BOONE COUNTY, Ind. — A lawsuit against Boone County claiming a resident’s First Amendment rights were violated when the county blocked him from its Facebook page was dismissed Tuesday, per court documents.
Documents state Boone County agreed to unblock resident Kevin Dininger. The county also agreed that it will not “hide or delete user comments, ban or block users, or otherwise censor user comments based on viewpoints expressed by the users,” court documents read. However, the county is still permitted to delete comments that are “vulgar, obscene, defamatory, harassing, or threatening.”
“It was a desired conclusion by all parties. Boone County and the ACLU entered into an Agreed Stipulation of Dismissal,” said a Boone County spokesperson.
Both parties must pay their own costs and attorney fees.
The lawsuit was filed on May 7 by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana on behalf of Dininger, who was blocked by Boone County’s Facebook page — “Living in Boone County — Indiana” — after he posted a comment stating his intent to vote for the incumbent commissioner’s challenger in the primary election.
“The First Amendment protects people, who regardless of their views, attempt to hold the government accountable through expression,” Gavin M. Rose, ACLU of Indiana senior attorney, previously said. “Boone County’s practice of silencing citizens on Facebook who are critical of the County’s actions is unconstitutional.”
Comments on the “Living in Boone County — Indiana” Facebook page were disabled as of Wednesday at 10:40 a.m.
FOX59 has reached out to the ACLU for their response.