100 F.3d 41 (5th Cir. 1996), 96-30285, Tighe v. Wall

Docket Nº96-30285.
Citation100 F.3d 41
Party NameThomas TIGHE, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Richard A. WALL, Warden; John McGovern; Capt. Bordelon, Defendants-Appellees.
Case DateNovember 27, 1996
CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Page 41

100 F.3d 41 (5th Cir. 1996)

Thomas TIGHE, Plaintiff-Appellant,


Richard A. WALL, Warden; John McGovern; Capt. Bordelon,


No. 96-30285.

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

November 27, 1996

Page 42

Thomas Tighe, Florence, CO, pro se.

Joseph Robert Ballard, Department of Justice for the State of Louisiana, Baton Rouge, LA, for defendants-appellees.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.

Before GARWOOD, DAVIS and STEWART, Circuit Judges.


The sole issue presented in this appeal is whether the district court erred in dismissing Thomas Tighe's § 1983 claim alleging that prison officials retaliated against him for exercising his First Amendment right to provide legal assistance to his fellow inmates. Because we conclude that the district court properly granted defendants' motion for summary judgment and dismissed Tighe's § 1983 claim, we affirm.


In October 1992, Thomas Tighe, then a state prisoner at Avoyelles Correctional Center in Cottonport, Louisiana, was assigned to the position of "inmate counsel substitute." In February 1993, he was removed from that position for what officials called "unsatisfactory job performance"; the Avoyelles' warden later filed an affidavit in connection with this case asserting that he believed Tighe had improperly called the family of an inmate about allegations of physical abuse within the prison. Tighe denied making such a call and asserted that another inmate counsel was responsible. In March 1993, Tighe was transferred to Phelps Correctional Center in DeQuincy, Louisiana, to finish serving his state sentence. He is currently serving his federal prison sentence in Florence, Colorado.


"To state a claim of retaliation an inmate must allege the violation of a specific constitutional right and be prepared to establish that but for the retaliatory motive the complained of incident ... would not have occurred." Woods v. Smith, 60 F.3d 1161, 1166 (5th Cir.1995), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 116 S.Ct. 800, 133 L.Ed.2d 747 (1996). Such motivation may be established by alleging " 'a chronology of events from which retaliation may plausibly be inferred.' " Id. (citation omitted). Thus, to survive summary judgment, Tighe must allege a violation of a constitutional right and demonstrate a retaliatory motive. He argues that his First Amendment right of free speech includes...

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