow a jury to rule in that party's favor.[12] When deciding whether to grant summary judgment, a court should draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party.[13]

         B. The First Amendment Retaliation Claim

         To sustain a claim for First Amendment retaliation, Mr. Cope must point to evidence showing:

1. constitutionally protected conduct
2. retaliatory action sufficient to deter a person of ordinary firmness from exercising his ...

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.