In ACLU v. Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy, (D MN, May 7, 2010), a Minnesota federal district court refused to dismiss the ACLU's claim against individual board members of a charter school in a suit that alleged the school is in fact sectarian and promotes Islam in violation of the Establishment Clause. The court held that the complaint sets forth sufficient facts to state a claim aginst individual defendants, and that they do not have qualified immunity as to the claims. It held that the school itself is not immune from suit under the 11th Amendment because under Minnesota law school boards are treated as municipalities, not as an arm of the state. The court also allowed cross claims for indemnification against TiZA filed by its sponsor and the state Commissioner of Education to proceed.
Finally the court denied an application by ten TiZA students and four of their parents to intervene to protect the school's accommodation of their free exercise of religion. The court held that any injury to the students that might result from a settlement of the lawsuit by TiZA is too remote and speculative, and that any impairment of their rights might well be traceable to TiZA rather than plaintiffs. It also held that the students had delayed too long in filing a motion to intervene. However, the court granted the students permission to file an amicus brief in the case. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported on the decision.