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United States v. Baroni

2016 WL 3388302 (2016)

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United States v. Baroni

United States District Court for the District of New Jersey

2016 WL 3388302 (2016)

Facts

Federal prosecutors (plaintiffs) brought nine criminal charges against two state officials, William Baroni and Bridget Kelly (defendants). Two of those charges were criminal civil-rights violations alleging that the officials had willfully deprived individuals of their constitutional rights under color of law. Specifically, the charges alleged that (1) the officials had used their governmental authority to close several lanes of a public roadway that formed part of a major commuting route between Fort Lee, New Jersey and New York City, (2) the closure’s purpose was political retaliation for the mayor of Fort Lee not supporting the New Jersey governor’s campaign for reelection, and (3) this action deprived the residents of Fort Lee of their constitutional right to local travel on a public roadway free from illegitimate government interference. The officials moved to dismiss the charges, arguing that no constitutional right existed to be able to travel on local, intrastate public roadways or, alternatively, that any such right was not clearly established.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Wigenton, J.)

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