Potter v. Bd. of Regents of Univ. of Neb.Annotate this Case
Appellant was a temporary employee at the University of Nebraska. After the University considering terminating Appellant’s employment, human resources completed a “threat assessment” in relation to the termination, which noted Appellant’s criminal record and history of becoming upset over discussion of work performance. When the University decided to terminate Appellant, an e-mail was circulated warning coworkers to alert campus police and lock their doors if they saw Appellant. Appellant filed this action under 42 U.S.C. 1983 against the University Board of Regents and two of its managers, making a “stigma plus” claim that he was deprived of a liberty interest in his good name without due process of law. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Defendants, concluding (1) there was no genuine issue of material fact that Appellant had not sufficiently suffered a constitutional violation; (2) the Board of Regents was shielded by sovereign immunity; and (3) the individual defendants were protected by qualified sovereign immunity because the alleged violation was not clearly established. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not err in its judgment.