The Montana Supreme Court judges unanimously (7-0) decided to reverse the District Court's verdict in favor of Jehovah's Witnesses.
"We hold accordingly that .... Jehovah’s Witnesses were not mandatory reporters under § 41-3-201, MCA, in this case because their church doctrine, canon, or practice required that clergy keep reports of child abuse confidential, thus entitling the Defendants to the exception of § 41-3-201(6)(c), MCA.
The District Court erred in ruling that Jehovah’s Witnesses were under a mandatory duty to report Peter or Holly McGowan’s disclosure of Maximo’s abuse and thus were negligent per se for violating § 41-3-201, MCA."
Following are the case document and the decision summaries:
Not good news and evil prevails.
Damn it, they slithered off the hook.
One step forward, two steps backward.
The evil ones, the GovBod (piss be upon them), seem to have wriggled out of this one.
Dear Mr Zalkin...............
This is just horrific - I'm not shocked with the power religions have on their side in this country. Couldn't he prove it's really a real estate business - they do no charity nor contribute anything to society. Actually cause horror to most of their adherents. Darn laws always protecting religion.
I wonder why the courts overlooked the fact that for a very long time the Watchtower said they don't have any clergy in their publications.
First, the "real estate business" argument would be frivolous and irelevant. Secondly, it wouldn't help the case because there is no general duty to report in Montana, only some professionals and officials, including clergy members, are mandatory reporters:
Because it's irrelevant.
Watchtower said they don't have any clergy in their publications.
Actually its the victim's lawyer who built the case with the premise that elders are clergy and hence mandatory reporters under section 41-3-201(2)(h)
I guess if you argue that Watchtower elders are not clergy, then under what profession would you classify an elder into?
If under no profession amongst the sections, then they become non-mandatory reporters and the whole case will fall flat even before it begins.
Disgusting and sad for the victims.