The case, scheduled to be heard today at Chatsworth Courthouse, is the second First Amendment small-claims lawsuit filed by a CSUN student after the event.
Both allege the nonprofit Associated Students, Inc., which collects compulsory student fees for services, failed to serve all students when it prohibited Green Party candidate Michael Powelson from its 30th District candidate debate last spring.
"As a student, I feel my political views should be represented in any debate," said plaintiff Ankur Patel, 27, of Chatsworth, a graduate student and labor organizer. "I feel snowballed."
David Crandall, general manager for the Associated Students at CSUN, said he couldn't comment on pending litigation.
The April 30 debate at the Valley Performing Arts Center featured Democratic Reps. Brad Sherman and Howard Berman, and Republican challengers Mark Reed and Susan Shelley.
Despite requests by students, no registered third-party candidates were allowed.
When Powelson, a history professor who once taught at CSUN, protested the exclusion before the event, he and another Green Party member were shown the door.
When Green activist Michael McCue objected, debate moderator Bill Handel said, "Shoot that guy through the head.
When Powelson asked Handel why he was getting the straight arm, the shock jock on KFI-AM 640 reportedly barked, "We're kicking you out because we hate you."
The Associated Students bills itself as the primary advocate for students at CSUN. All registered students are members.
Patel, a political independent, is now running for Los Angeles city controller. He is seeking $100 in compensation for a portion of his student fees not used in the interest of all students.
He also subpoenaed all Associated Students records pertaining to the debate, which he said were made by a committee in private. A pre-debate statement by the event chairman said it would include only candidates likely to make it past the June primary.
The Associated Students, following a similar small-claims lawsuit last year, has agreed to invite all registered candidates to future election debates.
The bitter 30th District race won by Sherman last fall drew a national spotlight -- and a near-record $16.3 million in campaign spending.
Powelson, a socialist, said he should have been included in the public university debate.
"It was outrageous," said Powelson, 57, of Van Nuys, who teaches history at Los Angeles Valley College, Ventura College and Cal State Channel Islands. "We just begged, pleaded and implored ... They just stonewalled us.
"It's anti-democratic," he said. "We're creating a world where basic rights of free speech are being eliminated, because the public sphere is being diminished."