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American Freedom Defense Initiative et al v. King County

Case Summary: 13-cv-01804

Defendant King County operates a public transportation system and uses advertising space on its buses to generate additional financial support. Defendant restricts the types of advertisements that may be displayed in its Transit Advertising Policy. On August 1, 2013, Plaintiff submitted an advertisement entitled “Faces of Global Terrorism,” for display on Defendant’s buses. Defendant rejected the advertisement because it violated three provisions of the Transit Advertising Policy: advertisements cannot be “false or misleading,” “demeaning or disparaging,” or “harmful or disruptive.” Plaintiff’s Complaint alleges abridgment of its First Amendment rights regarding free speech on government-owned property.

On January 27, 2014, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction, asking the court to force Defendant to display the advertisement on its buses. This video shows the hearing on Plaintiff’s motion, which the court subsequently rejected because Plaintiff failed to demonstrate a requirement for the issuance of a preliminary injunction: that the requesting party is likely to prevail on the merits.

Case Highlights

  • Complaint filed 10/07/2013 (Doc #1)
  • Motion for Preliminary Injunction filed by Plaintiff 10/09/2013 (Doc #7)
  • Hearing held on Plaintiff’s motion 1/27/2014 (Doc #26)
  • Court denied Plaintiff’s motion 1/30/2014 (Doc #27)

Case-related documents, including those referenced above, are available via the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) service. For more information, visit