Halleck v. Manhattan Community Access Corp., No. 16-4155 (2d Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The public access TV channels in Manhattan are public forums and MCAC's employees were sufficiently alleged to be state actors taking action barred by the First Amendment to prevent dismissal of the claims against MCAC and its employees, but not against the City. In this case, the Second Circuit held that public access channels, authorized by Congress to be "the video equivalent of the speaker's soapbox" and operating under the municipal authority given to MNN in this case, are public forums, and, in the circumstances of this case, MNN and its employees are subject to First Amendment restrictions. In regard to municipal liability, the court held that the complaint did not allege actions by the City that suffice to make it liable for plaintiffs' federal claims. Therefore, the court affirmed the district court's dismissal for failure to state a valid claim against the City, reversed as to MCAC and its employees, and remanded for further proceedings.