Bland v. Roberts, No. 12-1671 (4th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs filed suit against the Sheriff of the City of Hampton, Virginia, in his individual capacity and in his official capacity, alleging that the Sheriff retaliated against plaintiffs in violation of their First Amendment rights by choosing not to reappoint them because of their support of his electoral opponent. The court concluded that, as to the claims of Plaintiffs Sandhofer, Woodward, and Bland, the district court properly analyzed the merits of the claims; as to the claims of Plaintiffs Carter, McCoy, and Dixon, the district court erred by concluding that plaintiffs failed to create a genuine dispute of material fact regarding whether the Sheriff violated their First Amendment rights; nevertheless, the district court properly ruled that the Sheriff was entitled to qualified immunity on Carter's McCoy's, and Dixon's claims seeking money damages against the Sheriff in his individual capacity, and that the Sheriff was entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity against those claims to the extent they sought monetary relief against him in his official capacity; and the Sheriff was not entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity on Carter's, McCoy's and Dixon's claims to the extent the remedy sought was reinstatement. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded for further proceedings.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on September 23, 2013.