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In the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri.

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  1. Introduction
  2. Statement of uncontroverted facts
  3. Legal standard for summary judgment
  4. Argument
  5. Table of authorities
  6. Conclusion

Plaintiff Karlene Kincaid alleges that defendant River Bluffs Community College retaliated against her for exercising her First Amendment right to free speech by terminating her employment contract with the college. Plaintiff claims that the letter to the editor she wrote and the film she showed to her class are protected activity under the First Amendment. Plaintiff also contends that these protected activities were a ?substantial and motivating factor? in defendant's decision to end the employment relationship.

[...] In order to establish that a public employee's speech is protected by the First Amendment, the Court must first decide whether the speech addresses a matter of public concern. ?Whether an employee's speech addresses a matter of public concern must be determined by the content, form, and context of a given statement Connick 461 U.S. at 147-148. This is a question of law for the court to decide. Id. at 148. The form and context of the speech at issue must be ?examined to determine whether the public employee speaks as a concerned citizen informing the public that the government is not properly discharging its duties, or merely as an employee speaking [a]bout internal practices relevant only to fellow employees.? de Lano F.3d at 1036 (quoting Calvit v. [...]

[...] Once plaintiff has established these two elements, the burden shifts to the defendant to show that it would have taken the same action regardless of the protected activity. See id. Summary judgment is proper if Plaintiff fails to establish that the activity she engaged in is constitutionally protected. Therefore, the only way for Plaintiff to survive this summary judgment motion is to show first that her activity addressed a matter of public concern, and second, that her interest outweighs River Bluffs Community College's interest in providing efficient public service. ARGUMENT I. [...]

[...] STATEMENT OF UNCONTROVERTED FACTS LEGAL STANDARD FOR GRANTING SUMMARY JUDGMENT Summary judgment is appropriate the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.? Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c) (2002). An entry of summary judgment is required ?against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that's party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial? after there has been ?adequate time for discovery?. [...]

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