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Case Name Shelton v. Anoka-Hennepin Sch. Dist. ED-MN-0002
Docket / Court 11-ED-00215 ( D. Minn. )
State/Territory Minnesota
Case Type(s) Education
Attorney Organization National Center for Lesbian Rights
Southern Poverty Law Center
Case Summary
On January 28, 2011, two high school seniors who were in a lesbian relationship filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against their school district. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel and the Southern Poverty Law ... read more >
On January 28, 2011, two high school seniors who were in a lesbian relationship filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against their school district. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel and the Southern Poverty Law Center and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, asked the court for injunctive relief claiming that the school had violated the plaintiffs' rights to freedom of expression and equal protection under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that the school had canceled a festival procession because the two girls had planned to walk in as a couple.

The plaintiffs were elected to Royalty Court and announced their intention to walk together in the processional as a couple. Historically, when members of Royalty Court have been permitted to choose their processional partner and when a male student and female student in a relationship have both been elected to Royalty Court, they have been permitted to walk together. Plaintiffs were told that they could not walk together as a couple and that the school was going to cancel the processional.

The case was settled on January 31, 2001 with an agreement that allowed the plaintiffs to walk in the procession together. The District Court (Judge Susan Richard Nelson) dismissed the case after plaintiffs filed a voluntary notice of dismissal on January 31, 2011.

Patrick Branson - 09/24/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Freedom of speech/association
Content of Injunction
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Defendant-type
Elementary/Secondary School
Discrimination-basis
Sexual orientatation
General
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action State law
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Anoka−Hennepin School District
Plaintiff Description Two 18-year old female students who identify as a lesbian couple.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations National Center for Lesbian Rights
Southern Poverty Law Center
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Moot
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2011
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Courts and Kids: Pursuing Educational Equity Through the State Courts
By: Michael Rebell (Columbia University, and Campaign for Educational Equity)
Citation: (University of Chicago Press, 2009)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
0:11−cv−00215 (D. Minn.) 01/31/2011
ED-MN-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 01/28/2011
ED-MN-0002-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Mayeron, Janie S. (D. Minn.) [Magistrate]
ED-MN-0002-9000
Nelson, Susan Richard (D. Minn.) [Magistrate]
ED-MN-0002-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Chow, Emily E (Minnesota)
ED-MN-0002-0001 | ED-MN-0002-9000
Dolan, Christopher H. (Minnesota)
ED-MN-0002-0001 | ED-MN-0002-9000
Ponto, Michael A. (Minnesota)
ED-MN-0002-0001 | ED-MN-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

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