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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Jul 29, 2013

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Joseph H. Johnston, Nashville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Attorneys 2:

Lora Barkenbus Fox and Emily Herring Lamb, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County.

Judge(s): CLEMENT

The plaintiff, an attorney representing himself, filed this action against the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, the Metro Clerk in her official capacity, and the Director of the Metro Department of Parks and Recreation Services in his official capacity. He asserts a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim that arises from him being prohibited from speaking on behalf of his clients at two separate meetings of the Board of the Metro Department of Parks and Recreation, because he failed to give timely notice to the Board. He alleges the defendants deprived him of his rights under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, section 8 of the Tennessee constitution and seeks nominal damages for the alleged deprivation of his rights. He also seeks a declaratory judgment that the Parks’ Board rule requiring fourteen days’ notice to be heard at a Board meeting is invalid. We have determined, as the trial court did, that the plaintiff’s claims related to the first Board meeting are time-barred. As for the claims related to the second Board meeting, we have determined that the plaintiff’s rights were not violated because the plaintiff had actual notice of the Board policy requiring fourteen days’ notice well in advance of the second meeting. Finally, we have determined the plaintiff is not entitled to a declaratory judgment because he failed to demonstrate that he is seeking to vindicate an existing right under presently existing facts. The trial court summarily dismissed the claims. We affirm.