After interrupting citizens and talking over constituents at a city council meeting, the mayor of Dem sued

A rights advocacy group has announced a lawsuit against Eastpointe Mayor Monique Owens and the city of Eastpointe for allegedly denying the First Amendment rights of residents.

An individual rights advocacy group is suing a mayor for talking over her residents and stopping them from criticizing her at a council meeting.

The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression filed a lawsuit against Eastpointe Mayor Monique Oaks for her actions at a Sept. 6 city council meeting. The lawsuit was filed on November 9.

FIRE stated in the legal filing that “This case concerns Monique Owens (Major of Eastpointe, Michigan), abusing her office, and her role of the Presiding Officer Eastpointe’s City Council, to silence her critics.”

Mayor Monique Owens and Eastpointe council members during a meeting held Sept. 6, 2022. (City of Eastpointe

FIRE represents four Eastpointe residents — Mary Hall Rayford, Karen Beltz and Cindy Federle — in the lawsuit against Owens, Eastpointe, and the city.


The Sept. City Council meeting was open for public comment. Many residents took the opportunity to comment on the ongoing dispute between Owens, Harvey Curley and the Council.

Owens claimed she was “assaulted by Curley” during an event that took place in June. He denied the claim.

“Just 19 seconds into public comment, Eastpointe Mayor Monique Oaks interrupted the first speaker,” FIRE stated in a statement, announcing that the lawsuit.

Owens appears to have spoken over residents and cut them off. He threatened to end the meeting early if they continued to voice their opinions on the dispute.

A resident began her remarks by saying that “Somethings need to get said and they should be said in person.” “I’m here to support Councilman Curley.”

“You’re not going sit here and attack me, lady that I’ve never met,” said the mayor. The video then appears to show.

Monique Owens, Eastpointe mayor, speaks while city councilmembers listen during a meeting that took place Sept. 6, 2022. (City of Eastpointe

She added, “Don’t call me by my name, I don’t know where you’re reading from and I don’t care.”

Owens seems to be saying, “Okay, you’re right, I’m going stop you right here,” Owens appears, “or we are going to stop council meetings.”


She added, “I don’t want to let you talk about something that has to deal with a police [investigation]”.

The mayor was also attacked by members of the public.

Another resident stated that the video seems to prove that “this is absurd”. “There is no reason to do this. We are protected by the First Amendment. Our First Amendment rights clearly state that we have the right of redress against our government without fear of reprisal.

The video seems to show a member of the city council trying to interrupt, saying: “Mayor! You’ve got to allow her to speak.”

Many residents continued to argue with each other, while the mayor listened to their concerns. When members of the city council walked away, the meeting was over.

img alt=”Eastpointe council members leave a meeting on September 6, 2022.” src=”″/>

Eastpointe council members leave a meeting on September 6, 2022. (City of Eastpointe).

ClickonDetroit was informed by Richard Albright, the City Attorney that the lawsuit centers on free speech. However, ClickonDetroit is aware that the mayor has the authority and right to end certain comments or conversations.

Albright stated to the outlet that if the issue becomes one of racial allegations or something like that, then the mayor, as controller, has the right to close the meeting down. Otherwise, anyone has a free rein.”

Owens later justified her actions and told Local 4: “I didn’t think that that was the right place to revictimize me. To use that as an excuse for mockery. I won’t allow them to do that to anybody.”

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Mayor Monique Owens seated alone at a Sept. 6, 2022 meeting. (City of Eastpointe

FIRE stated in an announcement that Eastpointe police didn’t arrest Curley for the alleged attack, and that no charges were ever filed.

Mayor Owens was elected in 2019. Her current term expires in November 2023.

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