Pro-Life Students’ Law Suit Seeks Damages from University and Convicted Professor

Life Legal Defense Foundation Pursues Claim for Civil Rights Violations at UC Santa Barbara

Contact: Tom Ciesielka, 312.422.1333,

(November 6, 2014 – Santa Barbara, CA) Today, Life Legal Defense Foundation filed a civil suit in Santa Barbara County Superior Court on behalf of a group of pro-life students against the University of California and professor Mireille Miller-Young. In July, Miller-Young was criminally convicted of stealing and destroying the students’ property and assaulting one member of the group. The civil suit seeks compensation for physical battery, property theft and civil rights violations.

Despite Miller-Young’s conviction and clear evidence supporting it, the university did not publicly censure or reprimand her for the criminal actions. In fact, communications from university officials implied that the youth who had been peacefully engaged in advocating a pro-life worldview caused the incident.

Miller-Young’s assault on the group took place in early March on the Santa Barbara campus. The professor first verbally attacked and then forcibly took a sign from the young people who were in a free speech area exercising their right to educate the campus community about abortion and promote its alternatives. When some of the group tried to follow her, Miller-Young violently scratched the arms of one of them, 16-year-old Thrin Short. Now Short and ten others are seeking compensatory and punitive damages against Miller-Young and the University of California Santa Barbara. Also named as defendants in the suit are several students who assisted Miller-Young in the theft and destruction of the sign.

“This is a mature, supposedly educated woman charged by the University of California to convey knowledge, and instead she conveyed discrimination and intolerance. Not only was she out of line in attacking students, but she literally drew blood from a minor,” said Dana Cody, President and Executive Director, Life Legal Defense Foundation.

Read the Life Legal Defense Foundation civil complaint here.

Watch the video of Miller-Young’s March 4, 2014, theft, vandalism and assault on the pro-life students:

Additional background on the case is available here.

About Life Legal Defense Foundation

Life Legal Defense Foundation was established in 1989, and is a nonprofit organization composed of attorneys and other concerned citizens committed to giving helpless and innocent human beings of any age, and their advocates, a trained and committed voice in the courtrooms of our nation. For more information about the Life Legal Defense Foundation, visit