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Barnett v. Marquis

United States District Court, D. Oregon

April 17, 2014

STEVEN M. BARNETT, Plaintiff,
v.
CLATSOP COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY JOSHUA MARQUIS; CLATSOP COUNTY CHIEF DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY RONALD BROWN; CLATSOP COUNTY, by and through the CLATSOP COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, a political subdivision of the STATE OF OREGON, Defendants

Page 1219

For Plaintiff: Sean J. Riddell, Portland, OR.

For Defendants: Ellen F. Rosenblum, Andrew D. Campbell, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Salem, OR.

OPINION

Page 1220

OPINION & ORDER

MARCO A. HERNANDEZ, United States District Judge.

Steven M. Barnett brings five claims against Clatsop County District Attorney Joshua Marquis and Clatsop County Chief Deputy Attorney Ronald Brown, alleging Defendants violated his First Amendment free speech rights and Fourteenth Amendment due process rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.[1] First Am. Compl., ¶ 1. Plaintiff's first claim alleges Defendants violated his Fourteenth Amendment substantive due process right to employment. Id., ¶ 28. Plaintiff's second claim alleges Defendants retaliated against him in violation of his First Amendment free speech rights and Fourteenth Amendment substantive due process rights. Id., ¶ 35. Plaintiff's third claim alleges Defendants violated his free speech rights as a public employee. Id., ¶ 42. Plaintiff's fourth claim alleges Defendants violated his free speech rights as a private citizen. Id., ¶ 46. Plaintiff's fifth and final claim alleges that Defendants violated his substantive due process and free speech rights. Id., ¶ ¶ 50, 51, 52. The facts underlying claims one through four state that Defendants:

a. Claim[ed] that they could not use plaintiff as a witness because they could not vouch for his credibility knowing that it is unethical and prosecutorial misconduct for a prosecutor to vouch for the credibility of a witness.
b. Claim[ed] that they could not call the plaintiff as a witness in court because plaintiff's testimony and possible impeachment would harm the reputation of the local community, Clatsop County District Attorney's Office and Seaside Police Department.

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c. Instruct[ed] the Seaside Police Department that other Seaside police officers should be assigned plaintiff's responsibilities.
d. Refus[ed] to work with plaintiff during the investigative phase of possible criminal prosecutions.

Id., ¶ ¶ 29, 35, 42, 46.

The facts underlying Plaintiff's fifth claim state that Defendants:

a. [Refused]to work with or communicate with plaintiff during the investigative phase of ...

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