Congregation in PA sues over mandatory reporting

by Corney 40 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • Corney

    Ivy Hill congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses is currently suing the PA Department of Human Services. It requests "a declaration that its elders are entitled to" clergy privilege, or, in the alternative,

    to the extent that the clergyman privilege is determined to exclude its elders on the basis that they are "members of [a] religious organization[] in which members other than the leader thereof are deemed clergymen or ministers," the Court declare the statute to be unconstitutional

    While the congregation claims it needs clarity, especially in light of the recent prosecution of an Amish bishop, I'm wondering whether the case has something to do with the grand jury investigation.

    The congregation is represented by Kleinbard LLC, a top law firm involved in multiple high profile cases on behalf of, among others, the Commonwealth itself, its Senate majority, state congressmen, various state and municipal agencies, Catholic dioceses.

  • road to nowhere
    road to nowhere

    I smell higher ups in this one. Not enough money locally and they can't even vacuum the hall without permission

    This hopefully has to hit the news

  • BluesBrother

    I agree with the last post…. This would have come from HQ…

    they want clergy privilege?

    First question should be “ Does your organisation have a clergyman class?”

    Answer ..No.

    end of.

  • Smiles

    1994 Watchtower August 15

    "in countries such as the United States and Canada, religion’s coffers are being drained by the high costs of litigation and judgments against clergy, resulting from their licentious conduct with children and adults.​—Matthew 23:1-3."

  • ScenicViewer

    @ Smiles,

    Would you care to supply a page number for that Watchtower quote? Thanks.

  • Ding

    A few years ago, I talked with a Pennsylvania elder who assured me that the WT obeys mandatory reporting laws.

    I wonder what he's thinking now... or if he's thinking...

  • zachias

    Yes they obey. sort of.

    If the law does not require m.r. then they dont report and in wt logic(!) they consider they are obeying the laws.

    re clergy privilige.--They tried to pull that one on at the CARC in 2015 here in Australia and it flopped, big time. As the justice said you claim one thing in your publications then want to claim the oppositte (when the going gets hot) you cant have it both ways.

  • TD

    The quote from the '94 Watchtower was from page 11, paragraph 4

  • Corney

    The case was dismissed today on jurisdictional grounds:

    The record does not establish that DHS opposes, has sued, or threatened to sue Ivy Hill. Similar to Ruszin, in which the Court held the petitioner did not have an “antagonistic claim indicating imminent [and] inevitable litigation,” nothing of record here establishes or otherwise indicates imminent and inevitable litigation between DHS and Ivy Hill. Cf. Ruszin, 675 A.2d at 371. Indeed, as discussed in further detail below, DHS cannot even initiate litigation regarding the CPSL. Therefore, we agree with DHS that we may decline to exercise our jurisdiction under the DJA and dismiss Ivy Hill’s petition for review. See Brouillette, 213 A.3d at 357. We also agree with DHS’s second argument that the requested declaratory relief would not terminate the controversy.
  • ThomasMore

    I am stunned that Watchtower attorneys thought they could sue without standing. This confirms to me that they lack credible counsel in their dept now.

    As for the clergy claim, JWs have boasted for many decades that they have no clergy. In the ROC, they tried to reverse course but got called out on it. In other cases, they also dragged in that claim and got shot down by the opposition. By now they should know that their published material will always be used against them when they make that claim.

    I hear that 2 of their attorneys are facing loss of license to practice due to misconduct in a case (in the US of course). We shall see what the outcome is and how it affects morale/actions. Should be interesting.

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