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Yet Another Lawsuit Against the Church


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7 hours ago, rockpond said:

It's an additional $100m since the report that cited the $2.2b figure.  Roughly (since this report stated "over $2.3" and the previous report stated "over $2.2").

But this year's report added this clarifying statement:

"These funds [presumably referring to the $2.3b since 1985] represent only a small part of the Church’s combined annual humanitarian and welfare aid expenditures (approaching $1 billion a year). These expenditures also include significant use of the faith’s fast offering fund, which local bishops use to help the poorest members of their congregations."

 

 

I've always wondered if this was a matter budget categories, because everything I was seeing said there was more  than the "since 1985" figures they report.  It just didn't make sense to me that it was so little since I was seeing so much going on and I knew that what I saw was only a small part. If this really is a small part I wonder why they only report that part.   

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18 minutes ago, Rain said:

If this really is a small part I wonder why they only report that part.   

Perhaps it makes it easier to  deal with individual countries.

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Rockpond is right.  As I understand it (and I certainly welcome correction, which will be swift in coming, no doubt, if I am mistaken :D) the "$2.3B since 1985" figure represents LDS Charities, which is a subset of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and of the Church's overall giving/humanitarian efforts.

Edited by Kenngo1969
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The Church's motion to dismiss the Gaddy lawsuit has been briefed and  argued and is currently under submission. Any idea how long the District Judge will take to rule in a case like this?  

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16 hours ago, topcougar said:

The Church's motion to dismiss the Gaddy lawsuit has been briefed and  argued and is currently under submission.

Yep.  Oral argument was on February 13.  

Quote

Any idea how long the District Judge will take to rule in a case like this?  

Within two months of oral argument is usually a safe bet.  

Also, Kay Burningham filed two additional documents with the Court in the days prior to the February 13 hearing.  I think these were procedurally problematic, as the briefing had closed and the request to submit had been filed, so I wouldn't be surprised if the Court declined to receive them.

In these documents Burningham cites a number of cases:

  1. United States v. Meyers, 95 F.3d 1475, 1482 (10th Cir. 1996).
  2. United States v. Hardman, 297 F.3d 1116 (10th Cir. 2002).
  3. United States v. Quaintance, 608 F.3d 717 (10th Cir. 2010).
  4. Archdiocese of Washington v. Washington Metro. Area Transit Auth., 281 F. Supp. 3d 88 (D.D.C. 2017), aff'd, 897 F.3d 314 (D.C. Cir. 2018).
  5. United States v. Stimler, 864 F.3d 253 (3d Cir. 2017), reh'g granted, opinion vacated in part sub nom. United States v. Goldstein, 902 F.3d 411 (3d Cir. 2018), and on reh'g sub nom. United States v. Goldstein, 914 F.3d 200 (3d Cir. 2019).
  6. Bistline v. Parker, 918 F.3d 849 (10th Cir. 2019).
  7. United States v. Seeger, 380 U.S. 163, 85 S. Ct. 850, 863, 13 L. Ed. 2d 733 (1965).
  8. United States v. Rasheed, 663 F.2d 843 (9th Cir. 1981).

Burningham states that she is belatedly submitting these cases to the court because she was not aware of them until after the Church's attorneys completed the reply brief (that is, until after the briefing schedule had closed).  

Burningham submitted these cases to support her theory that "allegations that {the Church's} agent/leaders did not sincerely believe those representations, are sufficient to adequately plead her fraud-based causes of action."

Well, no.  First, I don't think Burningham can circumvent the Ecclesiastical Abstention doctrine by saying, in essence, "My client is suing the Church for fraud, but I'm not asking this court to rule on the truth or falsity of the Church's religious claims, but to instead rule on whether the Church's leaders sincerely believe those religious claims."  

What the leaders of the Church believe, sincerely or otherwise, is not really relevant to a claim of fraud.  Here are the elements of a fraud claim in Utah:

(1) That a representation was made;
(2) concerning a presently existing material fact;
(3) which was false; 
(4) which the representor either
-(a) knew to be false, or
-(b) made recklessly, knowing that he had insufficient knowledge upon which to base such representation;
(5) for the purpose of inducing the other party to act upon it;
(6) that the other party, acting reasonably and in ignorance of its falsity; 
(7) did in fact rely upon it;
(8) and was thereby induced to act;
(9) to his injury and damage.

Prince v. Bear River Mut. Ins. Co., 2002 UT 68, ¶ 41, 56 P.3d 524 (citation and internal quotation marks omitted).

Note that the third element above is "falsity" (that is, Burningham must establish that the religious claims of the Church are factually false) whereas Burningham is focusing on the fourth element (that is, Burningham must establish that the "agent/leaders" of the Church did not sincerely believe the religious claims of the Church, apparently such that they "knew" those claims "to be false").

All nine elements of fraud must be proven, including falsity.  Asking the Court to adjudicate the Church's religious claims to determine whether they are factually "false" would run afoul of the Ecclesiastical Abstention doctrine.  Knowing that now, the foregoing cases don't really matter, and I don't see how the Court can allow the case to proceed.

Not only that, all nine elements of fraud must be established by clear and convincing evidence.

I think Burningham is going to lose this case.  It's just a matter of when.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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Since my name was dropped at the beginning of this thread...I need to respond to smax97 
 
1. The three plaintiffs are Lynnette Cook (Orem), Rodney Jay Vessels (Orem), and Julie Little Taggart (Salt Lake City).  AGREED.

2. The plaintiffs filed the complaint pro se (they are representing themselves, no attorney).  AGREED.

3. The lawsuit is based on the federal RICO statute ("Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations" Act).  This statute is used by the government to go after organized crime, gangs, etc.  It has a "civil" component as well, meaning that a private party can theoretically use it against another private party. IT IS NOT “THEORETICAL”—THE PLAINTIFFS  ARE PROPERLY SUING UNDER THE CIVIL RICO PROVISIONS A DEFENDANT THAT IS NOT A “PRIVATE PARTY.”

4. The gist of RICO is to go after groups of people who commit crimes as a group.  So the claimant (the plaintiffs) have to establish that the defendant (the Church) has engaged in "racketeering activity," which is one or more of the criminal offenses set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 1961.  So this is stuff like gambling, murder, kidnapping, extortion, arson, robbery, bribery, dealing in obscene matter, or dealing in a controlled substance, counterfeiting, money laundering, and so on.  These are the potential "predicate offenses."  The claimants can't just make vague allegations of misconduct.  They must specify what predicate offenses the Church has committed.  Moreover, they must show  "pattern" of such "racketeering activity" (at least two predicate offenses).  SMAC HAS NO CLUE RE THE STATUTORY PROVISIONS AND RIGHTS THAT PLAINTIFFS RELY ON.  THEIR ALLEGATIONS ARE MADE WITH SPECIFICITY AND ACCORDING TO THE REAL TRUTH AND WITH PRECISION AS TO THE PREDICATE ACTS REQUIRED.

The claimants must also must allege the existence of an "enterprise," which may be an illegitimate enterprise (e.g., a Mafia family) or a wholly legitimate enterprise (a corporation).  THIS IS TOTALLY INACCURATE.  THE ENTERPRISE CONSISTS OF A FOR PROFIT CORPORATION AND A CHURCH THAT IS CLAIMS TO BE A NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION—TWO SEPARATE ENTITIES THAT FORM AN ENTERPRISE.

5. The "predicate offenses" cited in complaint are mail fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1341), wire fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1343), and money laundering (18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1)(A)(i)).  SMAC HAS FALSELY LIMITED THE MULTIPLE PREDICATE OFFENSES THE PLAINTIFFS RELY ON.

6. This lawsuit, then, appears to be fairly similar to the Gaddy lawsuit we have been discussing for a while.  It appears to share the same fundamental flaws as exist in the Gaddy lawsuit, and will likely be summarily dismissed.  For example, paragraphs 125-139 talk about the content of the Book of Mormon, and then claims that the Church "totally ignores the powerful message of the BOM and inserts in its place false doctrines, including vain and foolish promises that families can be together forever, subject to false ordinances, rituals, temple attendance requirements, church attendance requirements, tithing requirements, and endless genealogies."  The claimants then state that "{t]he Church snares the souls of unexpectant victims, claiming that if the BOM is true, then the Church must be true," that "{m}embers are coerced" into paying tithing, that "{t}he BOM plays no role in the Church's doctrine, and thus, the Church uses a bait and switch tactic."   THE PLAINTIFFS  LAWSUIT IS TOTALLY DIFFERENT FROM GADDY AND WILL SURVIVE DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO DISMISS, PURSUANT TO RULE 12, WHICH SMAC HAS NO CLUE ABOUT.

7. In other words, this is a fraud lawsuit.  I have litigated many dozens of lawsuits predicated on a fraud theory.  They virtually always fail, most often at the very beginning of the lawsuit because the lawyer did such a poor job of vetting the claims and pleading them in the complaint, or else, as here, because the plaintiffs are not trained in the law, and hence don't know how to properly draft a complaint.  I eventually became so fed up with the sheer number of poorly-drafted fraud-based lawsuits that I wrote an article about it and had it published in the Utah Bar Journal:  A Primer on Pleading Fraud Claims in Utah.   SMAC HAS OFFERED A POORLY DRAFT RESPONSE TO THE PLAINTIFFS  LAWSUIT.

8. The complaint does not properly plead a fraud claim, nor does it properly please a RICO claim.  Moreover, the complaint only names the Church.  I don't think the Church can conspire with itself.  THE DEFENDANT IS THE CORPORATION OF THE FIRST PRESIDENCY.  THE ENTERPRISE IS BETWEEN THE DEFENDANT AND A SEPARATE NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION.

9. The truth or falsity of religious doctrines is a question that is virtually never addressed by the civil courts.  Civil courts are simply not interested in being a forum for people to argue about religious claims.  It's called the "Ecclesiastical Abstention Doctrine."  THE FIRST AMENDMENT DOES NOT PROTECT ACTS OF FRAUD.

10. The substantive defects in the complaint, and the Ecclesiastical Abstention Doctrine, will combine to make dismissal of this suit a near certainty. THERE IS NEAR CERTAINTY THAT PLAINTIFF’S COMPLAINT WILL SURVIVE THE MOTION TO DISMISS AND THAT DEFENDANT WILL SETTLE BEFORE ALLOWING ITS FALSE PROPHET TO BE DEPOSED..

11. The "Request for Relief" (the specific requests from the plaintiffs for the court to do something) is a doozy:

  Quote

WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs pray for the following relief:

An order for injunctive relief against the Church, prohibiting the Church from doing any of the following:

An order that the Church and its leaders and members are prohibited from claiming that the BOM is the "keystone" of the religion of the Church.

An order that the Church and its leaders, members and missionaries of the Church are prohibited from claiming that the BOM proves or is evidence of the truthfulness of the Church.

An order prohibiting the Church and its leaders, members, missionaries and members from claiming that the Church follows the teachings of the BOM.

An order prohibiting the Church from claiming that the tithing and offerings members give to the Church have had any benefit for those who are not members of the Church.

An order prohibiting the Church from claiming that it has done anything to truly help the poor and the needy outside of the members of the Church.

And order prohibiting the Church from claiming that it has done good for the poor that it has alleged to have helped through its so-called humanitarian efforts, when, in fact it has done great evil.

12. In a way, I sort of feel bad for these folks.  I hope they did not invest much time or emotional energy in this lawsuit. I FEEL SORRY FOR SMAC.

 

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Nvm...better to let Smac explain his reasoning.

Edited by Calm
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1 hour ago, Jeff Wangsgard said:

THERE IS NEAR CERTAINTY THAT PLAINTIFF’S COMPLAINT WILL SURVIVE THE MOTION TO DISMISS AND THAT DEFENDANT WILL SETTLE BEFORE ALLOWING ITS FALSE PROPHET TO BE DEPOSED..

Who is near certain it will survive?  And please explain why.

Serious question and not a challenge as I like to hear people's own POV firsthand rather than trying to figure it out through second and thirdhand sources.

Edited by Calm
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On 2/27/2020 at 3:28 PM, topcougar said:

The Church's motion to dismiss the Gaddy lawsuit has been briefed and  argued and is currently under submission. Any idea how long the District Judge will take to rule in a case like this?  

As long as it takes to wad it up and throw it in the trash can? 

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16 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Jeff?

I am assuming that, but wondering what leads him to that near certainty.  I am thinking the judge might have said something, past cases have been successful, legal experts have been consulted or shared their opinion, or something else.

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1 hour ago, Jeff Wangsgard said:

I FEEL SORRY FOR SMAC.

Did you say this Jeff?

Quote

...the doctrine of the church blatantly opposes the teachings of the Book of Mormon. Plaintiffs are prepared to prove that the church and the Book of Mormon are not united in doctrine and teachings and therefore, the church should have no claim to the BOM.

You are seriously going to try to prove this in court???

But, please do let us know how much the church settles for though......:rofl:

Edited by pogi
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3 hours ago, Jeff Wangsgard said:

WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs pray for the following relief:

An order for injunctive relief against the Church, prohibiting the Church from doing any of the following:

An order that the Church and its leaders and members are prohibited from claiming that the BOM is the "keystone" of the religion of the Church.

An order that the Church and its leaders, members and missionaries of the Church are prohibited from claiming that the BOM proves or is evidence of the truthfulness of the Church.

An order prohibiting the Church and its leaders, members, missionaries and members from claiming that the Church follows the teachings of the BOM.

An order prohibiting the Church from claiming that the tithing and offerings members give to the Church have had any benefit for those who are not members of the Church.

An order prohibiting the Church from claiming that it has done anything to truly help the poor and the needy outside of the members of the Church.

And order prohibiting the Church from claiming that it has done good for the poor that it has alleged to have helped through its so-called humanitarian efforts, when, in fact it has done great evil.

12. In a way, I sort of feel bad for these folks.  I hope they did not invest much time or emotional energy in this lawsuit. I FEEL SORRY FOR SMAC.

I am utterly flabbergasted.  Looking forward to seeing how this ends, though.

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3 minutes ago, Ahab said:

  Looking forward to seeing how this ends, though.

So am I.  

I hope Jeff will respond to the questions.  I am assuming his three visits to the thread but no additional posting so far means he is too busy right now....or perhaps he is waiting for Smac to respond.

Edited by Calm
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Nvm

Edited by Calm
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49 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I quoted your press release.

 

So these folks hired a PR person? Their money would would have been better spent hiring competent legal counsel — assuming they could have found one to take this dog of a case. 
 

Maybe Mr. Wangsgard is doing pro bono PR work for his pro se clients. 

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3 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

So these folks hired a PR person?

I believe they do their own PR from reading past articles about them.

Edited by Calm
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26 minutes ago, Calm said:

I believe they do their own PR from reading past articles about them.

So it’s pro se PR as well as pro se litigation. 
 

Thought so. 

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13 hours ago, smac97 said:

Also, the Church is very much "a 'private party.'"  It is not a government entity.  It's a private one.

Well, at least it is considered to be a "private party" by many in this world.  Actually it is the kingdom of God, or a representation of it on this planet, but I don't think anyone would be able to prove that in any secular court of law.  I think we can only know that through faith.

 

13 hours ago, smac97 said:

...I don't think the Court would even get into analyzing whether there is sufficient "particularity" in the Complaint because there is the threshold issue: Ecclesiastical Abstention.  The Courts are not interested in, and actually prohibited from, adjudicating doctrinal disputes.  That's all the Complaint is, really. 

Exactly, and that it is why I think any case like this would likely be thrown out of a secular court room.  On issues of faith regarding God, God is in charge of settling all disputes.

 

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Just now, Ahab said:
Quote

Also, the Church is very much "a 'private party.'"  It is not a government entity.  It's a private one.

Well, at least it is considered to be a "private party" by many in this world. 

Including the Church, I think.  The Church disclaims any civil authority (see D&C 134:10).

Just now, Ahab said:

Actually it is the kingdom of God, or a representation of it on this planet, but I don't think anyone would be able to prove that in any secular court of law.  I think we can only know that through faith.

For now I think it is important for the Church to emphasize its status as a private entity, and not one claiming any civil authority.

The Church is "the kingdom of God" only in an inchoate, religious sense.

Thanks,

-Smac

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16 hours ago, Calm said:

So am I.  

I hope Jeff will respond to the questions.  I am assuming his three visits to the thread but no additional posting so far means he is too busy right now....or perhaps he is waiting for Smac to respond.

Has Jeff been back since Smac responded?

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43 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Including the Church, I think.  The Church disclaims any civil authority (see D&C 134:10).

Any secular civil authority, I would say.  We are in the world but not of the world.  As our Lord has said, the kingdom of God is within us.  And we also believe our temples are just as holy if not more so than the Catholic church believes the Vatican is. 

Quote

For now I think it is important for the Church to emphasize its status as a private entity, and not one claiming any civil authority.

Right, I agree that we don't have any secular civil authority anywhere on this planet.  We exist within other countries and kingdoms with their own government bodies and we do not try to usury their civil authority, even when we would rather live higher laws.

Quote

The Church is "the kingdom of God" only in an inchoate, religious sense.

Thanks,

-Smac

Um, no, we are it as much as the kingdom of God is anywhere else.  We are not the whole of it, as if what is here on this planet is all that there is of it, but we are it.

If it helps, think of our various locations here, including our headquarters here, and our representatives here, as embassies and ambassadors of the Church/ kingdom of God.

I don't want to derail your thread here but I would like that point considered.  This is also about something that could not be proved in a secular court.

Edited by Ahab
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1 minute ago, Ahab said:
Quote

The Church is "the kingdom of God" only in an inchoate, religious sense.

Um, no, we are it as much as the kingdom of God is anywhere else. 

I disagree a bit here.  The "Kingdom of God," in its full flower, will exercise civil authority.  The Church, as presently constituted, does not do that.

Consider, for example, D&C 103 (emphasis added) :

Quote

1 Verily I say unto you, my friends, behold, I will give unto you a revelation and commandment, that you may know how to act in the discharge of your duties concerning the salvation and redemption of your brethren, who have been scattered on the land of Zion;
2 Being driven and smitten by the hands of mine enemies, on whom I will pour out my wrath without measure in mine own time.
3 For I have suffered them thus far, that they might fill up the measure of their iniquities, that their cup might be full;
4 And that those who call themselves after my name might be chastened for a little season with a sore and grievous chastisement, because they did not hearken altogether unto the precepts and commandments which I gave unto them.
5 But verily I say unto you, that I have decreed a decree which my people shall realize, inasmuch as they hearken from this very hour unto the counsel which I, the Lord their God, shall give unto them.
6 Behold they shall, for I have decreed it, begin to prevail against mine enemies from this very hour.
7 And by hearkening to observe all the words which I, the Lord their God, shall speak unto them, they shall never cease to prevail until the kingdoms of the world are subdued under my feet, and the earth is given unto the saints, to possess it forever and ever.

And Articles of Faith 1:10:

Quote

We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

See also this excerpt from the Church's "True to the Faith" manual:

Quote

One key element of the separation of church and state is the government’s responsibility to grant freedom of religion. Latter-day prophets support this principle, as stated in the eleventh article of faith: “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.” Consistent with the separation of church and state, the Church does not endorse any political party or candidate. It does not permit the use of its buildings and facilities for political purposes. The Church does not participate in politics unless there is a moral question at issue, in which case the Church will often speak out.

The Nephites were living in a quasi-theocracy (where some of the judges held both civil and religious authority).  We don't have that situation today. 

A pure theocracy - including civil authority - will happen in the future.  Meanwhile, however, the Church claims no civil authority for itself, and in fact specifically disclaims such.

Thanks,

-Smac

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On 3/3/2020 at 2:39 PM, Jeff Wangsgard said:

 

Since my name was dropped at the beginning of this thread...I need to respond to smax97 
 
1. The three plaintiffs are Lynnette Cook (Orem), Rodney Jay Vessels (Orem), and Julie Little Taggart (Salt Lake City).  AGREED.

2. The plaintiffs filed the complaint pro se (they are representing themselves, no attorney).  AGREED.

3. The lawsuit is based on the federal RICO statute ("Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations" Act).  This statute is used by the government to go after organized crime, gangs, etc.  It has a "civil" component as well, meaning that a private party can theoretically use it against another private party. IT IS NOT “THEORETICAL”—THE PLAINTIFFS  ARE PROPERLY SUING UNDER THE CIVIL RICO PROVISIONS A DEFENDANT THAT IS NOT A “PRIVATE PARTY.”

4. The gist of RICO is to go after groups of people who commit crimes as a group.  So the claimant (the plaintiffs) have to establish that the defendant (the Church) has engaged in "racketeering activity," which is one or more of the criminal offenses set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 1961.  So this is stuff like gambling, murder, kidnapping, extortion, arson, robbery, bribery, dealing in obscene matter, or dealing in a controlled substance, counterfeiting, money laundering, and so on.  These are the potential "predicate offenses."  The claimants can't just make vague allegations of misconduct.  They must specify what predicate offenses the Church has committed.  Moreover, they must show  "pattern" of such "racketeering activity" (at least two predicate offenses).  SMAC HAS NO CLUE RE THE STATUTORY PROVISIONS AND RIGHTS THAT PLAINTIFFS RELY ON.  THEIR ALLEGATIONS ARE MADE WITH SPECIFICITY AND ACCORDING TO THE REAL TRUTH AND WITH PRECISION AS TO THE PREDICATE ACTS REQUIRED.

The claimants must also must allege the existence of an "enterprise," which may be an illegitimate enterprise (e.g., a Mafia family) or a wholly legitimate enterprise (a corporation).  THIS IS TOTALLY INACCURATE.  THE ENTERPRISE CONSISTS OF A FOR PROFIT CORPORATION AND A CHURCH THAT IS CLAIMS TO BE A NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION—TWO SEPARATE ENTITIES THAT FORM AN ENTERPRISE.

5. The "predicate offenses" cited in complaint are mail fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1341), wire fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1343), and money laundering (18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1)(A)(i)).  SMAC HAS FALSELY LIMITED THE MULTIPLE PREDICATE OFFENSES THE PLAINTIFFS RELY ON.

6. This lawsuit, then, appears to be fairly similar to the Gaddy lawsuit we have been discussing for a while.  It appears to share the same fundamental flaws as exist in the Gaddy lawsuit, and will likely be summarily dismissed.  For example, paragraphs 125-139 talk about the content of the Book of Mormon, and then claims that the Church "totally ignores the powerful message of the BOM and inserts in its place false doctrines, including vain and foolish promises that families can be together forever, subject to false ordinances, rituals, temple attendance requirements, church attendance requirements, tithing requirements, and endless genealogies."  The claimants then state that "{t]he Church snares the souls of unexpectant victims, claiming that if the BOM is true, then the Church must be true," that "{m}embers are coerced" into paying tithing, that "{t}he BOM plays no role in the Church's doctrine, and thus, the Church uses a bait and switch tactic."   THE PLAINTIFFS  LAWSUIT IS TOTALLY DIFFERENT FROM GADDY AND WILL SURVIVE DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO DISMISS, PURSUANT TO RULE 12, WHICH SMAC HAS NO CLUE ABOUT.

7. In other words, this is a fraud lawsuit.  I have litigated many dozens of lawsuits predicated on a fraud theory.  They virtually always fail, most often at the very beginning of the lawsuit because the lawyer did such a poor job of vetting the claims and pleading them in the complaint, or else, as here, because the plaintiffs are not trained in the law, and hence don't know how to properly draft a complaint.  I eventually became so fed up with the sheer number of poorly-drafted fraud-based lawsuits that I wrote an article about it and had it published in the Utah Bar Journal:  A Primer on Pleading Fraud Claims in Utah.   SMAC HAS OFFERED A POORLY DRAFT RESPONSE TO THE PLAINTIFFS  LAWSUIT.

8. The complaint does not properly plead a fraud claim, nor does it properly please a RICO claim.  Moreover, the complaint only names the Church.  I don't think the Church can conspire with itself.  THE DEFENDANT IS THE CORPORATION OF THE FIRST PRESIDENCY.  THE ENTERPRISE IS BETWEEN THE DEFENDANT AND A SEPARATE NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION.

9. The truth or falsity of religious doctrines is a question that is virtually never addressed by the civil courts.  Civil courts are simply not interested in being a forum for people to argue about religious claims.  It's called the "Ecclesiastical Abstention Doctrine."  THE FIRST AMENDMENT DOES NOT PROTECT ACTS OF FRAUD.

10. The substantive defects in the complaint, and the Ecclesiastical Abstention Doctrine, will combine to make dismissal of this suit a near certainty. THERE IS NEAR CERTAINTY THAT PLAINTIFF’S COMPLAINT WILL SURVIVE THE MOTION TO DISMISS AND THAT DEFENDANT WILL SETTLE BEFORE ALLOWING ITS FALSE PROPHET TO BE DEPOSED..

11. The "Request for Relief" (the specific requests from the plaintiffs for the court to do something) is a doozy:

  Quote

WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs pray for the following relief:

An order for injunctive relief against the Church, prohibiting the Church from doing any of the following:

An order that the Church and its leaders and members are prohibited from claiming that the BOM is the "keystone" of the religion of the Church.

An order that the Church and its leaders, members and missionaries of the Church are prohibited from claiming that the BOM proves or is evidence of the truthfulness of the Church.

An order prohibiting the Church and its leaders, members, missionaries and members from claiming that the Church follows the teachings of the BOM.

An order prohibiting the Church from claiming that the tithing and offerings members give to the Church have had any benefit for those who are not members of the Church.

An order prohibiting the Church from claiming that it has done anything to truly help the poor and the needy outside of the members of the Church.

And order prohibiting the Church from claiming that it has done good for the poor that it has alleged to have helped through its so-called humanitarian efforts, when, in fact it has done great evil.

12. In a way, I sort of feel bad for these folks.  I hope they did not invest much time or emotional energy in this lawsuit. I FEEL SORRY FOR SMAC.

 

Jeff, stop.  Please.  Just stop.  You're embarrassing yourself.

SMAC is an attorney.  You are not. 

I am an attorney.  You are not.

In fact, I clerked in federal court.  I (meaning the judge) routinely threw out RICO claims better pled than this one.  This complaint sounds like an amateur tin-foil conspiracy rant.  It is really, really poor.  I don't mean to be offensive, but it is bad.  Really, really bad.

Edited by PacMan
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