Court Cases Articles - Examining the World Mission Society Church of God https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/category/court-cases/ An in depth look at the World Mission Society Church of God Sat, 20 May 2023 23:57:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/ex-content/uploads/2020/03/cropped-Examining-updated-favicon-32x32.png Court Cases Articles - Examining the World Mission Society Church of God https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/category/court-cases/ 32 32 WMSCOG vs. Michele Colón – FULL COURT AUDIO – Part 1 https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/wmscog-vs-michele-colon-full-court-audio-part-1/ https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/wmscog-vs-michele-colon-full-court-audio-part-1/#comments Sat, 20 May 2023 23:57:01 +0000 https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/?p=128798 World Mission Society Church Of God vs. Michele Colón full court audio (January 11, 2013) Additional Court Audio available on the Answering The WMSCOG YouTube channel.]]>

World Mission Society Church Of God vs. Michele Colón full court audio (January 11, 2013)

Additional Court Audio available on the Answering The WMSCOG YouTube channel.

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WMSCOG Admits To Suing Michele Colón First https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/wmscog-admits-to-suing-michele-colon-first/ https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/wmscog-admits-to-suing-michele-colon-first/#respond Mon, 12 Dec 2022 22:42:33 +0000 https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/?p=128593 During a Ronan Farrow interview with missionary John Powers, the WMSCOG lawyer admits that the church sued Michele Colón before she sued the church.]]>

During a Ronan Farrow interview with missionary John Powers, the WMSCOG lawyer admits that the church sued Michele Colón before she sued the church.

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Gonzalez v. WMSCOG NJ Case — BER-L-1025-18 The Complaint https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/gonzalez-v-wmscog-nj-case-ber-l-1025-18-the-complaint/ https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/gonzalez-v-wmscog-nj-case-ber-l-1025-18-the-complaint/#respond Tue, 07 Jun 2022 02:21:39 +0000 https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/?p=128237 On December 22, 2017, former World Mission Society Church of God deacon, Raymond Gonzalez asked a New Jersey Court to rule that the non-disclosure he signed during his membership in the WMSCOG, be declared unenforceable. The non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is attached to the end of the complaint below. Click here for the decision in this […]]]>

On December 22, 2017, former World Mission Society Church of God deacon, Raymond Gonzalez asked a New Jersey Court to rule that the non-disclosure he signed during his membership in the WMSCOG, be declared unenforceable. The non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is attached to the end of the complaint below. Click here for the decision in this case.

Gonzalez-Complaint

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World Mission Society Church of God Appeal In NDA Case Denied https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/world-mission-society-church-of-god-appeal-in-nda-case-denied/ https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/world-mission-society-church-of-god-appeal-in-nda-case-denied/#respond Sat, 16 Apr 2022 18:20:35 +0000 https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/?p=128008 On February 24, 2022, the Appellate Court of New Jersey issued a ruling on an appeal that the World Mission Society Church of God filed after the Superior Court ruled against them in Gonzalez v. WMSCOG – NJ Case BER-L-1025-18. In that case, former member Raymond Gonzalez asked the Court to declare the non-disclosure agreement […]]]>

On February 24, 2022, the Appellate Court of New Jersey issued a ruling on an appeal that the World Mission Society Church of God filed after the Superior Court ruled against them in Gonzalez v. WMSCOG – NJ Case BER-L-1025-18. In that case, former member Raymond Gonzalez asked the Court to declare the non-disclosure agreement that he signed unenforceable, and ultimately prevailed against the WMSCOG. The Court found that the NDA is invalid, unenforceable and void for numerous reasons. The Superior Court’s decision and accompanying written opinion are available here.

Unsatisfied with the Superior Court’s ruling (referred to as trial court below), the World Mission Society Church of God filed and appeal. The Appellate Court denied the the World Mission Society Church of God’s appeal and concluded:

“Finally, we note that World Mission made numerous contentious arguments on this appeal. Many of those arguments contained mischaracterizations of the record, hyperbole, or exaggerations. To the extent that we have not addressed specific arguments raised by World Mission, it is because we deem them insufficient to merit discussion in a written opinion. See R. 2:11-3(e)(1)(E). We note, in that regard, that World Mission focused its arguments on appeal on three orders (the orders entered on February 5, 2019, May 13, 2019, and February 20, 2020) but also argued that “practically every single determination” made by the trial court was an error. Having reviewed World Mission’s arguments, we discern no basis for reversing any order entered by the trial court.”

Judges Gilson, Gooden Brown and Gummer Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

The complete opinion is available below.

REGULAR-OPINION-OPN-AFFIRMED

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The WMSCOG Tries To Silence Critics With Subpoenas To YouTube & Zoom – Epic Fail https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/the-wmscog-tries-to-silence-critics-with-subpoenas-to-youtube-zoom-epic-fail/ https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/the-wmscog-tries-to-silence-critics-with-subpoenas-to-youtube-zoom-epic-fail/#respond Wed, 10 Jun 2020 23:20:52 +0000 https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/?p=127566 On June 2, 2020, the World Mission Society Church of God in New Jersey served subpoenas on YouTube and Zoom in two pending cases against them in the Superior Court of New Jersey. The subpoenas sought to obtain communications and private information of nine WMSCOG critics, most of whom are former members. Watch a Zoom […]]]>

On June 2, 2020, the World Mission Society Church of God in New Jersey served subpoenas on YouTube and Zoom in two pending cases against them in the Superior Court of New Jersey. The subpoenas sought to obtain communications and private information of nine WMSCOG critics, most of whom are former members. Watch a Zoom meeting between some of the individuals subpoenaed, with a guest appearance by attorney Peter L. Skolnik, recorded prior to receiving YouTube’s response today.

Copies of both subpoenas and YouTube’s response are available below.

How did Google respond to the World Mission Society Church of God’s subpoena? With this letter.

YouTube-Subpoena-Response

Subpoenas to YouTube and Zoom

YouTube-Zoom-Subpoenas

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The World Mission Society Church of God In LA Filed Suit Against Protestors https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/the-world-mission-society-church-of-god-in-la-filed-suit-against-protestors/ https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/the-world-mission-society-church-of-god-in-la-filed-suit-against-protestors/#respond Thu, 05 Mar 2020 00:21:54 +0000 https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/?p=126232 Former World Mission Society Church Of God Deaconess Diane Sims Speaks Out About Her ExperienceThe World Mission Society Church of God in California filed a complaint in Los Angeles County for injunctive relief (a court ordered prohibition of an act, in this case to stop protesting in front of the church) against protestors on April 12, 2013. The complaint alleges that protestors “engaged in a concerted effort to harass, […]]]> Former World Mission Society Church Of God Deaconess Diane Sims Speaks Out About Her Experience

The World Mission Society Church of God in California filed a complaint in Los Angeles County for injunctive relief (a court ordered prohibition of an act, in this case to stop protesting in front of the church) against protestors on April 12, 2013. The complaint alleges that protestors “engaged in a concerted effort to harass, annoy, and intimidate Church members who had come to observe the Sabbath” (page 6). According to the complaint, Diane Sims (former Deaconess of the WMSCOG in Los Angeles and Denver) her husband Jeff Sims, Renita Payno and other former members gathered to protest outside of the Reseda, California location on more than one occasion.

What was the reason for the protests?

Generally, both Mrs. Sims and Ms. Payno, expressed that the protests were to raise public awareness about what they experienced in the World Mission Society Church of God (see their combined response pages 202 and 228 respectively).

Here is a video of Mrs. Sims speaking about her experience as a deaconess in the World Mission Society Church of God and the reasons she ultimately left the organization. The video was released on YouTube in February of 2013, but was taken down some months later.

Here is a video that Ms. Payno shared on YouTube. Judge for yourself if their protesting efforts were anything like what the World Mission Society Church of God described to the Court.

Did the World Mission Society Church of God win this case?

No. The motions filed by the World Mission Society Church of God were denied by the Court on June 20, 2013 (pages 258-261). Then the World Mission Society Church of God requested that their case be dismissed by the Court on January 14, 2014 (page 306). The preceding case summary and the following analysis are for informational purposes only. The entire case file is available below.

The Complaint

The WMSCOG asked the Court for an order to stop protestors from:

  • trespassing on Plaintiffs property, including but not limited to the Reseda Church, the Sunland Church, and the LA Church;
  • obstructing Church members who are attempting to enter or exit Church property;
  • congregating, marching, or otherwise protesting on the sidewalk adjacent to any Church property. Instead, Defendants may congregate, march, and otherwise protest at an alternative site on the sidewalk or paved shoulder area across the street from any Church property;
  • shouting, yelling, or chanting in front of any Church property in a manner or at a volume or decibel level that interferes with normal Church activities; (pages 9-10)

Application for a Temporary Restraining Order

On April 12, 2013, the Court held a hearing on the ex-parte (emergency order) applications for a temporary restraining order (TRO) filed along with the complaint by the World Mission Society Church of God (page 25). Several WMSCOG members filed declarations (sworn statements) in support of the application filed by the group ((Treavor Sellnow (page 40), Anthony Martin (deacon) (page 43) and Rudy Molina (deacon) (page 45)). The Order states:

Pursuant to the stipulation of the Defendants, the Court orders the following: The Defendants are not to interfere with the congregations entrance and exit from the church, they are to stand away from the front of the church and they are to keep their voices down in a quiet, non-offensive manner.

page 3

But does this mean that the WMSCOG was granted injunctive relief, as members have said on social media? No. It would appear from the record that the Defendants and the WMSCOG agreed to terms during the hearing that were then memorialized in the Court’s order but ultimately, the WMSCOG’s requests for a restraining order were denied.

Application for “Contempt”

The WMSCOG’s application to find the Defendants in contempt for alleged violations of the April 12, 2013 order (page 3), was denied on April 30, 2013 (page 58).

Multiple Applications Filed Requesting the Court to Find the Defendants in Contempt and for Sanctions

The World Mission Society Church of God was very persistent in its excessive filings with the Court. Despite their ex-parte applications for contempt and for a TRO being denied, they continued repeatedly filling almost identical motions.

  • On April 30, 2013, the WMSCOG filed motions against Ms. Payno (page 59) and Mrs. Sims (page 82) for contempt and this time for attorneys fees in the amount of $3,150.
  • On May 3, 2013, the WMSCOG filed motions against Ms. Payno (page 100) and Mrs. Sims (page 126) for contempt, attorneys fees and this time for sanctions in the amount of $1,500.

On May 3, 2013, the Court ruled:

The ex parte applications are denied. This is a quasi criminal matter and needs to be set as a noticed request for contempt hearing. Defendants are entitled to a hearing as opposed to an ex parte on a quasi criminal matter.

page 145

California court rules state that notice to the opposing party on an ex-parte (emergency) application can be given as late as 10:00am the day before the hearing on the matter is scheduled to take place. Because ex-parte applications are done on short notice, the opposing party does not get a chance to fully oppose the motion ahead of time. The Court ruled that since the matter seeks sanctions and attorneys fees, the other side is entitled to have time to respond (due process). The Court reiterated this in an order entered on May 23, 2013 (page 152).

The Defendants’ Combined Declaration in Response to the Motions

The named Defendants denied all allegations made by the World Mission Society Church of God. In a combined declaration, the Defendants stated in part:

‘WE’ request the court orders an immediate cest [sic] and desist of the slanderous allegations made against any x-member, such as teaching the members, including children that those who leave the church are ‘demons’ predestined for ‘Hell’ and go as far as to tell children if they look at us they will die. The children walk into church with their heads down and their hands covering the sides of their faces.

pages 147-148

The Defendants describe the motivation behind their public protests of the World Mission Society Church of God:

It is our intention to provide public information to current church members. Church members are forbidden to look at the internet although, the Plaintiff ,uses the internet as a social media marketing tool to gain members. Because of this sheltering the members are not aware of why so many people are leaving this church and told slanderous lies instead. Our intention again, is to inform the public of factual information.

page 148

The World Mission Society Church of God Re-files the Motions

The World Mission Society Church of God re-filed their motions on June 20, 2013 (pages 154, 173). Mrs. Sims filed her opposition to the WMSCOG’s motion on June 14, 2013 (page 202). In addition to describing the reasons why Mrs. Sims ultimately left the WMSCOG, she stated:

I am seeking to exercise my constitutional right to free speech, press and assembly. As stated herein below, the California Legislature has found and declared that there has been a disturbing increase in lawsuits brought primarily to chill the valid exercise of the constitutional rights of freedom of speech and petition for the redress of grievances. Therefore it has found and declared that it is in the public interest to encourage continued participation in matters of public significance, and that this participation should not be chilled through abuse of Judicial process.

pages 205-206

Ms. Payno filed her opposition to the WMSCOG’s motion on June 19, 2013 (page 228) and stated in part:

Plaintiff’s fraudulent, misleading, concealing, manipulative, and cultlike activities, which caused Defendant to disaffiliate herself from Plaintiff and its members constitutes any other conduct in furtherance of the exercise of the constitutional right of petition or the constitutional right of free speech in connection with a public issue or an issue of public interest.

page 235

Both Mrs. Sims and Ms. Payno argued that when they protested outside of the World Mission Society Church of God, they assembled in a peaceful manner.

What Did the Court Conclude?

On June 20, 2013, a tentative decision regarding contempt and sanctions filed by the World Mission Society Church of God (page 258). The Court opined:

Nonetheless, the motion must be denied because neither Defendant Sims nor Payno willfully failed to comply with the order. It is undisputed that both Defendants complied with the ingress/egress requirement…The issue for contempt/sanctions is whether they were so loud and disruptive as to willfully violate the injunction. They were not…Both motions are denied.

page 260

The tentative Order was then finalized by the Court (page 261).

Clearly, the WMSCOG’s case fell apart after this decision from the Judge and even though a trial date was set for June 25, 2014 (page 289), the World Mission Society Church of God requested that their case be dismissed by the Court on January 14, 2014 (page 306). Any supposed “injunctive relief” that the WMSCOG thinks they were granted, could have easily been turned over on appeal or by some other legal remedy, had the case gone forward.

Sims-Case-Complete

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NJ Court Grants The World Mission Society Church Of God Only Partial Injunctive Relief https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/nj-court-grants-the-world-mission-society-church-of-god-only-partial-injunctive-relief/ https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/nj-court-grants-the-world-mission-society-church-of-god-only-partial-injunctive-relief/#respond Thu, 27 Feb 2020 00:31:38 +0000 https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/?p=125985 Gonzalez v WMSCOG - 022020 Order featured imageOn February 20, 2020 granted the World Mission Society Church of God in New Jersey partial injunctive relief against Gonzalez. The Order prohibits Gonzalez from disseminating: documents determined to be protected on the basis of the attorney-client privilege as identified in Appendix A documents determined to be protected on the basis of the attorney-work product […]]]> Gonzalez v WMSCOG - 022020 Order featured image

On February 20, 2020 granted the World Mission Society Church of God in New Jersey partial injunctive relief against Gonzalez. The Order prohibits Gonzalez from disseminating:

  • documents determined to be protected on the basis of the attorney-client privilege as identified in Appendix A
  • documents determined to be protected on the basis of the attorney-work product doctrine as identified in Appendix A
  • the e-mail addresses , phone numbers, home addresses of the members of WMSNJ.

The Court’s Order and accompanying Decision are available below.

022020-Order

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NJ Court Decision Regarding The World Mission Society Church of God’s Documents https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/nj-court-decision-regarding-the-world-mission-society-church-of-gods-documents/ https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/nj-court-decision-regarding-the-world-mission-society-church-of-gods-documents/#respond Thu, 27 Feb 2020 00:16:30 +0000 https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/?p=125974 On February 12, 2020, the Court entered an Order in the Colón vs. WMSCOG et al. 6490-16, Colón vs. WMSCOG et al. 3007-13 and Gonzalez vs. WMSCOG 1025-18 cases. The Order addresses thousands of documents, approximately 7000 pages of material including audio recordings, produced in discovery that World Mission Society Church of God NJ argued were privileged and therefore should be withheld from Ms. Colón and barred from dissemination.

Judges Harz and Bishop-Thompson opined:

the WMSNJ’s motion to preclude disclosure of documents pursuant to the Church Autonomy doctrine is denied since the majority of the documents merely set forth references to scripture and the order of the church service.

page 7 of 69.

The Court’s Order and accompanying Decision are available below.

021220-Order

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WMSCOG vs. Yong Sik Jin – The District Court Decision https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/wmscog-vs-yong-sik-jin-the-appellate-court-decision/ https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/wmscog-vs-yong-sik-jin-the-appellate-court-decision/#respond Sun, 23 Feb 2020 20:35:12 +0000 https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/?p=75801 wmscog v jin featured]]> wmscog v jin featuredWMSCOG-vs-Jin

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CBS NEWS South Korea WMSCOG Sued Pastor Jin and Lost https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/cbs-news-south-korea-wmscog-sued-pastor-jin-and-lost/ https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/cbs-news-south-korea-wmscog-sued-pastor-jin-and-lost/#comments Thu, 20 Feb 2020 17:51:55 +0000 https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/?p=75704 CBS NEWS South Korea WMSCOG Sued Pastor Jin and LostCBS NEWS: Pastor Jin-Sik Jin, Chairman of the Korea Christian Diplomatic Counseling Association, won the victory after two years of court battles with the World Mission Society Church Of God (WMSCOG). To view a copy of the Suwon District Court (equivalent to federal court in the US), click here.]]> CBS NEWS South Korea WMSCOG Sued Pastor Jin and Lost

CBS NEWS: Pastor Jin-Sik Jin, Chairman of the Korea Christian Diplomatic Counseling Association, won the victory after two years of court battles with the World Mission Society Church Of God (WMSCOG).

To view a copy of the Suwon District Court (equivalent to federal court in the US), click here.

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