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Council on American-Islamic Relations, Michigan v. Callahan

April 29, 2010

COUNCIL ON AMERICAN-ISLAMIC RELATIONS, MICHIGAN, A/K/A CAIR -MI, A MICHIGAN NONPROFIT CORPORATION, AND RANEEN ALBAGHDADY, AND INDIVIDUAL, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
JUDGE WILLIAM CALLAHAN, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS 3RD CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE FOR THE COUNTY OF WAYNE, FAMILY DIVISION, AND WAYNE COUNTY, A UNIT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT FOR THE STATE OF MICHIGAN, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Marianne O. Battani United States District Judge

HON. MARIANNE O. BATTANI

OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT WILLIAM CALLAHAN'S MOTION TO DISMISS OR ALTERNATIVELY FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Before the Court is Defendant William Callahan's Motion to Dismiss or Alternatively for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 9). The Court heard oral argument on February 3, 2009. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Court took this matter under advisement. Upon further consideration, the Court GRANTS Defendant's Motion to Dismiss.

I. INTRODUCTION

The facts giving rise to Plaintiffs' Complaint occurred during a Wayne County Circuit Court hearing on a petition for a name change filed by Plaintiff Raneen Albaghdady. At the hearing, she was wearing a hijab, that is a head scarf worn by Muslim women to cover the head and neck, which Defendant asked her to remove. The relevant exchange, set forth in the transcript, differs from the video recording of the hearing. Plaintiffs have supplied the comments omitted from the transcript, which are included in the brackets.

The Court: In the matter of a name change of Raneen Lamia Albaghdady, Case Number 09-104347-NC. Please -- [Okay the head piece]

Ms. Albaghdady: I'm sorry.

The Court: No hats allowed in the courtroom. (Unidentified Person in Audience): It's not a hat. It's a - - [scarf] The Court: Excuse me, sir. No hats allowed in the courtroom.

Ms. Albaghdady: This one?

The Court: Yes.

Ms. Albaghdady: Okay. It doesn't matter.

The Court: Thank you. . . .

Def.'s Ex. 1, Tr. at p. 3.

Defendant subsequently took a recess to research a residency issue, and when the hearing resumed, Albaghdady stood at the podium without her head covering and made no comment. Judge Callahan denied her petition because it was filed before the residency ...


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