This case was last updated from PACER on 09/05/2021 at 10:22:42 (UTC).

Trump et al v. Twitter, Inc et al

Case Summary

On July 7, 2021, Donald J. Trump, the Forty-Fifth President of the United States, Linda Cuadros and the American Conservative Union, individually and on behalf of the class, (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) represented by Matthew L. Baldwin, Esq. of Vargas Gonzalez Baldwin Delombard, LLP, John P. Coale, Frank C. Dudenhefer, Jr. of the Dudenhefer Law Firm L.L.C, John Q. Kelly of Ivey, Barnum & O’mara, Michael J. Jones, Roland A. Paul, Ryan S. Tougias, and Sean M. Hamill brought a civil rights action against Twitter, Inc., (“Twitter”) and its Chief Executive Officer, Jack Dorsey (collectively, “Defendants”) for allegedly violating the Plaintiff’s first amendment rights. This case was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida with Judge Robert N. Scola, Jr. presiding. 

 

Class definition: All Twitter platform Users (“Putative Class Members”) who have resided in the United States between June 1, 2018, through today, who had their Twitter account censored by Defendants and were damaged thereby, as well as Linda Cuadros, a United States citizen, domiciled in the state of Florida, and American Conservative Union, a social welfare organization in the United States, established in 1964 in the District of Columbia.

 

In the complaint, the Plaintiff has alleged “Defendant Twitter is a social media platform with more than three hundred fifty (350) million active Users worldwide, including approximately seventy (70) million daily active users in the United States. Since 2018, approximately 500 million tweets are sent out, or “tweeted,” each day. On January 7, 2021, Twitter, at the direction of Defendant Dorsey, permanently banned President Trump from his Twitter account, blocking his ability to communicate with his approximately 89 million followers and the ability of Plaintiff’s approximately 89 million followers to hear, reply to, or retweet the content and speech Plaintiff was expressing.”

 

The Plaintiff further alleged “Twitter has what it refers to as its “Twitter Rules,” which Twitter claims outline its standards regarding the content you can post to Twitter and other Twitter products. The “Twitter Rules” guidelines regarding hate speech, incitement, or praise of violence are vague, broad, ill-defined, or not defined at all.”

 

The Plaintiff also alleged “After his inauguration in January of 2017, Plaintiff’s Twitter account (@realDonaldTrump) became an instrument of his presidency. Plaintiff’s tweets became an important source of news and information about the government, as did his followers’ tweets associated with Plaintiff’s posts. Plaintiff’s account became a public forum for speech by, to, and about government policy.”

 

It is also alleged that “The Putative Class Members used their Twitter accounts in a similar fashion. They created their accounts to share information, opinions, pictures, videos, and news with their networks ranging from friends and family to larger public audiences.”

 

The Plaintiff also alleged that “In 1996, Congress passed the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which amended the Telecommunications Act of 1934 with Section 230(c), intending to promote the growth and development of social media platforms. Twitter has increasingly engaged in impermissible censorship resulting from threatened legislative action, and a misguided reliance upon Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, 47 U.S.C. § 230. Defendant Twitter’s status thus rises beyond that of a private company to that of a state actor, and as such, Defendant is constrained by the First Amendment right to free speech in the censorship decisions it makes.”

 

The Plaintiff further alleged “On January 7, 2021, Defendants permanently banned the sitting President of the United States from their platform for exercising his constitutional right of free speech. Since then, the Defendants have mounted an aggressive campaign of censorship (flagging, shadow banning, etc.) resulting from legislative coercion and collusion with federal actors.”

 

The Plaintiff has laid down two claims for relief. The first is for the Defendants’ alleged violations of the Plaintiff’s first amendment right to freedom of speech. The second claim for relief is for a declaratory judgement declaring the unconstitutionality of Section 230 and the Communications Decency Act.

 

In the prayer for relief, the Plaintiff respectfully requests that the Court enter an order certifying this case as a class action, appointing Plaintiff as Class Representative and appointing Plaintiff’s counsel as Lead Class Counsel and that the Court order, adjudge, and decree in favor of Plaintiff and the Class against the Defendants for: an award of compensatory and punitive damages to the Plaintiff and the Class in an amount to be determined at trial; an injunction and declaratory judgment ordering Twitter to immediately reinstate the Twitter accounts of Plaintiff and Putative Class Members; an injunction and declaratory judgment ordering Twitter to remove its warning labels and misclassification of all content of the Plaintiff and the Class and to desist from any further warnings or classifications; a judgment declaring Sections 230(c)(1) and (c)(2) of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 unconstitutional; an award of attorneys’ fees, punitive damages, and costs to Plaintiff and the Class in an amount to be determined at trial; and an award of such other and further relief as the Court may deem just and proper.

 

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Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    1:21-CV-22441

  • Filing Date:

    07/07/2021

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Civil Right - Other Civil Right

  • Courthouse:

    Florida Southern District

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

Robert N. Scola, Jr

Referral Judge

Jonathan Goodman

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

DONALD J TRUMP

Linda Cuadros

American Conservative Union

Donald J. Trump

Defendants

Twitter, Inc

Jack Dorsey

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

Matthew Lee Baldwin

Attorney at Vargas Gonzalez Hevia Baldwin, LLP

815 Ponce De Leon Blvd., Third Floor

Coral Gables, FL 33134

Frank C. Dudenhefer, Jr.

Attorney at The Dudenhefer Law Firm, LLC

2721 St. Charles Ave, Suite 2A

New Orleans, LA 70130

John P. Coale

2901 Fessenden St. Nw

Washington, DC 20008

Michael J. Jones

Attorney at Ivey, Barnum & O'Mara

170 Mason Street

Greenwich, CT 06830

Richard Polk Lawson

Attorney at Gardner Brewer Martinez Monfort

7 Times Square

New York, NY 10036

Roland A. Paul

Attorney at Ivey Barnum & O'Mara

170 Mason Street

Greenwich, CT 06830

Ryan Tougias

Attorney at Ivey, Barnum & O'Mara

170 Mason Street

Greenwich, CT 06830

Sean M. Hamill

Attorney at Ivey, Barnum & O'Mara

170 Mason Street

Greenwich, CT 06830

John Q. Kelly

Attorney at Ivey, Barnum & O'Mara

170 Mason Street

Greenwich, CT 06830

Defendant Attorneys

Peter W. Homer

Attorney at Homer Bonner Jacobs, P.A.

1441 Brickell Avenue, Four Seasons Tower Suite 1200

Miami, FL 33131

Ari Holtzblatt

Attorney at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

1875 Pennsylvania Avenue, Nw

Washington, DC 20006

Felicia Ellsworth

Attorney at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

60 State Street

Boston, MA 02109

Patrick J. Carome

Attorney at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP

1875 Pennsylvania Avenue, Nw

Washington, DC 20006

 

Court Documents

#46

(#46) WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed by American Conservative Union, Linda Cuadros, Donald J. Trump. Jack Dorsey waiver sent on 9/2/2021, answer due 12/1/2021. (Baldwin, Matthew) (Entered: 09/03/2021)

#45

(#45) WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed by American Conservative Union, Linda Cuadros, Donald J. Trump. Twitter, Inc waiver sent on 9/2/2021, answer due 12/1/2021. (Baldwin, Matthew) (Entered: 09/03/2021)

40 #1

Exhibit A - Certification of Ari Holtzblatt

39 #2

Exhibit B - Proposed Order

39 #1

Exhibit A - Certification of Patrick J. Carome

39 #39

Main Document

38 #2

Exhibit B - Proposed Order

38 #1

Exhibit A - Certification of Felicia H. Ellsworth

38 #38

Main Document

1 #3

Summon(s) Summons (Twitter)

1 #2

Summon(s) Summons (Dorsey)

1 #1

Civil Cover Sheet Civil Cover Sheet

1 #1

Main Document

6 #2

Text of Proposed Order Proposed Order

5 #1

Exhibit Exhibit A-Complaint

5 #5

Main Document

#4

(#4) Bar Letter re: Admissions sent to attorney John P. Coale, Frank C. Dudenhefer Jr, John Q. Kelly, Michael J. Jones, Roland A. Paul, Ryan S. Tougias, Sean M. Hamill, mailing date July 8, 2021, (pt) (Entered: 07/08/2021)

#3

(#3) Summons Issued as to Jack Dorsey, Twitter, Inc. (amb) (Entered: 07/07/2021)

73 More Documents Available
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Docket Entries

  • 09/03/2021
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  • Docket(#46) WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed by American Conservative Union, Linda Cuadros, Donald J. Trump. Jack Dorsey waiver sent on 9/2/2021, answer due 12/1/2021. (Baldwin, Matthew) (Entered: 09/03/2021)

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  • 09/03/2021
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  • Docket(#45) WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed by American Conservative Union, Linda Cuadros, Donald J. Trump. Twitter, Inc waiver sent on 9/2/2021, answer due 12/1/2021. (Baldwin, Matthew) (Entered: 09/03/2021)

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  • 09/03/2021
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  • Docket(#44) PAPERLESS ORDER: The Court grants #38 #39 and #40 motions to appear pro hac vice, consent to designation, and request to electronically receive notices. Attorneys Felicia Ellsworth, Patrick J. Carome, and Ari Holtzblatt are given permission to appear and participate in this matter on behalf of Defendant Twitter, Inc. The Clerk of the Court is directed to provide these attorneys with notification of all electronic filings via the email addresses set forth in the motions. Signed by Judge Robert N. Scola, Jr. (agn) (Entered: 09/03/2021)

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  • 09/01/2021
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  • Docket(#43) Notice of Pending, Refiled, Related or Similar Actions by Twitter, Inc (Homer, Peter) (Entered: 09/01/2021)

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  • 09/01/2021
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  • Docket(#42) Corporate Disclosure Statement by Twitter, Inc (Homer, Peter) (Entered: 09/01/2021)

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  • 09/01/2021
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  • Docket(#41) MOTION To Transfer To The Northern District of California And Memorandum In Support Thereof by Twitter, Inc. (Attachments: #1 Declaration of Patrick J. Carome, #2 Exhibit A to Declaration of Patrick J. Carome, #3 Exhibit B to Declaration of Patrick J. Carome, #4 Exhibit C to Declaration of Patrick J. Carome, #5 Exhibit D to Declaration of Patrick J. Carome, #6 Exhibit E to Declaration of Patrick J. Carome)(Homer, Peter) (Entered: 09/01/2021)

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  • 09/01/2021
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  • Docket(#40) MOTION to Appear Pro Hac Vice, Consent to Designation, and Request to Electronically Receive Notices of Electronic Filing for Ari Holtzblatt. Filing Fee $ 200.00 Receipt # AFLSDC-14979063 by Twitter, Inc. Responses due by 9/15/2021 (Attachments: #1 Exhibit A - Certification of Ari Holtzblatt, #2 Exhibit B - Proposed Order)(Homer, Peter) (Entered: 09/01/2021)

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  • 09/01/2021
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  • Docket(#39) MOTION to Appear Pro Hac Vice, Consent to Designation, and Request to Electronically Receive Notices of Electronic Filing for Patrick J. Carome. Filing Fee $ 200.00 Receipt # AFLSDC-14979058 by Twitter, Inc. Responses due by 9/15/2021 (Attachments: #1 Exhibit A - Certification of Patrick J. Carome, #2 Exhibit B - Proposed Order)(Homer, Peter) (Entered: 09/01/2021)

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  • 09/01/2021
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  • Docket(#38) MOTION to Appear Pro Hac Vice, Consent to Designation, and Request to Electronically Receive Notices of Electronic Filing for Felicia H. Ellsworth. Filing Fee $ 200.00 Receipt # AFLSDC-14979056 by Twitter, Inc. Attorney Peter W. Homer added to party Twitter, Inc(pty:dft). Responses due by 9/15/2021 (Attachments: #1 Exhibit A - Certification of Felicia H. Ellsworth, #2 Exhibit B - Proposed Order)(Homer, Peter) (Entered: 09/01/2021)

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  • 08/31/2021
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  • Docket(#37) NOTICE by United States of America re 36 Order on Motion to Stay,,,,,, (Kolsky, Joshua) (Entered: 08/31/2021)

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28 More Docket Entries
  • 07/12/2021
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  • Docket(#10) PAPERLESS ORDER: The Court grants #6 #7 motions to appear pro hac vice, consent to designation, and request to electronically receive notices of electronic filing. Attorneys Frank C. Dudenhefer, Jr and John P. Coale are given permission to appear and participate in this matter on behalf of Plaintiff Donald J. Trump. The Clerk of the Court is directed to provide this attorney with notification of all electronic filings via the email address set forth in the motions. The Court denies without prejudice #8 motion to appear pro hac vice, consent to designation, and request to electronically receive notices of electronic filing. The Clerk of Court could not locate Attorney John Q. Kelly as a member in good standing of the District of Columbia Bar listed in the motion. Signed by Judge Robert N. Scola, Jr. (agn) (Entered: 07/12/2021)

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  • 07/09/2021
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  • Docket(#9) Order Requiring Discovery and Scheduling Conference and Order Referring Discovery Matters to the Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman. Signed by Judge Robert N. Scola, Jr on 7/7/2021. See attached document for full details. (ebz) (Entered: 07/09/2021)

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  • 07/09/2021
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  • Docket(#8) MOTION to Appear Pro Hac Vice, Consent to Designation, and Request to Electronically Receive Notices of Electronic Filing for John Q. Kelly. Filing Fee $ 200.00 Receipt # AFLSDC-14832364 by American Conservative Union, Linda Cuadros, DONALD J TRUMP. Responses due by 7/23/2021 (Attachments: #1 Certification Certification of John Q. Kelly, #2 Text of Proposed Order Proposed Order)(Baldwin, Matthew) (Entered: 07/09/2021)

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  • 07/09/2021
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  • Docket(#7) MOTION to Appear Pro Hac Vice, Consent to Designation, and Request to Electronically Receive Notices of Electronic Filing for John P. Coale. Filing Fee $ 200.00 Receipt # AFLSDC-14832355 by American Conservative Union, Linda Cuadros, DONALD J TRUMP. Responses due by 7/23/2021 (Attachments: #1 Certification Certification of John P. Coale, #2 Text of Proposed Order Proposed Order)(Baldwin, Matthew) (Entered: 07/09/2021)

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  • 07/09/2021
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  • Docket(#6) MOTION to Appear Pro Hac Vice, Consent to Designation, and Request to Electronically Receive Notices of Electronic Filing for Frank C. Dudenhefer, Jr.. Filing Fee $ 200.00 Receipt # AFLSDC-14832336 by American Conservative Union, Linda Cuadros, DONALD J TRUMP. Responses due by 7/23/2021 (Attachments: #1 Certification Certification of Frank C. Dudenhefer, Jr., #2 Text of Proposed Order Proposed Order)(Baldwin, Matthew) (Entered: 07/09/2021)

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  • 07/09/2021
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  • Docket(#5) NOTICE by American Conservative Union, Linda Cuadros, DONALD J TRUMP of Constitutional Question (Attachments: #1 Exhibit Exhibit A-Complaint) (Baldwin, Matthew) (Entered: 07/09/2021)

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  • 07/08/2021
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  • Docket(#4) Bar Letter re: Admissions sent to attorney John P. Coale, Frank C. Dudenhefer Jr, John Q. Kelly, Michael J. Jones, Roland A. Paul, Ryan S. Tougias, Sean M. Hamill, mailing date July 8, 2021, (pt) (Entered: 07/08/2021)

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  • 07/07/2021
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  • Docket(#3) Summons Issued as to Jack Dorsey, Twitter, Inc. (amb) (Entered: 07/07/2021)

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  • 07/07/2021
  • Docket(#2) Clerks Notice of Judge Assignment to Judge Robert N. Scola, Jr. Pursuant to 28 USC 636(c), the parties are hereby notified that the U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman is available to handle any or all proceedings in this case. If agreed, parties should complete and file the Consent form found on our website. It is not necessary to file a document indicating lack of consent. Pro se (NON-PRISONER) litigants may receive Notices of Electronic Filings (NEFS) via email after filing a Consent by Pro Se Litigant (NON-PRISONER) to Receive Notices of Electronic Filing. The consent form is available under the forms section of our website. (amb) (Entered: 07/07/2021)

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  • 07/07/2021
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  • Docket(#1) COMPLAINT against Jack Dorsey, Twitter, Inc. Filing fees $ 402.00 receipt number AFLSDC-14825136, filed by DONALD J TRUMP, American Conservative Union, Linda Cuadros. (Attachments: #1 Civil Cover Sheet Civil Cover Sheet, #2 Summon(s) Summons (Dorsey), #3 Summon(s) Summons (Twitter))(Baldwin, Matthew) (Entered: 07/07/2021)

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