The City of Southaven, through its attorneys, recently removed a case to federal court challenging Southaven police chief’s decision to restrict a restaurant’s ability to play live music. The restaurant/bar claimed that its First Amendment rights to free speech and its Fourteenth Amendment due process rights were violated by a recent decision by Southaven Police Chief Tom Long to restrict the restaurant’s ability to have live music after 10 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday,12 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 8 p.m. on Sunday nights.
When the restaurant owner appealed Long’s decision to the Southaven Board of Alderman, the board agreed with Long and affirmed his decision, thereby leaving the restaurant with no other recourse other than to file this lawsuit.
The City has since filed a motion to dismiss the suit, alleging in part that Chief Long is immune from any liability under specific provisions of the Mississippi Tort Claims Act, a statute that provides immunity to certain governmental employees that perform their job function in a manner that does not constitute reckless disregard for the safety and well-being of any person not engaged in criminal activity at the time of injury.
Whether you are seeking to appeal a noise ordinance restriction, whether you have been unlawfully arrested, or whether you are the victim of excessive force by law enforcement, you need to understand that the law in Mississippi provides broad protections to government officials acting in the course of their employment–especially law enforcement officials. That is why it is extremely important before you speak to anyone (media, insurance representative, or internal affairs department for the offending agency) that you speak to an experienced Mississippi civil rights lawyer that understands the law and has experience dealing with these agencies.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of any municipal or county governmental agency, feel free to contact us for a free, no obligation consultation. We can help.