Doninger v. Niehoff, No. HHB-CV-07-4014735-S (
Doninger v. Niehoff, Civil No. 07-01129 (D.
Status: Denial of preliminary injunction upheld; defense motion for summary judgment granted in part; appeal pending.
A high school student and her mother sued the principal of her daughter’s school and the superintendent of her school district after they barred the student from running for re-election as student secretary after she posted complaints to her blog about a student-planned concert that was canceled by school administrators.
The state case was moved to federal court in late July 2007. On Aug. 31, 2007, the federal trial court denied a preliminary injunction to force school administrators to allow the girl to run for office; the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed this ruling on May 30, 2008. Doninger v. Dept. of Homeland Security, No. 07-CV-3885 (2d Cir. 2008).
The case then returned to the trial court, which partially granted a defense motion for summary judgment on Jan. 15, 2009, leaving only a claim alleging that the student’s speech was chilled when she was prohibited from wearing a t-shirt with a message on it at school. The student has appealed the partial grant of summary judgment.
Links and Court Documents:
Case information: http://www.citmedialaw.org/threats/doninger-v-niehoff
State complaint: http://mirandamagazine.com/joomla/images//donninger%20lawsuit.pdf
Federal district court decision denying injunction: http://www.splc.org/pdf/doningerdenial.pdf
Appellate decision affirming denial of injunction: http://www.ca2.uscourts.gov:8080/isysnative/RDpcT3BpbnNcT1BOXDA3LTM4ODUgLWN2X29wbi5wZGY=/07-3885%20-cv_opn.pdf