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Mary Trump and Her Publisher Immediately Appeal Court Order That Halted Publication of Tell-All Book


WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 24: U.S. President Donald Trump looks on at a joint news conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda in the Rose Garden of the White House on June 24, 2020 in Washington, DC. Duda, who faces a tight re-election contest in four days, is Trump's first world-leader visit from overseas since the coronavirus pandemic began. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Attorneys for President Donald Trump’s niece and her publisher filed separate notices of appeal Tuesday afternoon after a New York State trial judge halted the publication of the niece’s┬ápromised tell-all book about the Trump family.

Dutchess County Supreme Court Judge Hal B. Greenwald earlier Tuesday agreed to a preliminary injunction against niece Mary L. Trump and publisher Simon & Schuster. The judge’s order basically forbids the publishing of the book or the leaking any of its contents pending further judicial proceedings. President Trump’s brother, Robert S. Trump, is leading the litigation on behalf of the Trump family.

The first notice of appeal, filed by Simon & Schuster at 1:20 p.m., reads relevantly as follows:

This is an appeal from an order prohibiting Simon & Schuster, Inc. (“Simon & Schuster”) from continuing to publish, print, or distribute the book Too Much and Never Enough by Mary S. Trump . . . until the parties have fully briefed and the court has decided Plaintiff’s Motion for a Preliminary Injunction.

The issue, as the attorneys state it, is “[w]hether the [trial judge’s] Order constitutes an unconstitutional prior restraint of Simon & Schuster’s rights under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 8 of the New York Constitution.”

The second notice of appeal, filed by Mary L. Trump at 2:26 p.m., reads virtually identically but adds the issue of whether Robert S. Trump “has satisfied his burden to establish the factors of a temporary restraining order.”

The appeals documents seek to take the case to the Appellate Division, Second Department, which sits in Brooklyn.

First Amendment prior restraint jurisprudence is well established; it recently became an issue in a book published by former ambassador and former Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton. A federal judge in that case recently refused to block publication of Bolton’s book because prior restraints upon publication are usually nearly impossible to secure. Here, however, it is the Trump family, not the government, seeking to enforce the restraint. The family’s claims are based upon contracts Mary L. Trump signed when the estate of Trump patriarch Fred C. Trump was settled. The Trump family’s argument, in short, is likely to be that Mary L. Trump restrained herself by signing those agreements and cannot easily escape them now that her uncle is the president.

The original complaint in the case seeks specific performance by Mary L. Trump to shut down the publication of her book, breach of contract, and a declaratory judgment which would agree that Mary L. Trump’s statements violate her settlement agreement with Fred C. Trump’s estate. The Trump family’s lawsuit seeks ultimately to permanently prevent the book from ever being published, damages, costs, and other relief which may be proper.

Read the notices of appeal below (Law&Crime has combined both filings for ease):

Trump v Trump Notices of Appeal by Law&Crime on Scribd

[photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]

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Aaron Keller holds a juris doctor degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a broadcast journalism degree from Syracuse University. He is a former anchor and executive producer for the Law&Crime Network and is now deputy editor-in-chief for the Law&Crime website. DISCLAIMER:  This website is for general informational purposes only. You should not rely on it for legal advice. Reading this site or interacting with the author via this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. This website is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Speak to a competent lawyer in your jurisdiction for legal advice and representation relevant to your situation.