Township dismissed from case involving First Amendment claim.
We successfully obtained dismissal, with prejudice, on behalf of a Pennsylvania Township and a township manager via a motion to dismiss plaintiff’s amended complaint. The plaintiff raised a single First Amendment count on the basis that the defendants allegedly retaliated against his exercise of his First Amendment right to petition by preemptively refusing to listen to him on the subject of traffic controls. More specifically, he had presented petitions, spoke publicly on the issue at township meetings, and sent the township commissioners packets of information requesting that the township reduce the speed limit and install speed bumps as a traffic regulation, claiming the traffic was too high. Despite addressing his concerns via a traffic study that revealed there was not unusually high traffic for the road, the plaintiff continued to petition the township. Given the evidence contrary to the plaintiff’s position, the township heard the plaintiff out and responded to the substance of his petitions, but ultimately did not agree with his concerns, and did not implement his requests. The plaintiff alleged that he was “retaliated” against for expressing his concerns because he did not feel comfortable continuing to raise the issue at public meetings. The court agreed with our position that no retaliatory conduct occurred, thus precluding the First Amendment retaliation claim, and dismissed the defendants, with prejudice.