Greg Collier v. The Board of Tax Assessors ( 2007 )

  •                                                               [DO NOT PUBLISH]
                            FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT
                                                                U.S. COURT OF APPEALS
                                                                  ELEVENTH CIRCUIT
                                                                       June 14, 2007
                                     No. 06-16421                  THOMAS K. KAHN
                                 Non-Argument Calendar                   CLERK
                         D. C. Docket No. 04-00057-CV-1-DHB
    of Augusta-Richmond County, through its Chair
    Burt Thomas, in his individual and official
    capacities for the members of the Board,
    E.W. REESE, individually and in his official
    capacity as the Chief Appraiser, for the Property
    Appraisal Office of the Board of Assessors for
    Augusta-Richmond County, et al.,
                       Appeal from the United States District Court
                          for the Southern District of Georgia
                                     (June 14, 2007)
    Before ANDERSON, DUBINA and BARKETT, Circuit Judges.
          This is an appeal from the district court’s grant of summary judgment in
    favor of the defendants in appellant Greg Collier’s (“Collier”) claim for a violation
    of free speech.
          This court reviews a “grant of summary judgment de novo, drawing all
    [reasonable] inferences in favor of the non-moving party.” Fin. Sec. Assurance,
    Inc. v. Stephens, Inc., 
    450 F.3d 1257
    , 1269 (11th Cir. 2006). Summary judgment
    is appropriate when “there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and . . . the
    moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c).
          After reviewing the record and reading the parties’ briefs, we conclude that
    there is no merit to any of the arguments Collier makes in this appeal. We agree
    with the defendants that the speech which Collier alleges caused his termination
    was made pursuant to his employment position, and related to his employment,
    official duties, and was a not a matter of public concern. See Garcetti v. Ceballos,
    547 U.S.
    126 S. Ct. 1951
    , 1959-60 (2006); Battle v. Bd. of Regents for Ga.,
    468 F.3d 755
    , 760 (11th Cir. 2006); Vila v. Padron, ___ F.3d ___, No. 05-13776
    (11th Cir. Apr. 20, 2007).
          We also agree with the defendants that summary judgment was properly
    entered in favor of Augusta-Richmond County (“Augusta”) because there is no
    evidence that Augusta maintained a policy that caused a constitutional violation.
          Moreover, we agree with the district court’s grant of summary judgment in
    favor of the defendants on Collier’s due process claims because Collier was not
    deprived of any life, liberty or property interests in continuing employment with
    Augusta. In fact, Collier did not have an employment agreement with Augusta.
          Finally, we agree with the district court’s grant of summary judgment in
    favor of defendants Byrd-Pelaez, McCauley, Oglesby, Reese, and the Board of
    Assessors on Collier’s equal protection claims because Collier failed to present
    any evidence that he was treated differently from other employees because of a
    discriminatory reason. The Supreme Court has held that a plaintiff must
    demonstrate discriminatory intent to establish a § 1983 case based upon a
    violation of the Equal Protection Clause. Personnel Adm’r v. Feeney, 
    442 U.S. 256
    , 272, 
    99 S. Ct. 2282
     (1979). Collier fails to establish here that the defendants
    acted with discriminatory intent or purpose. The record demonstrates that Collier
    was terminated for issues related to his performance, as well as his poor attitude
    and because he was disruptive to the office and did not fit into the organization.
    Because Collier cannot establish a violation of equal protection principles, we
    conclude that the district court properly granted summary judgment in the
    defendants’ favor on this claim.
          Because we see no merit to any of the arguments Collier makes in this
    appeal, we affirm the district court’s grant of summary judgment in all respects.

Document Info

DocketNumber: 06-16421

Filed Date: 6/14/2007

Precedential Status: Non-Precedential

Modified Date: 12/21/2014