GREENBELT, MD. (CN) – Down, boy. The Association of Pet Dog Trainers illegally kicked out a member because she started a noncommercial Web site where members could post comments about dog training, Vicki Magnus claims in Federal Court. Magnus says she created the “APDTMemberDiscussions” site in 2003, and that three years later the defendant threatened to sue her and Yahoo! unless they discontinued it, and kicked her out of the association, though it did not try to register the APDT trademark until 2007.
Magnus wants her membership reinstated and a declaratory judgment allowing her to run her Internet message board.
She says the site always has had a clear disclaimer stating it was not an official organ of the association, and that she did not offer anything for sale, nor attempt to profit financially from the site.
She claims the association is unconstitutionally trying to censor her speech.
The association claims membership of about 6,000.