Agema v. City of Allegan, No. 15-1431 (6th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
A 2012 event at Allegan High School was intended to educate the public about House Bill 4769, which aimed to limit foreign law’s influence in Michigan. The organizers wanted to warn citizens about the “internal threat to America posed by radical Muslims” and “the dangers ... of Sharia law.” The District agreed to rent the organizers a room. They paid the customary $90 fee. Objectors wrote a letter arguing that the speaker, Saleem, was a purveyor of hatred and asked the district to rescind its permission. The School received calls expressing the same view; the event received local press coverage. Shortly before the event began, an unidentified woman approached the police, claiming that Saleem had a $25 million bounty on his head. Saleem’s body guard discounted the threat. The event began. When it was underway, authorities shut it down. The organizers allege that people were allowed to stay in the building for 30-45 minutes and that Saleem remained inside without law enforcement surveillance. The organizers filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983. The Sixth Circuit affirmed dismissal of claims against the city, for lack of evidence of an applicable municipal policy or custom, and reversed and remanded an order allowing the school district to withdraw its Fed.R.Civ.P. 68 offer to stipulate to judgment of $500.