#Copped and #Blocked: Emerging First Amendment Issues Involving Citizen Interactions with Government Officials during Arrests

When a government official or employee interacts with a citizen, he or she is likely going to encounter issues under the First Amendment. In the context of law enforcement, the Supreme Court recently took up a pair of cases examining how the First Amendment interacts with the Fourth Amendment rights of arrestees, particularly: will the existence of probable cause for an arrest bar a claim of retaliatory arrest? Generally, the existence of probable cause satisfies the Fourth Amendment’s requirement that seizures be reasonable, but the Court will soon determine whether probable cause also defeats claims that an arrest violated the arrestee’s free speech rights. The cases the Court has recently considered include Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach, which concerned First and Fourth Amendment claims against the City directly after the plaintiff was arrested for speech and conduct during a public meeting, and Nieves v. Bartlett, which concerns a First Amendment retaliatory arrest claim against an individual officer. While the Court’s decision in Lozman this past term was narrow, Supreme Court observers expect the Court to directly address the interplay between the First and Fourth Amendments in Nieves later this term. When using social media, a government entity or government official may open up limited public forums for members of the public to comment and express their views and opinions. Recent cases from around the country have made clear that both the government official and government entity may run afoul of the First Amendment when they attempt to regulate access to and permissible forms of speech on social media. Participants in this webinar will learn best practices to avoid liability and public scrutiny associated with social media.” Free HR and CLE credit applied for in FL, GA, NJ, NY & TX.