Florida judge sends Donald Trump suit against Twitter to California

A federal judge has ruled that former President Donald Trump must pursue his lawsuit against Twitter in California, and not Florida, under a user agreement covering everyone on the social media platform

Via AP news wire
Wednesday 27 October 2021 16:59

Former President Donald Trump s lawsuit to get his Twitter account restored must be heard in a California court, not a Florida one, under a user agreement covering everyone on the social media platform, a federal judge ruled.

U.S. District Judge Robert Scola in Miami rejected Trump's contention that because his Twitter account was suspended during his last days as president the California court requirement did not apply to him.

The requirement, known as a forum selection clause, was in force when Trump originally joined Twitter as a private citizen in 2009, Scola wrote in his order issued Wednesday.

“First, Trump’s former status as the president of the United States does not preclude the application of the forum selection clause. Second, the forum selection clause is valid and mandatory,” Scola wrote in a 13-page order.

The decision means Trump's lawsuit will be heard in a northern California federal court instead of in Miami. A similar lawsuit by Trump against YouTube has also been transferred from Florida to California, while yet another Trump lawsuit against Facebook remains in Miami for now.

Twitter banned Trump's account on Jan. 8, two days after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol while Congress was certifying the victory of Democrat Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election. In making the decision, Twitter cited “the risk of further incitement of violence” following the deadly insurrection.

So far, more than 680 people have been charged with crimes stemming from that insurrection and a congressional committee is examining what led up to the riot.

Trump and other conservatives sued Twitter on July 7, claiming that the decision to suspend his account violates his First Amendment rights and amounts to an attempt to censor conservative voices under coercion from Democrats.

At the time, Trump's @realdonaldtrump account had more than 88 million followers on Twitter.

Twitter's user agreement states that all legal actions against the San Francisco-based company must be brought only in northern California state or federal courts. Scola's ruling found that Trump did not make the required legal showing to keep the case in Florida, where Trump has his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach.

“Twitter’s forum selection clause is mandatory, not permissive,” Scola wrote.

The lawsuit, a potential class action, will now move to a federal judge in the northern district of California.

Twitter reports it has more than 200 million users subject to the same agreement and bound by the California legal forum for any lawsuit against the company.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in