My colleague John Humbach alerted me to an interesting matter concerning the right to post settlement agreements on Facebook. Dearborn Heights, Michigan resident, Ahmed Ahmed filed a class action suit against McDonald’s for selling non-halal chicken McNuggets, which were advertised as halal. Judge Kathleen Macdonald (no relation) presided over the case and struck a $700,000 settlement deal that required McDonalds to contribute to local Muslim charities and not-for profits. Dissatisfied with the ruling because it didn’t call for direct reimbursement for those who unknowingly ate food in violation of their religious beliefs, local activist Majed Moughni, who is not part of the case, took to his Facebook page, and posted dissatisfaction with the decision. Over 1300 people “liked” Moughni’s posts.
Attorneys argued the posts were misleading and included misinformation. They filed a motion asking Judge MacDonald to stop Moughni from issuing further posts. Judge MacDonald not only granted the motion, but also ordered Moughni to replace his posts with copies of the settlement agreement.
Now the ACLU and Public Citizen’s have gotten involved arguing that Judge MacDonald’s decision, among other things, violates the principles of the First Amendment.
By the way, a new Facebook page, title Majed Moughni has a right to free speech, has now popped up. Interestingly, as of this time, only 23 people have liked this one.