Collins v. Univ. of NH, No. 10-2316 (1st Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff, a tenured professor at the University-defendant, was arrested by campus police and charged with stalking and disorderly conduct after unleashing an expletive-filled tirade against a colleague whom he suspected of causing him to receive a parking ticket. Plaintiff was temporarily banned from campus, removed as department head, and required to attend an anger-management class. Although the charges were later dismissed, Collins sued for false arrest, defamation, and violation of his due process rights. The district court granted judgment for the defendants. The First Circuit affirmed, first rejecting an argument that the arrest was illegal because the "violation" was civil in nature. The warrant was supported by probable cause. Suspension with pay for two months was a minimal deprivation that did not entitle plaintiff to pre-deprivation process. Plaintiff was allowed to visit campus several times during the ban and was given adequate process for the minimal deprivation of liberty. An email indicating that plaintiff's presence on campus should be reported was not defamatory.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on December 29, 2011.