Judge Hayes of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California today issued this ruling on the dispositive motions in Martin v. NCIS, a case involving limitations on a private investigator’s involvement in courts-martial at MCRD San Diego, among other issues. Judge Hayes granted motions to dismiss in part and denied motions to dismiss in part.
The ruling allows key portions of Ms. Martin’s case to go forward. We’ve previously discussed the litigation in this case concerning whether Ms. Martin is banned from the MCRD San Diego courtroom. The United States indicated that it would allow Ms. Martin to access the courtroom in the same manner as other members of the general public. Judge Hayes ruled that this voluntary concession doesn’t moot Ms. Martin’s claim, allowing her First Amendment claim for interference with right to access to judicial proceedings to go forward.
Judge Hayes also allowed Ms. Martin to proceed with a First Amendment claim against NCIS and the Secretary of the Navy for allegedly retaliating against her for successful criminal defense work in court-martial cases. Judge Hayes also allowed a Bivens claim against a specific NCIS agent to proceed and rejected a qualified immunity bar to the claim against the individual agent.
Judge Hayes ruled for the defendants on two claims — dismissing a Fourth Amendment claim against the individual NCIS agent and dismissing a Fifth Amendment claim for unreasonable interference with employment.
We’ll continue to follow the case.