Friday, July 31, 2020

11th Circuit: Shame To Muslim Family From Assault Allegations Allows Woman To Proceed As Jane Doe

In Doe v. Neversome, (11 Cir., July 30, 2020), the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals held that that a Florida federal district court abused its discretion when it refused to allow a plaintiff in a sexual assault and battery action against a musical celebrity. The court said in part:
Here Ms. Doe ... asserts that because she is from a “devout Muslim family,” the “very nature of her allegations would be sufficient to bring harm to [herself] and shame to her family under the cultural/religious traditions that her family practices.”... The district court erred by treating Ms. Doe’s motion as merely alleging personal embarrassment, without accounting for what she actually alleged or considering our social stigma cases.
We also note that, under our precedent, the district court may have too easily discounted evidence that Ms. Doe would be subject to threats and harassment if she were required to proceed under her real name.
[Thanks to Eugene Volokh via Religionlaw for the lead.]