Not all Expressions of Purported Religious Beliefs are Protected by the First Amendment, Cavanaugh v. Bartelt, Docket No. 4:14-cv-03183-JMG-CRZ Doc # 47 Filed: 04/12/16

By Eric Marcy |   Apr. 18, 2016

The Dismissal of Federal and State Civil Right Claims

Federal District Court Declines to Protect the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster [FSM]
In an entertaining, thoughtful, and well-reasoned decision the Honorable John M. Gerard, United States District Judge, for the District of Nebraska, has defined the limits of the First Amendment in the recognition of religion and the protections afforded by Federal and State constitutional and statutory provisions protecting the Free Exercise of Religious Beliefs. Judge Gerard wades into the murky waters of what defines a “true” religion that is worthy of protection. In this case, the court engaged in an analysis of the tenets of an inmate’s assertion of religious belief and dismissed a lawsuit brought by the inmate. The court concluded that the Church of FSM is “satire” and not worthy of consideration as a religion or the protections afforded religious belief under Federal and State law. This case demonstrates that the Federal judicial system will not hesitate to determine the legitimacy of the assertion of personally held religious beliefs. An inmate at a Nebraska State Penitentiary filed a lawsuit in the District of Nebraska advancing the Federal and State Claims which protect the free exercise of religious beliefs. The Plaintiff alleges violations of the religious freedom provisions of: Read More

Topics : Constitutional Rights, Civil Rights Litigation, prisoner rights, free exercise of religion, civil rights, first amendment | 0 Comments Read More

When are Supervisors Liable for the Actions of Subordinates in Federal Civil Rights and Police Liability Cases?

By Eric Marcy |   Nov. 20, 2015

Municipal Liability
When are Supervisors Liable for the Actions of Subordinates
in Federal Civil Rights and Police Liability Cases?

In Federal civil rights actions under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, supervisors are frequently named as defendants, even in circumstances were the supervisor was not directly involved or did not even have knowledge of the actions of the subordinate that gave rise to the claimed deprivation of civil rights. Shift Commanders, Lieutenants, Captains, Deputy Chiefs and Chiefs of Police are commonly named in “shotgun pleadings” when there has been a claim of excessive force or other alleged violation of Federal or Constitutional law. Supervisors should know when their conduct exposes them to liability for the actions of their subordinates and when it does not.

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Topics : Litigation, Use of Force, Federal Civil Rights, Criminal Defense, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983, police, Constitutional Rights, Criminal Law, Due Process, Eric Marcy, law enforcement, Police Misconduct, Civil Rights Litigation | 0 Comments Read More

Eric Marcy to be a Panelist on "Your Top Local Government Law Questions Answered" topics including Use of Force, Civil Rights Litigation and Ethics

By Eric Marcy |   Aug. 31, 2015

Eric Marcy, shareholder of the Criminal/Civil Law team, will present at the National Business Institute seminar, Your Top Local Government Law Questions Answered, on Thursday, October 22nd at the Holiday Inn Cherry Hill on 2175 Marlton Place at Rte 70 and Sayer Avenue, Cherry Hill.
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Topics : Use of Force, Criminal Defense, Constitutional Rights, Criminal Law, Legal Education, NJ Criminal Justice Process, Police Misconduct, Civil Rights Litigation | 0 Comments Read More

New Jersey’s New Law Mandates Video Cameras in Police Vehicles: When it Comes to Law Enforcement Encounters, a Video is Worth a Thousand Words

By Ellen Torregrossa-O'Connor |   Sep. 25, 2014

These days, cameras seem to be everywhere. From shameless “selfies” to stealthy surveillance videos, our every move seems to be memorialized in some way, like it or not. While some may long for more private times when many things were left to our memories and imaginations, there can be no doubt that, in the field of criminal law and law enforcement, the impact of a picture or video can be seismic. Many of us old enough to remember the Rodney King case still have those images seared in our memories – our first real glimpse into the elusive concept of “excessive force” and the power of a video recording.

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Topics : Legislation, traffic, New Jersey Laws, Criminal Law, Police Misconduct, Civil Rights Litigation | 0 Comments Read More

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