Edward Jervey v. Charles Martin, Jr.

336 F. Supp. 1350 (1972)

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Edward Jervey v. Charles Martin, Jr.

United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia
336 F. Supp. 1350 (1972)

Facts

Dr. Edward Jervey (plaintiff) was a professor at Radford College (Radford). According to Jervey, Radford’s president, Charles K. Martin (defendant), recommended that his salary be raised for the upcoming school year. Jervey’s salary increase, however, was rescinded by the Board of Visitors of Radford College (the board). Jervey believed that he was denied a salary increase because the board became aware of a letter that he wrote to Redbook Magazine, which was ultimately published in the magazine’s letters-to-the-editor section. In the letter, Jervey praised an article published in the magazine about premarital sex and expressed his intention to use some of the author’s remarks in his teaching at the university. Jervey claimed that he was denied other opportunities, such as summer school teaching, because of the letter. Under state law, the board possessed authority to control university funds and set the salaries of all teachers and staff. Jervey filed suit against Martin and the board, alleging a violation of his First Amendment right of free speech. The board argued that under state law, it had discretion to set teacher salaries and that discretion should not be interfered with. Martin and the board filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim on which relief could be granted.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Dalton, J.)

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