What is the name of your state?I have made an apparent enemy in the form of a disingenous Police Chief who currently serves as head of the Maryland Transportation Authority. I had the audacity to write him and challenge him about the way his police officers conduct traffic stops along I-95 just outside of Baltimore while perilously endangering themselves and passing motorists. And after one of his cops was killed last year in an unfortunate traffic accident, I challenged the fakeness of the Police Chief's tears as reported by the local newspaper from behind an email address which was the only identifying info I revealed to the Chief.
He subsequently charged one of his underlings (who promptly contacted AOL) with ascertaining the identity associated with my email address. The Police Chief then sent that underling to my employer (which was out of their jurisdiction) where he proceeded to utter disparaging comments about me in a blatant attempt to make me look like an unreasonable partisan in the eyes of my employer. My employer bought the cop's story "hook, line and sinker!" They recently gave me my first performance evaluation ever and included in it was mention of the supposedly "inflammatory" email I sent to the Police Chief. The way I see it, I have an undeniable right to petition and challenge government/public officials. These unscrupulous cops set out to intentionally and deliberately soil my good name and reputation!
In a 1964 landmark decision, the US Supreme Court pointed to "a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust and wide open, and it may well include vehement, caustic and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials." In Duran v. City of Douglas, AZ, 904 F.2d 1372 (9th Cir. 1990) 904 F.2d 1372, it was noted that “no less well established is the principle that government officials in general, and police officers in particular, may not exercise their authority for personal motives, particularly in response to real or perceived slights to their dignity.” In Hill, 482 U.S. at 461, 107 S. Ct. at 2509, it was noted “the First Amendment protects a significant amount of verbal criticism and challenge directed at police officers.”
I feel strongly that this Police Chief sought retribution and retaliated against me both professionally and personally by reporting me to my employer because I had unpleasant things to say! Considering my employer's evaluation of me, this Police Chief achieved his goal! Now I want to sue the offending culprits and teach them a thing or two about previous legal precedent(s)!
It is my understanding that I have only 6 months (from the time of the workplace visit by the underling) to file a lawsuit against the state of Maryland... is this true? I also understand that I must give notice to the state of Maryland... how does one give notice that a lawsuit is going to be filed? Furthermore, apparently I can only sue for $100K... my good name and professional reputation are worth more than that! Can I sue the Police Chief personally? Can I sue his cohort underling? Can I sue the Maryland Transporation Authority? Can I sue the Governor? Is there some attorney out there who would be willing to help me out?