Charette v. Jones
A party may not attempt to create an issue of fact by submitting an affidavit, in opposition to a motion for summary judgment, which contradicts the affiant's prior testimony during a deposition. The State of Connecticut hired the plaintiff, a vocational rehabilitation counselor, to evaluate Social Security disability applications. The plaintiff sued the individual defendants, alleging that they retaliated, in violation of her rights to free speech under the First Amendment, because the plaintiff filed a complaint to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and alleged that the state failed to use federal funds appropriately. The defendants moved for summary judgment and argued that the plaintiff cannot prevail, because she cannot prove that she complained. At deposition, the plaintiff allegedly stated nine times that she could not recall whether she contacted the FBI. In opposition to the defendants' motion for summary judgment, the plaintiff sought to rely on an affidavit that contradicted the testimony she provided at deposition. The court found that the plaintiff is not permitted to attempt to create an issue of fact by submitting an affidavit that contradicts her testimony during deposition. "Plaintiff," wrote the court, "has failed to make a sufficient showing that she spoke as a citizen on a matter of public concern, an essential element of her case." The court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment.