Chaska MN has settled Noah McCourt’s lawsuit for blocking access to its social media accounts.


From January 6, 2019:

Damn straight I’m paying close attention to Chaska MN, where disability rights activist Noah McCourt has filed suit over a social media ban.

Let’s allow the news article to speak for itself. Congratulations to Noah; keep giving the stuffed shirts hell, my friend.

Chaska ordered to allow Waconia man to access its social media accounts, by Katy Read (Star Tribune)

His critical comments about city’s police, its chief led to his being blocked.

A Waconia man has settled a suit with the city of Chaska for blocking his access to the city’s public social media accounts.

Noah McCourt received a $1,005 settlement, and the city was ordered to unblock his access, revise its social media policies and train its staffers on First Amendment applications to social media accounts.

McCourt also will have his legal fees reimbursed. He is policy director of the Minnesota Autism Council and a member of the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities.

McCourt was blocked from the Chaska Police Department’s Twitter account for comments he posted about the department and from posting comments on the police Facebook page. Police Chief Scott Knight and Lt. Chris George were defendants in the suit.

McCourt said he criticized the Chaska police for “unnecessary roughness and aggression” when dealing with people with disabilities. He said he had also posted that Knight had “a very large ego.”

The city and McCourt agreed on an offer of judgment, under which the city agreed to the payment and policy changes in order to avoid lengthy litigation, said Hannah Felix, a lawyer with the League of Minnesota Cities who represented Chaska.

“For me it was never really about the money,” McCourt said. “It’s more like people just deserve to be treated equitably.”

McCourt has been unblocked from the Chaska accounts, and city officials are reviewing the “terms of use” policies on those accounts, said Kevin Wright, the city’s communications manager.

“There’ll still be a policy in place, and you’re going to have to abide by these guidelines in order to participate,” he said …