Granny Can Sue U.S. for Calling Her a Terrorist

Bonnie Baron
Courthouse News

HOUSTON (CN) – A Texas grandmother can push ahead with her emotional-distress complaint alleging that a Navy recruiter added her name to Homeland Security’s terrorist watch list, a federal judge ruled.

In a pro se federal lawsuit filed in October 2010, Vivian Chisholm asked the Southern District of Texas to declare “that she is not a terrorist” and remove her name from Homeland Security’s terrorist watch list.

The complaint primarily attributes Chisholm’s distress to the actions of Humble, Texas-based recruiter Petty Officer Lancelot Coley, but Coley is not named as a defendant.

She claimed her granddaughter, Maigan Brewer, joined the Navy’s Delayed Entry Program in high school but requested an entry-level separation from the program five months later, as was her right to do.

In response to the student’s request for the separation, Petty Officer Coley yelled “vulgar remarks” at Brewer, according to the complaint. He allegedly threatened to alter Brewer’s Social Security card to limit where she could work, arrest her for breach of government contract and report her as AWOL.

Brewer became frightened and asked her cancer-stricken mother to intercede, but Coley simply responded with more “verbal threats, yelling and hostile screaming,” according to the complaint. Chisholm said that is when she stepped in.

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