Thursday, November 18, 2010

Minors Pursuing Lawsuit Must Be Named, Court Says

US Court of Appeals, Pasadena, California.Image via Wikipedia
In Jacob Doe, a minor, by parents & next friends, et al. v. Kamehameha Schools/Bernice District of Hawaii et al. (Case No. 09-15448), the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit refused a rehearing request by plaintiffs, who are minors, who sought to pursue their civil rights discrimination suit against a school system anonymously.

In March, the appeals court upheld a federal district court judge's ruling that the juvenile plaintiffs must be identified by name in court documents and open court as their lawsuit against Hawaii schools' race-based admissions policy proceeds. The complaint alleges the defendants favor applicants of Hawaiian ancestry. Counsel for the minors argued for preserving the students' privacy rights and protecting them against harassment by classmates and others, but the Ninth Circuit denied the rehearing request, with two justices dissenting, holding that the students' concerns were overridden by the need for open courts bolstered by the 1st & 6th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

The matter may be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, according to a blog post by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (

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