Former Member’s Lawsuit Against The WMSCOG Gets Dismissed – Update
Update: On November 29, 2016, the Appellate Court of New Jersey reversed the lower court’s decision regarding the hacking and invasion of privacy claim. The case is currently being litigated and is scheduled for trial later in 2020. See the Appellate Court’s Opinion below.
On March 17, 2015, the Superior Court of New Jersey dismissed Ms. Colón’s complaint agains the World Mission Society Church of God, Zhang Gil Jah, Joo Cheol Kim, Big Shine Worldwide Inc., Lincoln Avenue Grill LLC, Albright Electric LLC and a number of WMSCOG officials. The complaint alleged conduct such as fraud, hacking/invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Regarding these allegations the Court stated in it’s opinion,
“The very argument that Ms. Colon used as her shield in World Mission’s previous case against her, the First Amendment, is now being used by the Church as its shield in the case sub judice. The same amendment that protected Ms. Colon previously, now protects the church.” (see Page 3 below)
Should the “church autonomy doctrine” serve as a legal shield for organizations that commit secular crimes or tort violations under the guise of religion?
The best way to challenge this decision is to convince the Court that New Jersey has a compelling interest in protecting its citizens from the WMSCOG. In order to prove this to the Court people need to be willing to document the harm that the WMSCOG has caused them. If you have been harmed by the WMSCOG, please post your experience in the Comments section below.