After hearing arguments from both Stein's attorney Christopher Blake Schwartz and Adam Hirtz of Jackson Lewis, who is representing the St. Louis radio station, Judge Millikan declared that there was not enough evidence to show that Stein has suffered both long term and immediate harm.
"It's kind of limited in what I can do today under the statute, under the rules of the court," he said, saying that he didn't find the allegations rose to the level of a temporary restraining order. "The court finds no injury to you at this time. That doesn't mean this case can't go forward. It just means that I can't, I'm not going to force an employer to take [you back]".
Schartz arguments relied on Stein's status as an associate member of the station, a higher category of volunteer that afforded her more protections under Missouri's nonprofit guidelines than an employee or normal volunteer would have. He asserted that there was no due process before her dismissal.
Meanwhile, Hirtz countered that Stein's speech about the station on her personal Facebook profile had violated a volunteer agreement that she had signed, and that the nonprofit's bylaws allowed her to be dismissed for impugning the station.
Schwartz pointed out that an addendum to the agreement had been negotiated that excluded DJs' personal social media profiles from the agreement.
However, ultimately things came down to KDHX's grievance policy, which Stein had not taken advantage of and later told the RFT she had not been aware of previously. Judge Millikan noted it in his conclusion.
When asked how she felt after the hearing, Stein said, "A little disappointed, but actually more optimistic that the whole lawsuit didn't get thrown out. They kind of got us on a technicality. "
Himself a fellow KDHX DJ, Schwartz added, "It was disappointing. We were not fully aware of that policy. At the same time, when the station prides itself on transparency, they didn't provide that spirit of transparency, they failed as well."
Approximately 20 or so supporters of Stein gathered outside the courthouse and sat behind her in the courtroom during the motion. Stein has raised more than $6,000 through GoFundMe to pay for her legal battle.
KDHX's Board President Gary Pierson sent the RFT the following statement. No one from KDHX was in attendance during the motion.
As a board, our commitment to bringing the power of music to listeners in St. Louis and around the world has never been stronger. Today - in an unfounded lawsuit that aimed to spread harmful misinformation about KDHX staff and the board - a judge refused to grant a temporary restraining order. The unprecedented request was filed by a former volunteer DJ who has used her platform to actively discourage financial support for our community station and instead is soliciting donations for her personal causes. KDHX will vigorously continue its work to harness the power of music for all of St. Louis.
This story has been updated with a statement from KDHX.
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