In 2009, Judge Heartfield presided over Doe v. Silsbee Independent School District. The plaintiff ("H.S.") was a cheerleader who was ordered by her high school to cheer for a football and basketball player named Rakheem Bolton, who she had accused of raping her and who had pleaded guilty to assaulting her. H.S. refused and was kicked off the team. She sued, claiming a violation of her First Amendment right to free speech. Judge Heartfield granted the school district's motion to dismiss. Judge Heartfield's decision was affirmed by Judges Edith Brown Clement, Emilio M. Garza, and Priscilla Owen of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. H.S. was ordered to pay the school $45,000 in legal fees for filing a "frivolous" lawsuit.