Judge Dismisses Atheist Harassment Suit
AP December 19, 2013: A judge is dismissing a lawsuit claiming churches owe more than $5.6 million in rental fees to Hawaii schools.
But the judge is allowing Hawaii Citizens for the Separation of Church and State founder Mitchell Kahle and public advocate Holly Huber to amend and refile the lawsuit.
Their attorney, James Bickerton, said the judge ruled today their lawsuit didn't contain the required level of detail for a case alleging fraud. He says he will file a more detailed lawsuit.
Religious liberty group Alliance Defending Freedom is representing two of the churches. Attorney Erik Stanley says the group will file another motion to dismiss if the lawsuit is refiled.
(Note: This was just a distraction to keep the churches off balance while the gay-atheists imposed a new family structure on Hawaii.)
read ... Atheist Trash Thrown Out
CP: Hawaii Judge Dismisses Atheists' Allegations of Church Fraud in Renting Public School Property
"The atheists are claiming that they can refile the complaint and allege fraud, but I've seen the evidence and they can't," Stanley declared. He insists that the churches did not commit fraud, but applied to use the school property, were given a rate, paid the rate, and used the facilities properly.
According to Stanley, although the atheists had no evidence, they filed the lawsuit in a desperate ploy to kick churches out of public schools.
"They admitted that they brought this case because they had read about the churches in New York that were being kicked out of public schools," he said.
Atheist Advertiser: Lack of details hobbles suit against churches
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Hawaii churches in court Thursday to seek dismissal of atheists’ baseless lawsuit
Kahle v. New Hope International Ministries
News Release from ADF Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Two atheists have falsely accused five Hawaii churches of defrauding the government in a lawsuit filed in state court. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and allied attorneys are defending two of the five. The lawsuit claims the churches committed fraud by paying substandard rent to the public schools in which they meet even though the school districts themselves agree that the churches have consistently paid all agreed-upon rents. The atheists, Mitchell Kahle and Holly Huber, filed their suit under the state’s False Claims Act. The law allows “whistleblowers” with inside information to expose fraudulent billing by government contractors; however, the lawsuit fails to cite a single instance in which the churches submitted a false statement to defraud the government. The existence of a false claim is a necessary element of a False Claims Act complaint. Kahle and Huber also fail to meet several other requirements of the law.
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys will be available for media interviews following a hearing Thursday concerning their motion to dismiss a lawsuit against two Oahu churches. The two churches are among five which two atheists have falsely accused of defrauding the government.
The suit claims the churches committed fraud by paying substandard rent to the public schools in which they meet even though the school districts agree that the churches have consistently paid all agreed-upon rents.
“Churches who serve the neediest in their communities should be welcomed, not driven out by false accusations,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley, who will argue before the court Thursday. “This lawsuit’s claims are false and driven by an agenda that is hostile to churches. The undeniable fact is that these churches were at all times truthful and have paid all required rent to the schools.”
“These churches have not only faithfully paid all of their rent, they’ve sacrificially given much more in service and funding to the schools and communities they love,” added co-counsel James Hochberg of Honolulu, one of nearly 2,300 allied attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom.
The atheists, Mitchell Kahle and Holly Huber, filed their suit, Kahle v. New Hope International Ministries, with Hawaii’s Circuit Court of the First Circuit under the state’s False Claims Act. The law allows “whistleblowers” with inside information to expose fraudulent billing by government contractors; however, the lawsuit fails to cite a single instance in which the churches submitted a false statement to defraud the government.
The motion to dismiss, filed in October on behalf of One Love Ministries and Calvary Chapel Central Oahu, explains that Kahle and Huber “have failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted because they have not alleged and cannot allege that there were any false claims by One Love or Calvary Chapel. Because the existence of a false claim is a necessary element of a False Claims Act complaint, and because [Kahle’s and Huber’s] allegations, even if taken as true, demonstrate that no false claim exists (or can exist), their Complaint must be dismissed.”
The motion also explains that Hawaii’s False Claims Act requires that those bringing suit under the act be the original source of the information upon which they are filing suit and that the allegations be highly particular. The motion points out that Kahle and Huber do not meet either of these requirements.
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.