Case: The Woodlands Pride, Inc. v. Paxton

4:23-cv-02847 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas

Filed Date: Aug. 2, 2023

Case Ongoing

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Case Summary

This case centers around SB 12. Officially titled “Sexually Oriented Performances” but colloquially known as Texas’s Drag Ban, this bill was first introduced on March 10, 2023, was signed into law by the governor of Texas on June 18, 2023, and was set to go into effect on September 1, 2023. SB 12 bans “sexually oriented performances” done “on public property at a time, in a place, and in a manner that could reasonably be expected to be viewed by a child” or “in the presence of an individual you…

This case centers around SB 12. Officially titled “Sexually Oriented Performances” but colloquially known as Texas’s Drag Ban, this bill was first introduced on March 10, 2023, was signed into law by the governor of Texas on June 18, 2023, and was set to go into effect on September 1, 2023. SB 12 bans “sexually oriented performances” done “on public property at a time, in a place, and in a manner that could reasonably be expected to be viewed by a child” or “in the presence of an individual younger than eighteen years of age.” SB 12 would enforce this ban by (1) criminalizing many such performances, (2) civilly penalizing commercial entities that host such performances, and mandating that municipalities and counties ban many such performances. Under SB 12, “sexually oriented performance” is defined as a “visual performance” that (1) features a performer who is nude or who engages in “sexual conduct,” and (2) appeals to the prurient interest in sex. The act does not define “visual performance,” and it defines “sexual conduct” to include a broad variety of behaviors (actual or simulated) and representations. SB 12 explicitly includes “the exhibition of sexual gesticulations using accessories or prosthetics that exaggerate male or female sexual characteristics” within the broadly defined “sexual conduct.”

On August 2, 2023, a few weeks before SB 12 went into effect, plaintiffs filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Represented by the ACLU of Texas, Plaintiffs in this case include two nonprofit organizations dedicated to connecting and advocating for the LGBTQ+ community, two drag production and entertainment companies, and a drag artist. They brought this lawsuit against the Attorney General of Texas, the Woodlands Township, the City of Abilene, Montgomery County and its District Attorney, Taylor County and its District Attorney, The County Attorney of Travis County, and the District Attorney of Bexar County. Plaintiffs allege that SB 12 (1) engages in content and viewpoint discrimination, (2) constitutes an overbroad restriction on free speech, (3) constitutes and unlawfully vague restriction on speech, (4) and engages in prior restraint on speech, all in violation of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Plaintiffs asked that the court grant declaratory relief and attorneys fees, and preliminarily and permanently enjoin defendants from enforcing SB 12. This case was assigned to Judge David Hittner and Magistrate Judge Peter Bray.

Plaintiffs quickly moved for a temporary restraining order (TRO) and for preliminary injunction on August 9, 2024, asking the court to immediately stop defendants from enforcing SB 12. On August 14, the court scheduled a consolidated preliminary injunction hearing and trial on the merits for August 28.

On August 21, defendants Woodland Township and City of Abilene both filed their own motions to dismiss. Both defendants argued that Plaintiffs lacked standing because they were not the policy-makers of SB 12, and to the extent that they would enforce SB 12, they would only be doing so in accordance with state law. Both defendants also argued that Plaintiffs had not pled any actual injury caused by Woodland Township or Abilene. They argued that Plaintiffs’ fear that either defendant would prevent drag performances at upcoming parades did not constitute an injury. Woodlands Township further argued that it was a special district (i.e. neither a county or municipality), and it therefore had no police or legal power to enforce SB 12 at all. Both city defendants opposed Plaintiffs’ motion for TRO and preliminary injunction on August 22, 2023, following the same lines of argumentation. Plaintiffs filed a stipulation of dismissal of Woodland Township only on August 24, 2024, and the judge agreed to dismiss Woodland Township as a defendant the next day.

The Attorney General also filed a motion to dismiss and opposition to Plaintiffs’ motion for TRO and preliminary injunction on August 23, 2023. The Attorney  General argued that Plaintiffs’ claims should be dismissed because of state sovereign immunity. Similar to other defendants, Attorney General also argued that he had no power to enforce SB 12, and therefore Plaintiffs’ claims against him lacked standing. In the alternative, he argued that drag shows are not protected speech under the First Amendment, and even if they were, the state still has the authority to regulate “sexually-oriented performances” in front of children. For these reasons, the Attorney General asked the court to deny Plaintiffs’ motion for TRO and preliminary injunction and dismiss Plaintiffs’ claims altogether.

Following a two-day hearing and trial on the merits, the district court granted Plaintiffs’ motion for TRO on August 31, 2024. The court found that there was a substantial likelihood that SB 12 as drafted violated the First Amendment, and that to allow SB 12to go into effect while the litigation proceeded was likely to cause Plaintiffs irreparable harm. Therefore, the court issued a temporary injunction to prevent defendants form enforcing SB 12, and deferred its permanent injunction until the court could draft its final judgment and order.

The district court issued its findings of fact and law and final judgment on September 26, 2023. The court found that drag performances are expressive speech and entitled to First Amendment protection. The court then determined that SB 12 imposes a content-based first amendment restriction and accordingly analyzed SB 12 under strict scrutiny. Though all parties acknowledged that the government had a compelling state interest in protecting children, the court found that SB 12 was not narrowly tailored for several reasons because: (1) SB 12 made no distinction between what speech was safe for a young child versus an older teenager; and (2) SB 12 allowed no affirmative defenses, such as parental consent or mistake on the part of the performer. The court further found that even if SB 12 was narrowly tailored, it would still violate the First Amendment because it engages in impermissible viewpoint discrimination. Although SB 12 does not explicitly ban drag shows, the court found that the language used (e.g. “using accessories or prosthetics that exaggerate male or female sexual characteristics”) and the legislative history of the bill (e.g. multiple public statements by legislators purporting that SB 12 was at least in part a ban on drag shows) both pointed to the fact the SB 12 targeted drag performances specifically. Finally, the court also found that SB 12 was both unconstitutionally overbroad and unconstitutionally vague in violation of the First Amendment. For these reasons, the district court found that SB 12 was an unconstitutional restriction on speech in violation of the First Amendment, and enjoined defendants from enforcing it. 2023 WL 6226113.

On September 29, 2023, defendants appealed the district court’s final judgment to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (23-20480). Defendants also filed a motion to stay judgment pending appeal, asking the district court to lift its injunction against SB 12 while their appeal was pending. Following motion practice, the district court denied defendants’ motion on October 20, 2023. Defendants appealed that decision to the Fifth Circuit as well.

As of April 5, 2024, this case is pending on appeal before the Fifth Circuit.

Summary Authors

Sarah Portwood (4/5/2024)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/67660604/parties/the-woodlands-pride-inc-v-colmenero/


Judge(s)
Attorney for Plaintiff

Andrews, Alison Dawn (Texas)

Buser-Clancy, Thomas Paul (Texas)

Attorney for Defendant

Cubriel, Lisa Violet (Texas)

Dippel, Leslie Wood (Texas)

Expert/Monitor/Master/Other

Dorsaneo, Ashley Fernandez (Texas)

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Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document
1

4:23-cv-02847

Original Complaint

The Woodlands Pride, Inc. v. Colmenero

Aug. 2, 2023

Aug. 2, 2023

Complaint
75

4:23-cv-02847

Temporary Restraining Order

The Woodlands Pride, Inc. v. Colmenero

Aug. 31, 2023

Aug. 31, 2023

Other
94

4:23-cv-02847

Findings of Fact & Conclusions of Law & Order of Permanent Injunction

Sept. 26, 2023

Sept. 26, 2023

Order/Opinion

2023 WL 2023

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/67660604/the-woodlands-pride-inc-v-colmenero/

Last updated April 5, 2024, 7:30 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT against City of Abilene, Texas, Angela Colmenero, Delia Garza, Joe D. Gonzalez, James Hicks, Brett Ligon, Montgomery County, Texas, Taylor County, Texas, The Woodlands Township (Filing fee $ 402 receipt number ATXSDC-30298583) filed by Extragrams, LLC, Abilene Pride Alliance, 360 Queen Entertainment LLC, The Woodlands Pride, Inc., Brigitte Bandit. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet)(Klosterboer, Brian) (Entered: 08/02/2023)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

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Aug. 2, 2023

Aug. 2, 2023

Clearinghouse
2

NOTICE of Challenge to Constitutionality of a State Statute by 360 Queen Entertainment LLC, Abilene Pride Alliance, Brigitte Bandit, Extragrams, LLC, The Woodlands Pride, Inc., filed. (Klosterboer, Brian) (Entered: 08/02/2023)

Aug. 2, 2023

Aug. 2, 2023

PACER
3

WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed as to City of Abilene, Texas served on 8/3/2023, answer due 10/2/2023, filed.(Klosterboer, Brian) (Entered: 08/03/2023)

Aug. 3, 2023

Aug. 3, 2023

PACER
4

WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed as to Delia Garza served on 8/3/2023, answer due 10/2/2023, filed.(Klosterboer, Brian) (Entered: 08/04/2023)

Aug. 4, 2023

Aug. 4, 2023

PACER
5

ORDER for Initial Pretrial and Scheduling Conference and Order to Disclose Interested Persons. Initial Conference set for 9/28/2023 at 10:45 AM by video before Magistrate Judge Peter Bray. (Signed by Judge David Hittner) Parties notified.(RebeccaBecknal, 4) (Entered: 08/04/2023)

Aug. 4, 2023

Aug. 4, 2023

PACER
6

Request for Issuance of Summons as to Angela Colmenero, Joe D. Gonzalez, James Hicks, Brett Ligon, Montgomery County, Texas, Taylor County, Texas, The Woodlands Township, filed. (Attachments: # 1 Unredacted attachment, # 2 Unredacted attachment, # 3 Unredacted attachment, # 4 Unredacted attachment, # 5 Unredacted attachment, # 6 Unredacted attachment)(Klosterboer, Brian) (Entered: 08/04/2023)

Aug. 4, 2023

Aug. 4, 2023

PACER
7

Summons Issued as to Angela Colmenero, Joe D. Gonzalez, James Hicks, Brett Ligon, Montgomery County, Texas, Taylor County, Texas, The Woodlands Township. Issued summons delivered to plaintiff by NEF, filed.(RhondaMooreKonieczny, 4) (Entered: 08/07/2023)

Aug. 7, 2023

Aug. 7, 2023

PACER
8

WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed as to Angela Colmenero served on 8/8/2023, answer due 10/10/2023, filed.(Klosterboer, Brian) (Entered: 08/08/2023)

Aug. 8, 2023

Aug. 8, 2023

PACER
9

MOTION for Leave to File Excess Pages by 360 Queen Entertainment LLC, Abilene Pride Alliance, Brigitte Bandit, Extragrams, LLC, The Woodlands Pride, Inc., filed. Motion Docket Date 8/30/2023. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Klosterboer, Brian) (Entered: 08/09/2023)

Aug. 9, 2023

Aug. 9, 2023

PACER
10

MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order by 360 Queen Entertainment LLC, Abilene Pride Alliance, Brigitte Bandit, Extragrams, LLC, The Woodlands Pride, Inc., filed. Motion Docket Date 8/30/2023. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit, # 2 Exhibit, # 3 Exhibit, # 4 Exhibit, # 5 Exhibit, # 6 Exhibit, # 7 Proposed Order)(Klosterboer, Brian) (Entered: 08/09/2023)

1 Exhibit

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2 Exhibit

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3 Exhibit

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4 Exhibit

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5 Exhibit

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6 Exhibit

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7 Proposed Order

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Aug. 9, 2023

Aug. 9, 2023

RECAP
11

WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed as to James Hicks served on 8/10/2023, answer due 10/10/2023; Taylor County, Texas served on 8/10/2023, answer due 10/10/2023, filed.(Klosterboer, Brian) (Entered: 08/10/2023)

Aug. 10, 2023

Aug. 10, 2023

PACER
12

NOTICE of Appearance by Edgar Saldivar on behalf of 360 Queen Entertainment LLC, Abilene Pride Alliance, Brigitte Bandit, Extragrams, LLC, The Woodlands Pride, Inc., filed. (Saldivar, Edgar) (Entered: 08/10/2023)

Aug. 10, 2023

Aug. 10, 2023

PACER
13

NOTICE of Appearance by Chloe Kempf on behalf of 360 Queen Entertainment LLC, Abilene Pride Alliance, Brigitte Bandit, Extragrams, LLC, The Woodlands Pride, Inc., filed. (Kempf, Chloe) (Entered: 08/10/2023)

Aug. 10, 2023

Aug. 10, 2023

PACER
14

NOTICE of Appearance by Thomas Buser-Clancy on behalf of 360 Queen Entertainment LLC, Abilene Pride Alliance, Brigitte Bandit, Extragrams, LLC, The Woodlands Pride, Inc., filed. (Buser-Clancy, Thomas) (Entered: 08/10/2023)

Aug. 10, 2023

Aug. 10, 2023

PACER
15

NOTICE of Appearance by Adriana Pinon on behalf of 360 Queen Entertainment LLC, Abilene Pride Alliance, Brigitte Bandit, Extragrams, LLC, The Woodlands Pride, Inc., filed. (Pinon, Adriana) (Entered: 08/10/2023)

Aug. 10, 2023

Aug. 10, 2023

PACER
16

WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed as to The Woodlands Township served on 8/9/2023, answer due 10/10/2023, filed.(Klosterboer, Brian) (Entered: 08/10/2023)

Aug. 10, 2023

Aug. 10, 2023

PACER
17

WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed as to Montgomery County, Texas served on 8/9/2023, answer due 10/10/2023, filed.(Klosterboer, Brian) (Entered: 08/10/2023)

Aug. 10, 2023

Aug. 10, 2023

PACER
18

WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed as to Brett Ligon served on 8/10/2023, answer due 10/10/2023, filed.(Klosterboer, Brian) (Entered: 08/10/2023)

Aug. 10, 2023

Aug. 10, 2023

PACER
19

ORDER granting 9 Motion for Leave to File Excess Pages. (Signed by Judge David Hittner) Parties notified.(JosephWells, 4) (Entered: 08/10/2023)

Aug. 10, 2023

Aug. 10, 2023

PACER
20

WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed as to Joe D. Gonzalez served on 8/10/2023, answer due 10/10/2023, filed.(Klosterboer, Brian) (Entered: 08/10/2023)

Aug. 10, 2023

Aug. 10, 2023

PACER
21

ORDER. The preliminary injunction hearing will be consolidated with the trial on the merits. Accordingly, the Court hereby ORDERS that the parties appear in front of this Court on August 28, 2023 at 1:30 p.m. for a consolidated preliminary injunction hearing and trial on the merits. (Signed by Judge David Hittner) Parties notified. (JosephWells, 4) (Entered: 08/14/2023)

Aug. 14, 2023

Aug. 14, 2023

RECAP
22

Unopposed MOTION For Leave To Proceed Under A Pseudonym by Brigitte Bandit, filed. Motion Docket Date 9/5/2023. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Declaration of Brigitte Bandit, # 2 Proposed Order)(Klosterboer, Brian) (Entered: 08/15/2023)

1 Exhibit Declaration of Brigitte Bandit

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2 Proposed Order

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Aug. 15, 2023

Aug. 15, 2023

RECAP
23

NOTICE of Appearance by Derek R. McDonald on behalf of 360 Queen Entertainment LLC, Abilene Pride Alliance, Brigitte Bandit, Extragrams, LLC, The Woodlands Pride, Inc., filed. (McDonald, Derek) (Entered: 08/16/2023)

Aug. 16, 2023

Aug. 16, 2023

PACER
24

NOTICE of Appearance by Maddy Dwertman on behalf of 360 Queen Entertainment LLC, Abilene Pride Alliance, Brigitte Bandit, Extragrams, LLC, The Woodlands Pride, Inc., filed. (Dwertman, Madeleine) (Entered: 08/16/2023)

Aug. 16, 2023

Aug. 16, 2023

PACER
25

NOTICE of Appearance by Brandt Thomas Roessler on behalf of 360 Queen Entertainment LLC, Abilene Pride Alliance, Brigitte Bandit, Extragrams, LLC, The Woodlands Pride, Inc., filed. (Roessler, Brandt) (Entered: 08/16/2023)

Aug. 16, 2023

Aug. 16, 2023

PACER
26

NOTICE of Appearance by Alison Andrews on behalf of 360 Queen Entertainment LLC, Abilene Pride Alliance, Brigitte Bandit, Extragrams, LLC, The Woodlands Pride, Inc., filed. (Andrews, Alison) (Entered: 08/16/2023)

Aug. 16, 2023

Aug. 16, 2023

PACER
27

NOTICE of Appearance by Emily Rohles on behalf of 360 Queen Entertainment LLC, Abilene Pride Alliance, Brigitte Bandit, Extragrams, LLC, The Woodlands Pride, Inc., filed. (Rohles, Emily) (Entered: 08/16/2023)

Aug. 16, 2023

Aug. 16, 2023

PACER
28

CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT by The Woodlands Pride, Inc., filed.(Rohles, Emily) (Entered: 08/16/2023)

Aug. 16, 2023

Aug. 16, 2023

PACER
29

CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT by Abilene Pride Alliance, filed.(Rohles, Emily) (Entered: 08/16/2023)

Aug. 16, 2023

Aug. 16, 2023

PACER
30

CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT by Extragrams, LLC, filed.(Rohles, Emily) (Entered: 08/16/2023)

Aug. 16, 2023

Aug. 16, 2023

PACER
31

CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT by 360 Queen Entertainment LLC, filed.(Rohles, Emily) (Entered: 08/16/2023)

Aug. 16, 2023

Aug. 16, 2023

PACER
32

NOTICE of Appearance by Ramon G. Viada III on behalf of City of Abilene, Texas, The Woodlands Township, filed. (Viada, Ramon) (Entered: 08/17/2023)

Aug. 17, 2023

Aug. 17, 2023

PACER
33

MOTION to Consolidate Lead Case No. 4:23-cv-02847 and Member Case No. 4:23-cv-02993 by VORTEX Repertory Company, Brock England, Mark Ivy, Jamie Brokaw, Oktavea Williams, The Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce, The San Antonio LGBT Chamber of Commerce, The North Texas Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Chamber of Commerce, filed. Motion Docket Date 9/7/2023. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Fife, Travis) (Entered: 08/17/2023)

Aug. 17, 2023

Aug. 17, 2023

PACER
34

NOTICE of Appearance by Daniel Plake on behalf of Brett Ligon, Montgomery County, Texas, filed. (Plake, Daniel) (Entered: 08/17/2023)

Aug. 17, 2023

Aug. 17, 2023

PACER
35

NOTICE of Appearance by Taylor Gifford on behalf of Angela Colmenero, filed. (Gifford, Taylor) (Entered: 08/18/2023)

Aug. 18, 2023

Aug. 18, 2023

PACER
36

ORDER granting 22 Motion for Leave to Proceed Under a Pseudonym for Plaintiff Brigitte Bandit. Plaintiff Brigitte Bandit may proceed pseudonymously in this case, including in public filings and court proceedings. (Signed by Judge David Hittner) Parties notified.(JosephWells, 4) (Entered: 08/18/2023)

Aug. 18, 2023

Aug. 18, 2023

RECAP
37

ORDER. The Court hereby ORDERS that Defendants' responses to Plaintiff's Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and preliminary injunction (Document No. 10), along with any briefings the parties deem necessary for the consolidated preliminary injunction hearing and trial on the merits, shall be filed by the end of business on August 23, 2023. (Signed by Judge David Hittner) Parties notified.(JosephWells, 4) (Entered: 08/18/2023)

Aug. 18, 2023

Aug. 18, 2023

PACER
38

NOTICE of Appearance by Lisa Cubriel on behalf of Joe D. Gonzalez, filed. (Cubriel, Lisa) (Entered: 08/21/2023)

Aug. 21, 2023

Aug. 21, 2023

PACER
39

NOTICE of Appearance by B.D. Griffin on behalf of Brett Ligon, Montgomery County, Texas, filed. (Griffin, Benjamin) (Entered: 08/21/2023)

Aug. 21, 2023

Aug. 21, 2023

PACER
40

MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Subject-Matter Jurisdiction ( Motion Docket Date 9/11/2023.), MOTION TO DISMISS FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM by The Woodlands Township, filed. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit, # 2 Proposed Order)(Viada, Ramon) (Entered: 08/21/2023)

1 Exhibit

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2 Proposed Order

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Aug. 21, 2023

Aug. 21, 2023

RECAP
41

CERTIFICATE OF INTERESTED PARTIES by 360 Queen Entertainment LLC, Abilene Pride Alliance, Brigitte Bandit, Extragrams, LLC, The Woodlands Pride, Inc., filed.(Rohles, Emily) (Entered: 08/21/2023)

Aug. 21, 2023

Aug. 21, 2023

PACER
42

MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Subject-Matter Jurisdiction ( Motion Docket Date 9/11/2023.), MOTION TO DISMISS FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM by City of Abilene, Texas, filed. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit, # 2 Proposed Order)(Viada, Ramon) (Entered: 08/21/2023)

Aug. 21, 2023

Aug. 21, 2023

PACER
43

NOTICE of Appearance by Charles K. Eldred on behalf of Angela Colmenero, filed. (Gifford, Taylor) (Entered: 08/22/2023)

Aug. 22, 2023

Aug. 22, 2023

PACER
44

RESPONSE in Opposition to 10 MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order, filed by City of Abilene, Texas, The Woodlands Township. (Viada, Ramon) (Entered: 08/22/2023)

Aug. 22, 2023

Aug. 22, 2023

RECAP
45

NOTICE of Appearance by Robert B. Wagstaff on behalf of James Hicks, Taylor County, Texas, filed. (Wagstaff, Robert) (Entered: 08/22/2023)

Aug. 22, 2023

Aug. 22, 2023

PACER
46

AMENDED TRIAL SCHEDULE ORDER. The Court hereby ORDERS that the consolidated preliminary injunction hearing and trial on the merits, currently scheduled to begin August 28, 2023 at 1 :30 p.m. is reset as to the time only to begin August 28, 2023 at 10:30 a.m. in Courtroom 8A before Judge David Hittner. (Signed by Judge David Hittner) Parties notified.(JosephWells, 4) (Entered: 08/22/2023)

Aug. 22, 2023

Aug. 22, 2023

RECAP
47

MOTION Request for Judicial Notice by 360 Queen Entertainment LLC, Abilene Pride Alliance, Brigitte Bandit, Extragrams, LLC, The Woodlands Pride, Inc., filed. Motion Docket Date 9/13/2023. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Charelle Declaration, # 2 Exhibit Exhibit 1, # 3 Exhibit Exhibit 2, # 4 Exhibit Exhibit 3, # 5 Exhibit Exhibit 4, # 6 Exhibit Exhibit 5, # 7 Exhibit Exhibit 6, # 8 Exhibit Exhibit 7, # 9 Exhibit Exhibit 8, # 10 Exhibit Exhibit 9, # 11 Exhibit Exhibit 10, # 12 Exhibit Exhibit 11, # 13 Exhibit Exhibit 21, # 14 Exhibit Exhibit 22, # 15 Exhibit Exhibit 23, # 16 Exhibit Exhibit 24, # 17 Exhibit Exhibit 25, # 18 Exhibit Exhibit 26, # 19 Exhibit Exhibit 27, # 20 Exhibit Exhibit 28, # 21 Exhibit Exhibit 29)(Roessler, Brandt) (Entered: 08/23/2023)

Aug. 23, 2023

Aug. 23, 2023

PACER
48

CERTIFICATE OF INTERESTED PARTIES by Brett Ligon, Montgomery County, Texas, filed.(Griffin, Benjamin) (Entered: 08/23/2023)

Aug. 23, 2023

Aug. 23, 2023

PACER
49

Joint MOTION to Dismiss 10 MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order and Response to Motion for Injunctive Relief by Delia Garza, Joe D. Gonzalez, James Hicks, Brett Ligon, Montgomery County, Texas, Taylor County, Texas, filed. Motion Docket Date 9/13/2023. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Ybarra, Amy) (Entered: 08/23/2023)

1 Proposed Order

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Aug. 23, 2023

Aug. 23, 2023

RECAP
50

Joint Proposed Pretrial Order by 360 Queen Entertainment LLC, Abilene Pride Alliance, Brigitte Bandit, Extragrams, LLC, The Woodlands Pride, Inc. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit EX A PLAINTIFFS TRIAL EXHIBIT LIST, # 2 Exhibit EX B PLAINTIFFS TRIAL WITNESS LIST)(Rohles, Emily) (Entered: 08/23/2023)

1 Exhibit EX A PLAINTIFFS TRIAL EXHIBIT LIST

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2 Exhibit EX B PLAINTIFFS TRIAL WITNESS LIST

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Aug. 23, 2023

Aug. 23, 2023

RECAP
51

MOTION for Leave to File excess pages by Angela Colmenero, filed. Motion Docket Date 9/13/2023. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Gifford, Taylor) (Entered: 08/23/2023)

Aug. 23, 2023

Aug. 23, 2023

PACER
52

MOTION TO DISMISS FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM, MTD for Lack of Jurisdiction, and and Response to TRO/PI by Angela Colmenero, filed. Motion Docket Date 9/13/2023. (Gifford, Taylor) (Entered: 08/23/2023)

Aug. 23, 2023

Aug. 23, 2023

PACER
53

AFFIDAVIT re: 52 MOTION TO DISMISS FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM, MTD for Lack of Jurisdiction, and and Response to TRO/PI, filed.(Gifford, Taylor) (Entered: 08/23/2023)

Aug. 23, 2023

Aug. 23, 2023

PACER
54

STIPULATION of Dismissal for The Woodlands Township by 360 Queen Entertainment LLC, Abilene Pride Alliance, Brigitte Bandit, Extragrams, LLC, The Woodlands Pride, Inc., filed.(Klosterboer, Brian) (Entered: 08/24/2023)

Aug. 24, 2023

Aug. 24, 2023

RECAP
55

NOTICE of Appearance by Leslie W. Dippel on behalf of Delia Garza, filed. (Dippel, Leslie) (Entered: 08/24/2023)

Aug. 24, 2023

Aug. 24, 2023

PACER
56

NOTICE of Appearance by Leslie W. Dippel on behalf of Delia Garza, filed. (Dippel, Leslie) (Entered: 08/24/2023)

Aug. 24, 2023

Aug. 24, 2023

PACER
57

NOTICE of Appearance by Cynthia W. Veidt on behalf of Delia Garza, filed. (Veidt, Cynthia) (Entered: 08/24/2023)

Aug. 24, 2023

Aug. 24, 2023

PACER
58

ORDER granting 51 Motion to Exceed Page Limit. The Court GRANTS Defendant's Motion and authorizes Defendant to file her response to Plaintiffs' Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction in excess of the page limits for dispositive motions set forth in the Local Rules. (Signed by Judge David Hittner) Parties notified.(JosephWells, 4) (Entered: 08/25/2023)

Aug. 24, 2023

Aug. 24, 2023

PACER
59

MOTION for Leave to File AMICI CURIAE BRIEF OF TEXAS VALUES IN OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS MOTION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER by Texas Values, filed. Motion Docket Date 9/15/2023. (Fulton, Kevin) (Entered: 08/25/2023)

Aug. 25, 2023

Aug. 25, 2023

PACER
60

MOTION Unopposed Motion to Amend Case Style and Caption by 360 Queen Entertainment LLC, Abilene Pride Alliance, Brigitte Bandit, Extragrams, LLC, The Woodlands Pride, Inc., filed. Motion Docket Date 9/15/2023. (Rohles, Emily) (Entered: 08/25/2023)

Aug. 25, 2023

Aug. 25, 2023

PACER
61

PROPOSED ORDER re: 60 MOTION Unopposed Motion to Amend Case Style and Caption, filed.(Rohles, Emily) (Entered: 08/25/2023)

Aug. 25, 2023

Aug. 25, 2023

RECAP
62

ORDER. Pursuant to the Joint Notice of Stipulation of Dismissal of the Woodlands Township filed on August 24, 2023 the above referenced case is hereby dismissed with prejudice as to Defendant The Woodlands Township pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(l)(A)(ii). (Signed by Judge David Hittner) Parties notified.(JosephWells, 4) (Entered: 08/25/2023)

Aug. 25, 2023

Aug. 25, 2023

PACER
63

ORDER granting 59 Motion for Leave to File Amici Curiae Brief in Opposition to Plaintiffs Motion for Temporary Restraining Order. (Signed by Judge David Hittner) Parties notified.(JosephWells, 4) (Entered: 08/25/2023)

Aug. 25, 2023

Aug. 25, 2023

RECAP
64

AMICI CURIAE BRIEF in Opposition re: 10 MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order by Texas Values, filed.(JosephWells, 4) (Entered: 08/25/2023)

Aug. 25, 2023

Aug. 25, 2023

RECAP
65

ORDER granting 60 Motion to Amend Case Style and Caption. (Signed by Judge David Hittner) Parties notified.(JosephWells, 4) (Entered: 08/25/2023)

Aug. 25, 2023

Aug. 25, 2023

RECAP
66

MOTION to Withdraw Motion to Consolidate Cases by Jamie Brokaw, Brock England, Mark Ivy, The Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce, The North Texas Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Chamber of Commerce, The San Antonio LGBT Chamber of Commerce, VORTEX Repertory Company, Oktavea Williams, filed. Motion Docket Date 9/15/2023. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Dorsaneo, Ashley) (Entered: 08/25/2023)

Aug. 25, 2023

Aug. 25, 2023

PACER
67

NOTICE of Appearance by Johnathan Stone on behalf of Angela Colmenero, filed. (Stone, Johnathan) (Entered: 08/26/2023)

Aug. 26, 2023

Aug. 26, 2023

PACER
68

MOTION to Exclude Testimony and Strike Report of Michael Arambula, M.D.of by The Woodlands Pride, Inc., filed. Motion Docket Date 9/18/2023. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Roessler, Brandt) (Entered: 08/27/2023)

Aug. 27, 2023

Aug. 27, 2023

PACER
69

MOTION for Leave to File Excess Pages by 360 Queen Entertainment LLC, Abilene Pride Alliance, Brigitte Bandit, Extragrams, LLC, The Woodlands Pride, Inc., filed. Motion Docket Date 9/18/2023. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order Proposed Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to File Excess Pages)(Rohles, Emily) (Entered: 08/27/2023)

Aug. 27, 2023

Aug. 27, 2023

PACER
70

RESPONSE to Defendant Colmenero, County Defendants, and City of Abilene's Motions to Dismiss and Reply to Defendants' Responses to Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction, filed by The Woodlands Pride, Inc.. (Rohles, Emily) (Entered: 08/28/2023)

Aug. 28, 2023

Aug. 28, 2023

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71

Proposed Findings of Fact/Conclusions of Law by 360 Queen Entertainment LLC, Abilene Pride Alliance, Brigitte Bandit, Extragrams, LLC, The Woodlands Pride, Inc.(Rohles, Emily) (Entered: 08/28/2023)

Aug. 28, 2023

Aug. 28, 2023

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72

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge David Hittner. CONSOLIDATED PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION HEARING AND TRIAL ON THE MERITS held on 8/28/2023. Injunction Hearing set for 8/29/2023 at 10:30 AM in Courtroom 8A before Judge David Hittner Appearances: Brandt Thomas Roessler, Alison Dawn Andrews, Emily Arleen Rohles, Brian Klosterboer, Chloe Nicole Kempf, Thomas Paul Buser-Clancy, Ramon G. Viada, III, Taylor Kathleen Gifford, Charles Kenneth Eldred, Johnathan Stone, Amy Stoeckl Ybarra, Lisa Violet Cubriel, Robert B Wagstaff, Daniel Plake, Benjamin Devane Griffin, II.(Court Reporter: L Smith), filed.(JosephWells, 4) (Entered: 08/28/2023)

Aug. 28, 2023

Aug. 28, 2023

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73

AO 435 TRANSCRIPT REQUEST by The Woodlands Pride, Inc./Brandt Thomas Roessler for Transcript of Preliminary Injunction Hearing and Trial on the Merits 8/28/2023-8/29/2023 before Judge Hittner. Hourly turnaround requested. Court Reporter/Transcriber: Lanie Smith, filed. (Roessler, Brandt) (Entered: 08/29/2023)

Aug. 29, 2023

Aug. 29, 2023

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74

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge David Hittner. CONSOLIDATED PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION HEARING AND TRIAL ON THE MERITS (DAY 2) held on 8/29/2023. Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law due by 9/6/2023 at 4:00. Appearances: Brandt Thomas Roessler, Alison Dawn Andrews, Brian Klosterboer, Chloe Nicole Kempf, Thomas Paul Buser-Clancy, Ramon G. Viada, III, Taylor Kathleen Gifford, Charles Kenneth Eldred, Johnathan Stone, Amy Stoeckl Ybarra, Lisa Violet Cubriel, Robert B Wagstaff, Daniel Plake, Benjamin Devane Griffin, II.(Court Reporter: L Smith), filed.(JosephWells, 4) (Entered: 08/29/2023)

Aug. 29, 2023

Aug. 29, 2023

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75

TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER terminating 10 MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order (Signed by Judge David Hittner) Parties notified.(JosephWells, 4) (Entered: 08/31/2023)

Aug. 31, 2023

Aug. 31, 2023

Clearinghouse
76

AO 435 TRANSCRIPT REQUEST by Daniel Plake for Transcript of Preliminary injunction & Trial on 8/28-29/23, Before Judge Hittner. 3-Day turnaround requested. Court Reporter/Transcriber: Lanie Smith, filed. (Plake, Daniel) (Entered: 09/01/2023)

Sept. 1, 2023

Sept. 1, 2023

RECAP
77

TRANSCRIPT re: Consolidated Preliminary Injunction Hearing and Trial on the Merits - Day 1 held on 8/28/2023 before Judge David Hittner. Court Reporter/Transcriber Lanie Smith. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 12/5/2023., filed. (LanieSmith, 4) (Entered: 09/06/2023)

Sept. 6, 2023

Sept. 6, 2023

PACER
78

TRANSCRIPT re: Consolidated Preliminary Injunction Hearing and Trial on the Merits - Day 2 held on 8/29/2023 before Judge David Hittner. Court Reporter/Transcriber Lanie Smith. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 12/5/2023., filed. (LanieSmith, 4) (Entered: 09/06/2023)

Sept. 6, 2023

Sept. 6, 2023

PACER
79

Proposed Findings of Fact/Conclusions of Law by City of Abilene, Texas(Viada, Ramon) (Entered: 09/06/2023)

Sept. 6, 2023

Sept. 6, 2023

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80

Proposed Findings of Fact/Conclusions of Law by Brett Ligon, Montgomery County, Texas(Plake, Daniel) (Entered: 09/06/2023)

Sept. 6, 2023

Sept. 6, 2023

RECAP
81

Proposed Findings of Fact/Conclusions of Law by James Hicks, Taylor County, Texas(Wagstaff, Robert) (Entered: 09/06/2023)

Sept. 6, 2023

Sept. 6, 2023

RECAP
82

Proposed Findings of Fact by Joe D. Gonzales(Cubriel, Lisa) (Entered: 09/06/2023)

Sept. 6, 2023

Sept. 6, 2023

RECAP
83

Proposed Findings of Fact/Conclusions of Law by 360 Queen Entertainment LLC, Abilene Pride Alliance, Brigitte Bandit, Extragrams, LLC, The Woodlands Pride, Inc.(Rohles, Emily) (Entered: 09/06/2023)

Sept. 6, 2023

Sept. 6, 2023

RECAP
84

Proposed Findings of Fact/Conclusions of Law by Angela Colmenero(Gifford, Taylor) (Entered: 09/06/2023)

Sept. 6, 2023

Sept. 6, 2023

RECAP
85

Proposed Findings of Fact/Conclusions of Law by Delia Garza(Dippel, Leslie) (Entered: 09/06/2023)

Sept. 6, 2023

Sept. 6, 2023

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86

Notice of Filing of Official Transcript as to 77 Transcript, 78 Transcript,. Party notified, filed. (DarleneHansen, 4) (Entered: 09/07/2023)

Sept. 7, 2023

Sept. 7, 2023

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87

Exhibit List by The Woodlands Pride, Inc., Abilene Pride Alliance, Extragrams, LLC, 360 Queen Entertainment LLC, and Brigitte Bandit (JosephWells, 4) (Entered: 09/11/2023)

Sept. 11, 2023

Sept. 11, 2023

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88

ORDER. Pursuant to the Joint Notice of Stipulation of Dismissal of the Woodlands Township filed on August 24, 2023 stipulating that Plaintiffs claims against The Woodlands Township are dismissed without prejudice, the Court amends its previous Order (Document No. 62 ) and hereby ORDERS the above referenced case is hereby dismissed without prejudice as to Defendant The Woodlands Township pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(l)(A)(ii). (Signed by Judge David Hittner) Parties notified.(JosephWells, 4) (Entered: 09/11/2023)

Sept. 11, 2023

Sept. 11, 2023

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89

ORDER. The Temporary Restraining order is EXTENDED an additional 14 days. (Signed by Judge David Hittner) Parties notified.(JosephWells, 4) (Entered: 09/13/2023)

Sept. 13, 2023

Sept. 13, 2023

RECAP
90

Agreed MOTION to Amend by 360 Queen Entertainment LLC, Abilene Pride Alliance, Brigitte Bandit, Extragrams, LLC, The Woodlands Pride, Inc., filed. Motion Docket Date 10/10/2023. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Klosterboer, Brian) (Entered: 09/19/2023)

1 Proposed Order

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Sept. 19, 2023

Sept. 19, 2023

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91

ORDER granting 90 Motion to Amend Case Style and Caption. (Signed by Judge David Hittner) Parties notified.(JosephWells, 4) (Entered: 09/20/2023)

Sept. 19, 2023

Sept. 19, 2023

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92

NOTICE of Supplemental Authority by Warren Kenneth Paxton, filed. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit)(Gifford, Taylor) (Entered: 09/22/2023)

1 Exhibit

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Sept. 22, 2023

Sept. 22, 2023

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93

RESPONSE to 92 Notice (Other), filed by 360 Queen Entertainment LLC, Abilene Pride Alliance, Brigitte Bandit, Extragrams, LLC, The Woodlands Pride, Inc.. (Rohles, Emily) (Entered: 09/22/2023)

Sept. 22, 2023

Sept. 22, 2023

RECAP

Terminate Deadlines (PUBLIC ENTRY)

Sept. 26, 2023

Sept. 26, 2023

PACER

Initial Conference set 9/28/2023 is terminated. (JasonMarchand, 4)

Sept. 26, 2023

Sept. 26, 2023

PACER
94

FINDINGS OF FACT & CONCLUSIONS OF LAW & ORDER OF PERMANENT INJUNCTION. The Court hereby DECLARES that S.B. 12 is an UNCONSTITUTIONAL restriction on speech. The Court concludes that S.B. 12 violates the First Amendment as incorporated to Texas by the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. The Court further ORDERS that Defendant Warren Kenneth Paxton, Defendant Montgomery County, Texas, Defendant Brett Ligon, Defendant City of Abilene, Texas, Defendant Taylor County, Texas, Defendant James Hicks, Defendant Delia Garza, Defendant Joe D. Gonzalez are immediately enjoined from enforcing S.B. 12. (Signed by Judge David Hittner) Parties notified.(JosephWells, 4) (Entered: 09/26/2023)

Sept. 26, 2023

Sept. 26, 2023

Clearinghouse
95

NOTICE OF APPEAL to US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit by Warren Kenneth Paxton (Filing fee $ 505, receipt number ATXSDC-30590469), filed.(Gifford, Taylor) (Entered: 09/29/2023)

Sept. 29, 2023

Sept. 29, 2023

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96

Opposed MOTION to Stay Judgment Pending Appeal by Warren Kenneth Paxton, filed. Motion Docket Date 10/20/2023. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Gifford, Taylor) (Entered: 09/29/2023)

1 Proposed Order

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Sept. 29, 2023

Sept. 29, 2023

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97

Clerks Notice of Filing of an Appeal. The following Notice of Appeal and related motions are pending in the District Court: 95 Notice of Appeal. Fee status: Paid. Reporter(s): L. Smith, filed. (Attachments: # 1 NOA) (EfrainGarcia, 1) (Entered: 10/02/2023)

1 NOA

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Oct. 2, 2023

Oct. 2, 2023

RECAP

Appeal Review Notes

Oct. 2, 2023

Oct. 2, 2023

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: Texas

Case Type(s):

Speech and Religious Freedom

Key Dates

Filing Date: Aug. 2, 2023

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Two nonprofit organizations dedicated to connecting and advocating for the LGBTQ+ community, two drag production and entertainment companies, and a drag artist.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU National (all projects)

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

State of Texas, State

The Woodlands Township (Montgomery), City

Montgomery County (Montgomery), County

Abilene (Taylor), City

Taylor County (Taylor), County

Travis County (Travis), County

Bexar County (Bexar), County

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Facility Type(s):

Government-run

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Ex parte Young (federal or state officials)

Constitutional Clause(s):

Freedom of speech/association

Available Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order

Declaratory Judgment

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief granted

State Statute Struck Down

Order Duration: 2023 - None

Issues

LGBTQ+:

Drag Show Bans

LGBTQ+