Rosaura Building Corp. v. Municipality of Mayaguez, No. 13-1676 (1st Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
Rosaura Building Corp. (“Rosaura”) filed a lease contract petition form offering its building as property for Head Start classrooms. The Mayor of the Municipality of Mayguez rejected the contract. Rosaura brought a civil rights claim for equitable relief and damages pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983 against the Mayor and the municipal government (collectively, “Defendants”), claiming that Defendants’ rejection of the contract was solely motivated by Rosaura’s political beliefs. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Defendants. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the district court (1) did not err in granting the dismissal of the claims against the Municipality, as there was no practical effect in dismissing the claims against the municipal government where a mayor’s “employment decisions ipso facto” constitute the official policy of the municipality; and (2) did not err in dismissing the claims against the Mayor in his official capacity, as Rosaura failed to state a First Amendment retaliation cause of action and failed to state an equal protection claim by not alleging what protected activity it exercised and was a substantial motivating factor in bringing about the Mayor’s purported retaliation.