Malleus v. George, No. 10-3539 (3d Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
A student reported to her aunt, a member of the school board (plaintiff), that she had seen a teacher hugging another student. The investigation ended because the teacher and minor student denied the incident and the plaintiff raised concerns about the reporting student's credibility. More than a year later, a police officer saw the teacher and the minor student in a sexual encounter and the teacher was arrested. A copy of the report on an investigation that followed, containing plaintiff's assertions about her niece's credibility, was leaked to the press during a school board election. The district court dismissed claims under 42 U.S.C. 1983. The Third Circuit affirmed, holding that there is no Fourteenth Amendment right to privacy with respect to the information at issue. Plaintiff may not have intended wide-dissemination of her opinion but she volunteered it to others and it did not concern autonomy and independence in personal decision-making.