How to sue the WT over shunning policy. It CAN happen!

by Bad_Wolf 224 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • JC323

    Grunwald v Bornfreund

    Eastern District Court of New York 696 F.Supp. 838

    In action under RICO and state law, plaintiff moved for writ of mandate prohibiting rabbinical congress and defendants from making any efforts to have plaintiff withdraw action and submit it to rabbinical court and from excommunicating plaintiff, his counsel and staff. The District Court, Sifton, J., held that: (1) it was beyond the powers of court to stop excommunication so long as excommunicationresults of nothing more than plaintiff being excluded from his religious community, and (2) allegations that plaintiff will suffer battery, trespass or theft in the absence of religious prohibition against those acts did not warrant injunction in absence of showing that such injury was imminent or likely.

    Hutterville Hutterian Brethren, inc v Waldner

    Supreme Court of South Dakota 791 N.W. 2d 169

    Background: Members of one faction of communal religious colony brought action against opposing faction, seeking resolution of governance dispute. The Fifth Judicial Circuit Court, Brown County, Jack R. Von Wald), J., dismissed complaint for lack of jurisdiction, concluding that the matter involved a religious dispute. Plaintiff faction appealed.

    Holding: The Supreme Court, Zinter), J., held that state courts had no jurisdiction to consider governance dispute between the factions, as resolution of the governance question was dependent upon resolution of religious disputes.

    Tran v Fiorenza

    Court of Appeals of Texas, Houston (1st District) 934 S.W. 2d 740

    Priest brought defamation action against bishop and diocese of church, to recover for communications by bishop that priest was excommunicated. The 333rd District Court, Harris County, J.S. Blackburn, J., granted summary judgment for bishop and diocese. The Court of Appeals, Taft), J., held that issue of whether priest was actually excommunicated was ecclesiastical matter, such that First Amendment barred action.

    Korean Presbyterian Church of Seattle Normalization Committee v Lee

    Court of Appeals of Washington Division 1 75 Wash.App. 833

    Excommunicated church members sued church and church officials for tort of outrage for announcing excommunications to congregation from pulpit. The Superior Court, Snohomish County, Larry McKeeman), J., denied defendants' motion for summary judgment. Plaintiffs appealed. The Court of Appeals, Kennedy), J., held that ecclesiastical abstention doctrine precluded recovery.

    O’Connor v Diocese of Honolulu

    Supreme Court of Hawaii 77 Hawai’I 383

    Catholic newspaper publisher brought action against diocese and various diocesan officials, claiming that he was wrongfully excommunicateddue to diocese's opposition to views expressed in his newspaper. The First Circuit Court, City and County of Honolulu, dismissed with prejudice, and publisher appealed. The Supreme Court, Moon), C.J., held that ecclesiastical abstention doctrine embodied in both State and Federal Constitutions barred state court from addressing any of publisher's claims because their resolution would require resolution of controversies over church doctrine, law, or polity.

    Ming Tung v China Buddhist Association

    Supreme Court,Appellate Division, Fist Department, New York 124 A.D. 3d 13

    Background: Members of religious organization until they were excommunicatedcommenced proceeding under Article 78, seeking an order directing organization to hold an annual membership meeting, as required by its bylaws, appoint a receiver to determine names and addresses of all its members eligible to vote, and hold a vote regarding its future. The Supreme Court, New York County, Geoffrey D. Wright), J., 2012 WL 11946612), granted the petition to extent of invalidating organization's membership meeting and directing that another general meeting be held with members included. Organization appealed.

    Holding: The Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Gische), J., held that members' petition presented nonjusticiable religious issues that could not be resolved through application of neutral principles of law.

    Anderson V Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc.

    Court of Appeals of Tennessee 2007 WL 161035 (Only the westlaw citation is currently available)

    No Synopsis is available on Westlaw at this time

    You may want to make special note of this one as the suit was for intentional infliction of emotional distress

    Marks v Estate of Hartgerink

    Surpeme Court of Iowa 528 N.W.2d 539

    After he was disciplined and ultimately excommunicated by church, former member brought action against church officials for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Church officials moved for summary judgment, and the District Court, Butler County, B.H. McKinley), J., granted motion. Former member appealed, and the Supreme Court, Andreasen), J., held that: (1) decision of church to excommunicatemember was purely ecclesiastical decision with which court would not interfere; (2) letters which had been sent only to member had not been published and could not give rise to defamation action; (3) oral communications to other church members that member had been disciplined and excommunicated were true and were absolutely protected; (4) qualified privilege attaches to statements made in context of church disciplinary proceeding or during course of ecclesiastical trial; (5) statements were not made with actual malice and were privileged as evidence presented to establish actual malice was evidence of conduct of persons who were not defendants and was irrelevant; and (6) conduct of church officials did not give rise to action for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

  • poopie
    Us. M?mmmmmmmmm
  • JC323

    Hadnot v Shaw

    Supreme Court of Oklahoma 826 P.2d 978

    Excommunicated members of church brought tort action against church and lay leaders. The District Court, Grady County, James R. Winchester), J., granted summary judgment for defendants, and appeal was taken. The Supreme Court, Opala), C.J., held that: (1) summary judgment was not prematurely rendered, and (2) parishioners were entitled to opportunity to discover whether conduct outside of church's First Amendment privilege occurred.

    Davis v Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

    Supreme Court of Montana 258Mont. 286

    Church member sued church for breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and negligent misrepresentation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The District Court, Eleventh Judicial District, Flathead County, Leif B. Erickson), J., dismissed all claims except that for breach of fiduciary duty, and both parties appealed. The Supreme Court, Weber), J., held that: (1) court properly dismissed claims; (2) fact issues precluded summary judgment on fiduciary duty claim; (3) evidence of religious sanctions imposed was inadmissible; (4) member could recover for pain and suffering; and (5) doctrine of charitable immunity did not exist in Montana.

    You may want to make special note of this one as the suit was for intentional infliction of emotional distress

    Thomas v Fuerst

    Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, Fifth Division 345Ill.App.3d 929

    Background: Plaintiff, a member of an orthodox Jewish community, brought claims of libel, violation of due process, and intentional infliction of emotional distress against members of rabbinic court in connection with plaintiff's excommunication from community. The Circuit Court, Cook County, Lynn M. Egan), J., granted motion to dismiss. Plaintiff appealed.

    Holdings: The Appellate Court, Sheila M. O'Brien), J., held that:

    1 libel claims were barred by First Amendment because truth or falsity of statements at issue could not be determined without extensive inquiry into religious law and polity;

    2 excommunication did not violate due process; and

    3 excommunication was not so outrageous as to support claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

    You may want to make special note of this one as the suit was for intentional infliction of emotional distress

    Guinn V church of Christ of Collinsville

    Supreme Court of Oklahoma 775P.2d 766

    Former member of religious congregation brought personal injury action against church elders for their alleged “invasion of privacy” and “intentional infliction of emotional distress” in continuing to denounce member as “fornicator” even after she had withdrawn from church. The District Court, Tulsa County, Tony M. Graham, J., entered judgment in favor of plaintiff, and defendants appealed. The Supreme Court, Opala, V.C.J., held that: (1) elders' disciplinary actions against member of church congregation prior to her withdrawal from church, consisting of their meetings with member to confront her with her sin and to request that she repent, were shielded from judicial scrutiny by free exercise clause of First Amendment; (2) elders' continued denunciation of member after she had withdrawn from church was not protected by First Amendment; and (3) church elders did not enjoy either an absolute or a qualified privilege to continue to denounce member after she had terminated membership in church.

    You may want to make special note of this one as the suit was for intentional infliction of emotional distress

    Burgess v Rock Creek Baptist Church

    United States Distict Court, District of Columbia 734F.Supp. 30

    Former church member brought suit against church and its officials seeking declaratory and injunctive relief and damages for the defendants' alleged intentional infliction of emotional distress in terminating her membership and treating her as a nonmember. Upon defendants' motion for summary judgment, the District Court, Charles R. Richey, J., held that dispute regarding propriety of church officials' termination of plaintiff's church membership was a matter of “ecclesiastical cognizance” that district court was precluded from adjudicating pursuant to separation of church and state compelled by First Amendment.

    Pfeil v St Matthews Evangelical Lutheran Church of Unaltered Augsburg Confession of Worthington

    Supreme Court of Minnesota 877N.W.2d 528

    Background: Former parishioners brought action against church and its pastors for defamation and negligence. The District Court, Nobles County, dismissed claims. Former parishioners appealed. The Court of Appeals, 2015 WL 134055), affirmed. Former parishioners sought review.

    Holding: The Supreme Court, Anderson), J., held that under First Amendment, pastors and church were not liable for statements made during course of formal church discipline proceedings.

    Williams v Gleason

    Court of Appeals of Texas, Houston (14th District) 26 S.W. 3d54

    Church members filed claims against church's elders and others for libel, slander, and other torts related to disciplinary action brought by church's elders against members. The District Court, Harris County, Katie Kennedy), J., entered summary judgment for defendants. Members appealed. The Court of Appeals, Joe L. Draughn, J. (Assigned), held that: (1) members failed to establish prima facie tort case against individual defendants given that appellate court was constitutionally prohibited from exercising subject matter jurisdiction over ecclesiastical dispute, and (2) members could not involve state in ecclesiastical government by using civil justice system to review ecclesiastical judicatory's action.

  • JC323

    Cassell v Christin Science Board of Directors

    Appeals Court of Massachusetts 81Mass.App.Ct 1114 (Unplublisehd Opinion)

    No synopsis available at this time

  • poopie

    Check out article in the econmist entitled across Europe the practice of islamic familey law is under pressure. This could have implications on shunning at least in Europe.

  • Brokeback Watchtower
    Brokeback Watchtower

    Thanks JC3, I value your contribution to this thread.

  • poopie

    Stop looking for us law look to the eurpeans. They are more concerned with human rights.

  • poopie

    Aricle dated dec 20th 2018

  • JC323

    European law may have more on civil rights but also reasons and valuation on civil suits is reduced. For example, the reason the Australian redress scheme max is at 150k or so is because that is about the max one can get in a civil trial.

  • Drearyweather
    That is the question that some inventive lawyer will have to answer not me.

    and thats were the problem lies. Lawyers are after money not after the Watchtowers policies. Why do you think lawyers are after Child abuse policies and not after shunning policies? There are far far more victims of shunning than that of child abuse.

    To sue the Watchtower over shunning, you need to have a victim and a lawyer who have lots of money and time and a willingness to accept defeat.

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