Case: Tennessee Equality Project Foundation, Inc. v. The City of Murfreesboro, Tennessee

3:23-cv-01044 | U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee

Filed Date: Oct. 6, 2023

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On October 6, 2023, the Tennessee Equality Project (TEP) filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee against the various officials of the city of Murfreesboro in their official capacity under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In their complaint, TEP, a nonprofit that advocates for LGBTQ+ rights, alleged that the City had engaged in a targeted campaign to silence TEP’s speech in support of the Murfreesboro LGBTQ+ community. TEP was represented by the ACLU of Tennessee, the …

On October 6, 2023, the Tennessee Equality Project (TEP) filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee against the various officials of the city of Murfreesboro in their official capacity under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In their complaint, TEP, a nonprofit that advocates for LGBTQ+ rights, alleged that the City had engaged in a targeted campaign to silence TEP’s speech in support of the Murfreesboro LGBTQ+ community. TEP was represented by the ACLU of Tennessee, the ACLU, and private counsel.

TEP founded its annual BoroPride Festival in 2016 to support and celebrate the local LGBTQ+ community. But five days after the 2022 BoroPride Festival, Murfreesboro officials began receiving emails complaining about the drag performances and urging officials to cancel the festival. In October 2022, in response to the criticism, the city manager sent TEP a letter stating that the festival “intentionally exposed young children” to “conduct and speech of an explicitly sexual nature” and that he would deny future special events permits submitted by TEP. The city manager additionally issued a memorandum forbidding local parks and recreation officials from renting any city facilities to TEP or any of its affiliates.

Consequently, when TEP applied to the City for a permit to host the 2023 BoroPride Festival, the City delayed its response for several months and ultimately refused to grant the permit until TEP provided assurances that performers would not engage in sexually suggestive conduct with minors. Frustrated with the City’s apparent unwillingness to allow the event, TEP ultimately hosted the 2023 event at a different venue. In June 2023, the Murfreesboro City Council additionally voted to enact an ordinance prohibiting anyone from engaging in anything qualifying as “indecent behavior” or displaying, distributing, or broadcasting “indecent material.” In addition to including indecent exposure, public indecency, and lewd behavior in its definition of “indecent behavior,” the ordinance included any acts of “homosexuality.”

TEP brought multiple causes of action: With regards to the ordinance, TEP argued that the ordinance was an unconstitutional content-based and viewpoint-based restriction on speech in violation of the First Amendment, overbroad in violation of the First Amendment, and vague in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Additionally, TEP claimed that the ordinance violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. TEP further alleged violations of the Tennessee Constitution.

Separately, TEP alleged that the policy prohibiting the issuance of permits to TEP constituted unconstitutional prior restraint on TEP’s speech and expression in violation of the First Amendment and violated their Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection rights. Moreover, TEP claimed that the City’s denial of their permit application constituted impermissible retaliation in violation of their First Amendment rights.

TEP sought declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as compensatory and punitive damages and reasonable attorneys’ fees. The case was assigned to Magistrate Judge Barbara Holmes.

On October 12, 2023, TEP motioned for a preliminary injunction. Eight days later, the parties reached an agreement that no city official or entity would enforce the ordinance during TEP's October 28 and 29 festival.

Several of the individual defendants filed a motion to dismiss on November 15, 2023. Following a status conference on December 4, the court consolidated TEP’s motion for a preliminary injunction with trial. On December 8, TEP stipulated to the dismissal of claims that the court instructed were “duplicative.”

This case is ongoing, with a jury trial scheduled to begin on May 14, 2024.

Summary Authors

Brillian Bao (11/5/2023)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/67865125/parties/tennessee-equality-project-foundation-inc-v-the-city-of-murfreesboro/


Judge(s)
Attorney for Plaintiff

Cameron-Vaughn, Lucas (Tennessee)

Attorney for Defendant

Berexa, Kristin Ellis (Tennessee)

Burnett, Samantha A. (Tennessee)

Burns, Robert M. (Tennessee)

Crane, Cassandra M. (Tennessee)

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Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document
1

3:23-cv-01044

Verified Complaint

Tennessee Equality Project Foundation, Inc. v. City of Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Oct. 6, 2023

Oct. 6, 2023

Complaint
28

3:23-cv-01044

Agreed Order

Tennessee Equality Project Foundation, Inc. v. The City of Murfreesboro, et al.

Oct. 23, 2023

Oct. 23, 2023

Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/67865125/tennessee-equality-project-foundation-inc-v-the-city-of-murfreesboro/

Last updated March 16, 2024, 3:04 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT against Jami Averwater, Michael Bowen, Madelyn Scales Harris, Kevin Jones, Austin Maxwell, Shane McFarland, The City Council of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, The City of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Craig G. Tindall, Kirt Wade, Shawn Wright (Filing fee $402, Receipt number ATNMDC-3927281), filed by Tennessee Equality Project Foundation, Inc. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A: Cooperative Agreement for 2022 BoroPride Festival,, # 2 Exhibit B: Beer Permit to TEP Foundation for 2022 BoroPride Festival, # 3 Exhibit C: 2022/9/6-2022/9/23 Emails between S. Mac and S. McFarland, # 4 Exhibit D: 2022/9/22 Robby Starbuck Instagram Post, # 5 Exhibit E: 2022/9/23 Email from S. McFarland to City Officials, # 6 Exhibit F: 2022/10/17 Letter from C. Tindall to TEP Foundation, # 7 Exhibit G: 2022/10/17 Memorandum from C. Tindall to City Officials, # 8 Exhibit H: 2022/10/18 Email from C. Tindall to City Officials, # 9 Exhibit I: 2022/11/16 Email from TEP Foundation to N. Williams,, # 10 Exhibit J: 2023/4/13-2023/5/26 Communications between ACLU-TN and Counsel for City,, # 11 Exhibit K: 2023/6/1 Letter from C. Tindall to TEP Foundation, # 12 Exhibit L: 2023/7/7 Letter from ACLU-TN to Counsel for City, # 13 Exhibit M: 2023/7/20 Letter from Counsel for City to ACLU-TN, # 14 Exhibit N: Murfreesboro City Ordinance 23-O-22, # 15 Exhibit O: Murfreesboro City Code Section 21-71, # 16 Exhibit P: 2023/9/27-2023/9/29 Emails between A. Tucker and ACLU-TN, # 17 Exhibit Q: Transcript of June 15, 2023 Murfreesboro City Council Meeting, # 18 Attachment - Civil Cover Sheet)(af) (Entered: 10/06/2023)

1 Exhibit A: Cooperative Agreement for 2022 BoroPride Festival,

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2 Exhibit B: Beer Permit to TEP Foundation for 2022 BoroPride Festival

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3 Exhibit C: 2022/9/6-2022/9/23 Emails between S. Mac and S. McFarland

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4 Exhibit D: 2022/9/22 Robby Starbuck Instagram Post

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5 Exhibit E: 2022/9/23 Email from S. McFarland to City Officials

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6 Exhibit F: 2022/10/17 Letter from C. Tindall to TEP Foundation

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7 Exhibit G: 2022/10/17 Memorandum from C. Tindall to City Officials

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8 Exhibit H: 2022/10/18 Email from C. Tindall to City Officials

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9 Exhibit I: 2022/11/16 Email from TEP Foundation to N. Williams,

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10 Exhibit J: 2023/4/13-2023/5/26 Communications between ACLU-TN and Counsel for Ci

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11 Exhibit K: 2023/6/1 Letter from C. Tindall to TEP Foundation

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12 Exhibit L: 2023/7/7 Letter from ACLU-TN to Counsel for City

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13 Exhibit M: 2023/7/20 Letter from Counsel for City to ACLU-TN

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14 Exhibit N: Murfreesboro City Ordinance 23-O-22

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15 Exhibit O: Murfreesboro City Code Section 21-71

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16 Exhibit P: 2023/9/27-2023/9/29 Emails between A. Tucker and ACLU-TN

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17 Exhibit Q: Transcript of June 15, 2023 Murfreesboro City Council Meeting

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18 Attachment - Civil Cover Sheet

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Oct. 6, 2023

Oct. 6, 2023

Clearinghouse
2

NOTICE of Business Entity Disclosure Statement filing requirement. (af) (Entered: 10/06/2023)

Oct. 6, 2023

Oct. 6, 2023

PACER
3

NOTICE/INFORMATION regarding Consent of the Parties to the Magistrate Judge. (af) (Entered: 10/06/2023)

Oct. 6, 2023

Oct. 6, 2023

PACER
4

NOTICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 217 to parties re obligation of counsel to keep Court apprised of current contact information. (af) (Entered: 10/06/2023)

Oct. 6, 2023

Oct. 6, 2023

PACER
5

Summons issued as to Jami Averwater, Michael Bowen, Madelyn Scales Harris, Kevin Jones, Austin Maxwell, Shane McFarland, The City Council of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, The City of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Craig G. Tindall, Kirt Wade, Shawn Wright. Service copies placed at intake counter to be picked up by counsel. (af) (Entered: 10/06/2023)

Oct. 6, 2023

Oct. 6, 2023

PACER

Annotation - Bar Status

Oct. 6, 2023

Oct. 6, 2023

PACER

TN State Bar status verified as active for J. Alex Little, Stella Yarbrough, Lucas Cameron-Vaughn, Jeff Preptit admitted to this court. (af)

Oct. 6, 2023

Oct. 6, 2023

PACER

Annotation - PHV

Oct. 6, 2023

Oct. 6, 2023

PACER

WASH State Bar status verified as active for Li Nowlin-Sohl not admitted to this court - Local counsel secured. (af)

Oct. 6, 2023

Oct. 6, 2023

PACER

NY State Bar status verified as active for Michael P. Robotti, Jacquelyn N. Schell, Catherine I. Seibel not admitted to this court - Local counsel secured. (af)

Oct. 6, 2023

Oct. 6, 2023

PACER

AZ State Bar status verified as active for Andrew M. Hensley not admitted to this court - Local counsel secured. (af)

Oct. 6, 2023

Oct. 6, 2023

PACER

GA State Bar status verified as active for D. Alan White not admitted to this court - Local counsel secured. (af)

Oct. 6, 2023

Oct. 6, 2023

PACER

NOTICE TO COUNSEL Andrew M. Hensley, D. Alan White, Li Nowlin-Sohl, Michael P. Robotti, Jacquelyn N. Schell, Catherine I. Seibel: WITHIN 21 DAYS, counsel shall file a Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice, a Certificate of Good Standing signed by the Clerk of a United States District Court or a U. S. appellate court where admitted, and pay a fee of $150.00 (LR 83.01(b)). PHV due by 10/27/2023. (af)

Oct. 6, 2023

Oct. 6, 2023

PACER
6

NOTICE of Initial Case Management Conference by Telephone set for 11/13/2023 at 10:00 AM before Magistrate Judge Barbara D. Holmes. (af) (Entered: 10/06/2023)

Oct. 6, 2023

Oct. 6, 2023

RECAP
7

ORDER: This case is REFERRED to the Magistrate Judge for customized case management in accordance with Local Rule 16.01 and 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A). Lead counsel for the parties shall attend the initial case management conference. Signed by Chief Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw, Jr on 10/10/23. (DOCKET TEXT SUMMARY ONLY-ATTORNEYS MUST OPEN THE PDF AND READ THE ORDER.)(ad) (Entered: 10/10/2023)

Oct. 10, 2023

Oct. 10, 2023

RECAP
8

MOTION for Preliminary Injunction and, MOTION to Expedite Briefing by Tennessee Equality Project Foundation, Inc.. (Little, J.) (Entered: 10/12/2023)

Oct. 12, 2023

Oct. 12, 2023

PACER
9

MEMORANDUM in Support of 8 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction and MOTION to Expedite Briefing filed by Tennessee Equality Project Foundation, Inc. . (Little, J.) (Entered: 10/12/2023)

Oct. 12, 2023

Oct. 12, 2023

PACER
10

ORDER: A telephonic case management conference will be held on Tuesday, October 17, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. (CT), using the Court's conference line at 1-877-402-9753, access code 3808663#. Plaintiff's counsel is responsible for notifying Defendants' counsel of this telephonic case management conference. Specifically, and in addition to any other notice, Plaintiff's counsel must promptly upon receipt of this Order, and by no later than 2:00 p.m. (CT) on October 16, 2023, Plaintiff's counsel must provide a copy of this Order on the lawyers with whom Plaintiff's counsel has had discussions about the preliminary injunction motion and who are described in the Certificate of Conference (Docket No. 8 at 4) as "likely to represent the City, City Council, and City Officials in their official capacities and the City Officials sued in their individual capacities" (id.), by email, fax, or other means to ensure the most expeditious notice. Signed by Magistrate Judge Barbara D. Holmes on 10/16/23. (DOCKET TEXT SUMMARY ONLY-ATTORNEYS MUST OPEN THE PDF AND READ THE ORDER.)(ad) (Entered: 10/16/2023)

Oct. 16, 2023

Oct. 16, 2023

PACER
11

CERTIFICATE of Notice filed by Tennessee Equality Project Foundation, Inc. re 10 Order,,,,, Set Hearings,,,,. (Little, J.) (Entered: 10/16/2023)

Oct. 16, 2023

Oct. 16, 2023

PACER
12

ORDER: Pursuant to the Court's order of October 16, 2023 (Docket No. 10 ), a telephonic case management conference was held on October 17, 2023, to discuss scheduling and other matters related to Plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction. (Docket No. 8 .) A status conference will be held on Thursday, October 19, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. (CT), using the Court's conference line at 1-877-402-9753, access code 3808663#, for the attorneys to update the Court on the status of their efforts to reach a resolution or, in the absence of a resolution, for the Court to set a briefing and hearing schedule on Plaintiff's motion. Signed by Magistrate Judge Barbara D. Holmes on 10/17/23. (DOCKET TEXT SUMMARY ONLY-ATTORNEYS MUST OPEN THE PDF AND READ THE ORDER.)(ad) (Entered: 10/17/2023)

Oct. 17, 2023

Oct. 17, 2023

RECAP
13

MOTION for attorney Michael P. Robotti to Appear Pro Hac Vice (Fee not paid-due within 21 days) by Tennessee Equality Project Foundation, Inc. (Attachments: # 1 Attachment - Certificate of Good Standing)(ad) (Entered: 10/18/2023)

Oct. 18, 2023

Oct. 18, 2023

PACER
14

MOTION for attorney Jacquelyn Nicole Schell to Appear Pro Hac Vice (Fee not paid-due within 21 days) by Tennessee Equality Project Foundation, Inc. (Attachments: # 1 Attachment - Certificate of Good Standing)(ad) (Entered: 10/18/2023)

Oct. 18, 2023

Oct. 18, 2023

PACER
15

MOTION for attorney Catherine Seibel to Appear Pro Hac Vice (Fee not paid-due within 21 days) by Tennessee Equality Project Foundation, Inc. (Attachments: # 1 Attachment - Certificate of Good Standing)(ad) (Entered: 10/18/2023)

Oct. 18, 2023

Oct. 18, 2023

PACER
16

MOTION for attorney D. Alan White to Appear Pro Hac Vice (Fee not paid-due within 21 days) by Tennessee Equality Project Foundation, Inc. (Attachments: # 1 Attachment - Certificate of Good Standing)(ad) (Entered: 10/18/2023)

Oct. 18, 2023

Oct. 18, 2023

PACER
17

MOTION for attorney Andrew M. Hensley to Appear Pro Hac Vice (Fee not paid-due within 21 days) by Tennessee Equality Project Foundation, Inc. (Attachments: # 1 Attachment - Certificate of Good Standing)(ad) (Entered: 10/18/2023)

Oct. 18, 2023

Oct. 18, 2023

PACER
18

ORDER: Pending before the Court is Tennessee Equality Project Foundation, Inc.'s (TEP) Motion for a Preliminary Injunction and Request for Expedited Briefing (Doc. No. 8 ). In accordance with the parties' representations during the telephonic status conference held by the Magistrate Judge on October 17, 2023, the parties shall jointly notify the Court if they resolve the issues raised in TEP's motion and accompanying memorandum. If the parties cannot reach a complete resolution, Defendants shall file their responsive briefs no later than 9:00 a.m. on October 20, 2023, and TEP shall file any replies no later than 9:00 a.m. on October 24, 2023. The Court shall hold a hearing on TEP's Motion (Doc. No. 8 ) at 1:00 p.m. on October 26, 2023. Signed by Chief Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw, Jr on 10/18/23. (ad) (Entered: 10/19/2023)

Oct. 18, 2023

Oct. 18, 2023

RECAP
19

ORDER: Regarding the preliminary injunction motion (Docket No. 8 ) generally, responsive briefing shall occur as agreed to by the parties as follows. City Defendants' response to the motion must be filed by no later than November 13, 2023, and shall not exceed 25 pages. Plaintiff may file an optional reply by no later than November 28, 2023, which shall not exceed 10 pages. By no later than noon on Friday, October 20, 2023, the parties must file a proposed agreed order regarding enforcement of the subject Murfreesboro City Code sections (or ordinances) during the weekend of October 28-29, when the BoroPride Festival event is scheduled to take place. Signed by Magistrate Judge Barbara D. Holmes on 10/19/23. (DOCKET TEXT SUMMARY ONLY-ATTORNEYS MUST OPEN THE PDF AND READ THE ORDER.)(ad) (Entered: 10/19/2023)

Oct. 19, 2023

Oct. 19, 2023

PACER
20

NOTICE of Appearance by Robert M. Burns on behalf of All Defendants (Burns, Robert) (Entered: 10/19/2023)

Oct. 19, 2023

Oct. 19, 2023

RECAP
21

NOTICE of Appearance by Samantha A. Burnett on behalf of All Defendants (Burnett, Samantha) (Entered: 10/19/2023)

Oct. 19, 2023

Oct. 19, 2023

PACER
22

NOTICE of Appearance by Cassandra M. Crane on behalf of Shane McFarland, Craig G. Tindall (Crane, Cassandra) (Entered: 10/19/2023)

Oct. 19, 2023

Oct. 19, 2023

PACER
23

NOTICE of Appearance by Kristin Ellis Berexa on behalf of Shane McFarland, Craig G. Tindall (Berexa, Kristin) (Entered: 10/19/2023)

Oct. 19, 2023

Oct. 19, 2023

PACER
24

NOTICE/AGREED ORDER by The City of Murfreesboro, Tennessee of Submitting Proposed Agreed Order on City Ordinance Enforcement (Burns, Robert) Modified on 10/23/2023 (ad). (Entered: 10/19/2023)

Oct. 19, 2023

Oct. 19, 2023

PACER
27

RECEIPT #300001181 in the amount of $750.00 posted by Tennessee Equality Project Foundation, Inc. re 17 Andrew Hensley Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice, 15 Catherine Seibel Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice, 13 Michael Robotti Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice, 14 Jacquelyn Shell Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice, 16 D. Alan White Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice. (ad) (Entered: 10/23/2023)

Oct. 19, 2023

Oct. 19, 2023

PACER
25

MOTION for attorney Li Nowlin-Sohl to Appear Pro Hac Vice (Fee not paid-due within 21 days) by Tennessee Equality Project Foundation, Inc.. (Attachments: # 1 Attachment - Certificate of Good Standing)(ad) (Entered: 10/20/2023)

Oct. 20, 2023

Oct. 20, 2023

PACER
26

NOTICE/AGREED ORDER by The City of Murfreesboro, Tennessee of Submitting [Revised] Proposed Agreed Order on City Ordinance Enforcement (Burns, Robert) Modified on 10/23/2023 (ad). (Entered: 10/20/2023)

Oct. 20, 2023

Oct. 20, 2023

RECAP

TN State Bar status verified as active for Robert M. Burns, Samantha A. Burnett, Cassandra M. Crane, Kristin Ellis Berexa admitted to this court. (ad)

Oct. 23, 2023

Oct. 23, 2023

PACER
28

AGREED ORDER: Solely for purposes of this agreement, "Defendants" excludes Defendant City Manager Craig Tindall and Defendant City Mayor Shane McFarland in their individual capacities. On October 28 and 29, 2023, Defendant City of Murfreesboro, acting through Defendant City Manager Craig Tindall; Defendant City Mayor Shane McFarland; the City's police department; or any other City official or entity, shall not enforce or take any action pursuant to Murfreesboro City Ordinance 23-O-22. On October 28 and 29, 2023, Defendant City of Murfreesboro, acting through Defendant City Manager Craig Tindall; Defendant City Mayor Shane McFarland; the City's police department; or any other City official or entity, shall not enforce or take any action pursuant to the provision of Murfreesboro City Code § 21-71 that includes "homosexuality" within the definition of "sexual conduct.". Signed by Chief Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw, Jr on 10/23/203. (DOCKET TEXT SUMMARY ONLY-ATTORNEYS MUST OPEN THE PDF AND READ THE ORDER.)(ad) (Entered: 10/23/2023)

Oct. 23, 2023

Oct. 23, 2023

Clearinghouse
29

ORDER: On October 23, 2023, the Court entered an Order (Doc. No. 28 ) restraining the enforcement of Murfreesboro City Ordinance 23-O-22 and a specific provision in Murfreesboro City Code § 21-71 on October 28 and 29, 2023. Accordingly, the hearing on October 26, 2023, set in the Court's prior Order (Doc. No. 18 ), and all associated deadlines are VACATED. Signed by Chief Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw, Jr on 10/25/23. (ad) (Entered: 10/25/2023)

Oct. 25, 2023

Oct. 25, 2023

PACER
30

ORDER granting 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17 : Having satisfied the requirements of Local Rule 83.01(b), the Motions for Michael P. Robotti, Jacquelyn Nicole Schell, Catherine Seibel, D. Alan White, and Andrew M. Hensley to Appear Pro Hac Vice are granted. Signed by Lynda M. Hill, Clerk of Court, on 10/26/2023. (lh) (Entered: 10/26/2023)

Oct. 26, 2023

Oct. 26, 2023

PACER

Appear Pro Hac Vice AND Appear Pro Hac Vice AND Appear Pro Hac Vice AND Appear Pro Hac Vice AND Appear Pro Hac Vice

Oct. 26, 2023

Oct. 26, 2023

PACER
31

Joint MOTION Set Nov. 15, 2023 as the Deadline for Defendants to Respond to Complaint by Tennessee Equality Project Foundation, Inc.. (White, Dennis) Modified on 11/13/2023 (ad). (Entered: 11/08/2023)

Nov. 8, 2023

Nov. 8, 2023

PACER
32

PROPOSED CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER filed by Tennessee Equality Project Foundation, Inc.. (White, Dennis) (Entered: 11/08/2023)

Nov. 8, 2023

Nov. 8, 2023

PACER

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge Barbara D. Holmes: Initial Case Management Conference by Telephone held on 11/13/2023. (Hearing lasted 0:58) (KF)

Nov. 13, 2023

Nov. 13, 2023

PACER
33

ORDER: Pending before the Court is the parties' joint motion to extend the time for Defendants to answer or otherwise respond to the complaint until November 15, 2023 (Docket No. 31 ), which is GRANTED. By no later than November 15, 2023, Defendants must answer or otherwise respond to the complaint. No further extensions of this time will be granted. Signed by Magistrate Judge Barbara D. Holmes on 11/13/23. (DOCKET TEXT SUMMARY ONLY-ATTORNEYS MUST OPEN THE PDF AND READ THE ORDER.)(ad) (Entered: 11/13/2023)

Nov. 13, 2023

Nov. 13, 2023

PACER
34

INITIAL CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER: Amended Pleadings due by 12/14/2023. Discovery due by 3/1/2024. The filing of and schedule for dispositive motions is RESERVED. Signed by Magistrate Judge Barbara D. Holmes on 11/13/23. (DOCKET TEXT SUMMARY ONLY-ATTORNEYS MUST OPEN THE PDF AND READ THE ORDER.)(ad) (Entered: 11/13/2023)

Nov. 13, 2023

Nov. 13, 2023

PACER
35

ANSWER to 1 Complaint,,,,,, on Behalf of Craig G. Tindall in his Individual Capacity by Craig G. Tindall.(Crane, Cassandra) (Entered: 11/15/2023)

Nov. 15, 2023

Nov. 15, 2023

RECAP
36

MOTION to Dismiss on Behalf of Individual Defendants by Jami Averwater, Michael Bowen, Madelyn Scales Harris, Kevin Jones, Austin Maxwell, Shane McFarland, Craig G. Tindall, Kirt Wade, Shawn Wright. (Crane, Cassandra) (Entered: 11/15/2023)

Nov. 15, 2023

Nov. 15, 2023

RECAP
37

MEMORANDUM in Support of 36 MOTION to Dismiss on Behalf of Individual Defendants filed by Jami Averwater, Michael Bowen, Madelyn Scales Harris, Kevin Jones, Austin Maxwell, Shane McFarland, Craig G. Tindall, Kirt Wade, Shawn Wright . (Crane, Cassandra) (Entered: 11/15/2023)

Nov. 15, 2023

Nov. 15, 2023

RECAP
38

RESPONSE to Motion re 8 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction and MOTION to Expedite Briefing filed by Jami Averwater, Michael Bowen, Madelyn Scales Harris, Kevin Jones, Austin Maxwell, Shane McFarland, The City Council of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, The City of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Craig G. Tindall, Kirt Wade, Shawn Wright. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A - Revised 1977 Definition)(Burns, Robert) (Entered: 11/15/2023)

1 Exhibit A - Revised 1977 Definition

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Nov. 15, 2023

Nov. 15, 2023

RECAP
39

ANSWER to 1 Complaint,,,,,, by Jami Averwater, Michael Bowen, Madelyn Scales Harris, Kevin Jones, Austin Maxwell, Shane McFarland, The City Council of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, The City of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Craig G. Tindall, Kirt Wade, Shawn Wright.(Burnett, Samantha) (Entered: 11/15/2023)

Nov. 15, 2023

Nov. 15, 2023

RECAP
40

Joint MOTION TO REQUEST STATUS CONFERENCE by Tennessee Equality Project Foundation, Inc.. (White, Dennis) (Entered: 11/15/2023)

Nov. 15, 2023

Nov. 15, 2023

PACER
41

RECEIPT #300001437 in the amount of $150.00 posted by Tennessee Equality Project Foundation, Inc. re Li Nowlin-Sohl 25 Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice. (ad) (Entered: 11/16/2023)

Nov. 16, 2023

Nov. 16, 2023

PACER
42

ORDER: The Joint Motion to Request Status Conference (Doc. No. 40 ) is GRANTED and an in-person status conference is set for December 4, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. Signed by Chief Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw, Jr on 11/17/23. (ad) (Entered: 11/17/2023)

Nov. 17, 2023

Nov. 17, 2023

RECAP
43

REPLY to Response to re 8 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction and MOTION to Expedite Briefing filed by Tennessee Equality Project Foundation, Inc.. (Schell, Jacquelyn) (Entered: 11/28/2023)

Nov. 28, 2023

Nov. 28, 2023

RECAP
44

Transcript filed for date of October 17, 2023, before Judge Barbara Holmes. Court Reporter/Transcriber: Roxann Harkins, 615-403-8314, roxann_harkins@tnmd.uscourts.gov. Transcript may be viewed at the court public terminal or purchased through the Court Reporter/Transcriber before the deadline for Release of Transcript Restriction. After that date it may be obtained through PACER. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF COUNSEL TO REVIEW THE TRANSCRIPT AND REQUEST REDACTION OF CONTENT CLASSIFIED AS PRIVATE UNDER THE NOTICE TO MEMBERS OF THE BAR, ELECTRONIC AVAILABILITY OF TRANSCRIPTS OF COURT PROCEEDINGS, EFFECTIVE MAY 5, 2008, AVAILABLE ON THE COURT'S WEBSITE UNDER THE CM-ECF CASE INFO LINK, GENERAL INFORMATION, ELECTRONIC TRANSCRIPTS NOTICE. Intent to Request Transcript Redaction due 12/6/2023. Redaction Request due 12/20/2023. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 1/2/2024. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 2/27/2024. (RH) (Entered: 11/29/2023)

Nov. 29, 2023

Nov. 29, 2023

PACER
45

RESPONSE in Opposition re 36 MOTION to Dismiss on Behalf of Individual Defendants filed by Tennessee Equality Project Foundation, Inc.. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1, # 2 Exhibit 2, # 3 Exhibit 3)(Robotti, Michael) (Entered: 11/29/2023)

1 Exhibit 1

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2 Exhibit 2

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3 Exhibit 3

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Nov. 29, 2023

Nov. 29, 2023

RECAP

NOTICE TO FILER re DE# 43 : Pursuant to Local Rule 5.01, Certificates of Service shall identify by name the person served, what was served, the method of service, and date of service. Counsel did not include all Counsel on the certificate of service. Please FILE a conformed Certificate of Service for this document. (ad)

Nov. 30, 2023

Nov. 30, 2023

PACER

NOTICE TO FILER re DE# 45 : Pursuant to Local Rule 5.01, Certificates of Service shall identify by name the person served, what was served, the method of service, and date of service. Counsel did not include all Counsel on the certificate of service.include a certificate of service. Please FILE a conformed Certificate of Service for this document. (ad)

Nov. 30, 2023

Nov. 30, 2023

PACER
46

REPLY to Response to re 8 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction and MOTION to Expedite Briefing with Corrected Certificate of Service filed by Tennessee Equality Project Foundation, Inc.. (Schell, Jacquelyn) (Entered: 11/30/2023)

Nov. 30, 2023

Nov. 30, 2023

RECAP
47

RESPONSE in Opposition re 36 MOTION to Dismiss on Behalf of Individual Defendants with Corrected Certificate of Service filed by Tennessee Equality Project Foundation, Inc.. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1, # 2 Exhibit 2, # 3 Exhibit 3)(Robotti, Michael) (Entered: 11/30/2023)

1 Exhibit 1

View on RECAP

2 Exhibit 2

View on RECAP

3 Exhibit 3

View on RECAP

Nov. 30, 2023

Nov. 30, 2023

RECAP

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Chief Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw, Jr: Status Conference held on 12/4/2023. Court considers possibility of combining the preliminary injunction hearing with trial. Parties to provide a joint notice with proposed trial dates by December 8, 2023. Parties also to provide an agreed order regarding the money damages against McFarland and Tindall in their official capacities in Counts 12 through 14. Parties to continue to attempt mediation and settlement discussions. (Court Reporter Patty Jennings.) (Hearing lasted :23)(Seay, Melissa)

Dec. 4, 2023

Dec. 4, 2023

PACER
48

ORDER: On December 4, 2023, the Court held a status conference to discuss consolidation of Plaintiff's request for a preliminary injunction with trial. After discussion on the record, the parties agreed that consolidation was appropriate. For the reasons stated on the record, by no later than December 8, 2023, the parties shall jointly: (1) request the Court dismiss Plaintiff's claims for money damages against McFarland and Tindall in their official capacities in Counts XII through XIV as duplicative, which Plaintiff has conceded (see Doc. No. 45 at 18); and (2) file notice proposing trial dates. The parties' notice should also request any changes to the Initial Case Management Order (Doc. No. 34 ) necessary to prepare for trial. Signed by Chief Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw, Jr on 12/06/23. (ad) (Entered: 12/06/2023)

Dec. 6, 2023

Dec. 6, 2023

RECAP
49

REPLY to Response to re 36 MOTION to Dismiss on Behalf of Individual Defendants in Further Support of Motion filed by Jami Averwater, Michael Bowen, Madelyn Scales Harris, Kevin Jones, Austin Maxwell, Shane McFarland, Craig G. Tindall, Kirt Wade, Shawn Wright. (Crane, Cassandra) (Entered: 12/06/2023)

Dec. 6, 2023

Dec. 6, 2023

RECAP
50

Joint MOTION To Request Case Management Conference by Jami Averwater, Michael Bowen, Madelyn Scales Harris, Kevin Jones, Austin Maxwell, Shane McFarland, The City Council of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, The City of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Craig G. Tindall, Kirt Wade, Shawn Wright. (Burnett, Samantha) (Entered: 12/07/2023)

Dec. 7, 2023

Dec. 7, 2023

RECAP
51

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by Tennessee Equality Project Foundation, Inc. of Plaintiff's Initial Written Discovery Requests (White, Dennis) (Entered: 12/08/2023)

Dec. 8, 2023

Dec. 8, 2023

PACER
52

STIPULATION // Agreed Order Regarding Dismissal of Certain Counts and Relief by Tennessee Equality Project Foundation, Inc.. (Hensley, Andrew) (Entered: 12/08/2023)

Dec. 8, 2023

Dec. 8, 2023

RECAP
53

STIPULATION // Joint Proposed Schedule for Dispositive Motions and Trial by Tennessee Equality Project Foundation, Inc.. (Hensley, Andrew) (Entered: 12/08/2023)

Dec. 8, 2023

Dec. 8, 2023

RECAP
54

AGREED ORDER REGARDING DISMISSAL OF CERTAIN COUNTS AND RELIEF. Signed by Chief Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw, Jr on 12/12/23. (DOCKET TEXT SUMMARY ONLY-ATTORNEYS MUST OPEN THE PDF AND READ THE ORDER.)(ad) (Entered: 12/12/2023)

Dec. 12, 2023

Dec. 12, 2023

RECAP
55

ORDER SETTING CASE FOR TRIAL: Jury Trial set for 5/14/2024 at 09:00 AM in Courtroom 6B before Chief Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw Jr. Pretrial Conference set for 5/6/2024 at 11:00 AM in Courtroom 6B before Chief Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw Jr. Exhibit List due by 4/29/2024. Witness List due by 4/29/2024. Joint Proposed Pretrial Order due by 4/29/2024. Signed by Chief Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw, Jr on 12/13/23. (DOCKET TEXT SUMMARY ONLY-ATTORNEYS MUST OPEN THE PDF AND READ THE ORDER.)(ad) (Entered: 12/13/2023)

Dec. 13, 2023

Dec. 13, 2023

PACER
56

Transcript filed for date of December 4, 2023, before Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw Jr. Court Reporter: Patty Jennings, 615-939-5450, patty_jennings@tnmd.uscourts.gov. Transcript may be viewed at the court public terminal or purchased through the Court Reporter before the deadline for Release of Transcript Restriction. After that date it may be obtained through PACER. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF COUNSEL TO REVIEW THE TRANSCRIPT AND REQUEST REDACTION OF CONTENT CLASSIFIED AS PRIVATE UNDER THE NOTICE TO MEMBERS OF THE BAR, ELECTRONIC AVAILABILITY OF TRANSCRIPTS OF COURT PROCEEDINGS, EFFECTIVE MAY 5, 2008, AVAILABLE ON THE COURT'S WEBSITE UNDER THE CM-ECF CASE INFO LINK, GENERAL INFORMATION, ELECTRONIC TRANSCRIPTS NOTICE. Intent to Request Transcript Redaction due 12/26/2023. Redaction Request due 1/9/2024. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 1/19/2024. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 3/18/2024. (Jennings, Patty) (Entered: 12/19/2023)

Dec. 19, 2023

Dec. 19, 2023

PACER
56

Transcript filed for date of December 4, 2023, before Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw Jr. Court Reporter: Patty Jennings, 615-939-5450, patty_jennings@tnmd.uscourts.gov. Transcript may be viewed at the court public terminal or purchased through the Court Reporter before the deadline for Release of Transcript Restriction. After that date it may be obtained through PACER. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF COUNSEL TO REVIEW THE TRANSCRIPT AND REQUEST REDACTION OF CONTENT CLASSIFIED AS PRIVATE UNDER THE NOTICE TO MEMBERS OF THE BAR, ELECTRONIC AVAILABILITY OF TRANSCRIPTS OF COURT PROCEEDINGS, EFFECTIVE MAY 5, 2008, AVAILABLE ON THE COURT'S WEBSITE UNDER THE CM-ECF CASE INFO LINK, GENERAL INFORMATION, ELECTRONIC TRANSCRIPTS NOTICE. Intent to Request Transcript Redaction due 12/26/2023. Redaction Request due 1/9/2024. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 1/19/2024. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 3/18/2024. (Jennings, Patty) (Entered: 12/19/2023)

Dec. 19, 2023

Dec. 19, 2023

PACER
57

ORDER: Pending before the Court is the parties' joint motion to set a case management conference (Docket No. 50 ), which is GRANTED. A telephonic case management conference is SCHEDULED for January 9, 2024 at 2:00 p.m. (CT) using the Court's conference line at 1-877-402-9753, access code 3808663#. Signed by Magistrate Judge Barbara D. Holmes on 12/20/23. (DOCKET TEXT SUMMARY ONLY-ATTORNEYS MUST OPEN THE PDF AND READ THE ORDER.)(ad) (Entered: 12/20/2023)

Dec. 20, 2023

Dec. 20, 2023

PACER
57

ORDER: Pending before the Court is the parties' joint motion to set a case management conference (Docket No. 50 ), which is GRANTED. A telephonic case management conference is SCHEDULED for January 9, 2024 at 2:00 p.m. (CT) using the Court's conference line at 1-877-402-9753, access code 3808663#. Signed by Magistrate Judge Barbara D. Holmes on 12/20/23. (DOCKET TEXT SUMMARY ONLY-ATTORNEYS MUST OPEN THE PDF AND READ THE ORDER.)(ad) (Entered: 12/20/2023)

Dec. 20, 2023

Dec. 20, 2023

PACER
57

ORDER: Pending before the Court is the parties' joint motion to set a case management conference (Docket No. 50 ), which is GRANTED. A telephonic case management conference is SCHEDULED for January 9, 2024 at 2:00 p.m. (CT) using the Court's conference line at 1-877-402-9753, access code 3808663#. Signed by Magistrate Judge Barbara D. Holmes on 12/20/23. (DOCKET TEXT SUMMARY ONLY-ATTORNEYS MUST OPEN THE PDF AND READ THE ORDER.)(ad) (Entered: 12/20/2023)

Dec. 20, 2023

Dec. 20, 2023

PACER

Set Hearing: Case Management Conference by Telephone set for 1/9/2024 at 02:00 PM before Magistrate Judge Barbara D. Holmes. (ad)

Dec. 20, 2023

Dec. 20, 2023

PACER

Set Hearing: Case Management Conference by Telephone set for 1/9/2024 at 02:00 PM before Magistrate Judge Barbara D. Holmes. (ad)

Dec. 20, 2023

Dec. 20, 2023

PACER

Set Hearing: Case Management Conference by Telephone set for 1/9/2024 at 02:00 PM before Magistrate Judge Barbara D. Holmes. (ad)

Dec. 20, 2023

Dec. 20, 2023

PACER

Appear Pro Hac Vice

Jan. 4, 2024

Jan. 4, 2024

PACER

Appear Pro Hac Vice

Jan. 4, 2024

Jan. 4, 2024

PACER

Appear Pro Hac Vice

Jan. 4, 2024

Jan. 4, 2024

PACER
59

Order AND ~Util - Set Hearings

Jan. 5, 2024

Jan. 5, 2024

PACER
59

Order AND ~Util - Set Hearings

Jan. 5, 2024

Jan. 5, 2024

PACER
59

Order AND ~Util - Set Hearings

Jan. 5, 2024

Jan. 5, 2024

PACER
61

Order on Motion to Stay

Jan. 8, 2024

Jan. 8, 2024

RECAP
61

Order on Motion to Stay

Jan. 8, 2024

Jan. 8, 2024

RECAP
61

Order on Motion to Stay

Jan. 8, 2024

Jan. 8, 2024

RECAP
62

Extension of Time to File Document

Feb. 2, 2024

Feb. 2, 2024

PACER
62

Extension of Time to File Document

Feb. 2, 2024

Feb. 2, 2024

PACER
62

Extension of Time to File Document

Feb. 2, 2024

Feb. 2, 2024

PACER
63

Order on Motion for Extension of Time to File

Feb. 5, 2024

Feb. 5, 2024

PACER
63

Order on Motion for Extension of Time to File

Feb. 5, 2024

Feb. 5, 2024

PACER
63

Order on Motion for Extension of Time to File

Feb. 5, 2024

Feb. 5, 2024

PACER
65

Order Dismissing Case

Feb. 16, 2024

Feb. 16, 2024

PACER
65

Order Dismissing Case

Feb. 16, 2024

Feb. 16, 2024

PACER
65

Order Dismissing Case

Feb. 16, 2024

Feb. 16, 2024

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: Tennessee

Case Type(s):

Speech and Religious Freedom

Key Dates

Filing Date: Oct. 6, 2023

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

The Tennessee Equity Project is a nonprofit that advocates for LGBTQ+ rights.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Non-profit NON-religious organization

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU National (all projects)

ACLU Affiliates (any)

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

City of Murfreesboro (Murfreesboro, Rutherford), City

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

State law

Ex parte Young (federal or state officials)

Constitutional Clause(s):

Freedom of speech/association

Equal Protection

Available Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None yet

Source of Relief:

None yet

Issues

Discrimination Basis:

Sexual orientation

LGBTQ+:

LGBTQ+