Saturday, February 10, 2007

Jury sides with Palm Beach County

Palm Beach County's efforts to shut down Westgate Tabernacle's homeless shelter did not violate the church's religious freedoms, a six-man jury concluded Friday evening.

And though the jury also cleared the county of any wrongdoing in regard to one of the church's preachers and a homeless woman whose family once stayed there, it did hold out one morsel: The jury found that the county infringed on the rights of the church's bishop, the Rev. Avis Hill.

Read the Palm Beach Post story here.


At 11:44 AM, Blogger Angel said...

Thursday, February 8, 2007, at the close of this lawsuit, Palm Beach County's attorney, Amy Petrick, approached Rabbi Barry Silver, Esq., offering him and his clients the opportunity to settle out-of-court. Since it was too late that evening to discuss this with Mr. Silver's clients all together at one time, he waited until the next morning, when Silver needed to be in court at 8:30 AM with his clients.

Friday morning Mr. Silver met Ms. Petrick and her mannerisms and demeanor was still amiable, still receptive to an early settlement out-of-court. He informed her that his clients were coming to the courthouse early, and he would see her later.

Plaintiffs Westgate Tabernacle's representative, Alan Clapsaddle, Bishop Avis Hill, and Rev. Sherry McGee-Hill met in the dining hall of the court house. At that moment, the four of them wrote down the out-of-court settlement, which they assumed the defendants would eagerly approve, which would be something the commissioners and the county would also be able to save face, without costing any financial settlement.

Mr. Silver then went to the 10th floor and discovered that Ms. Petrick's demeanor had totally changed. There was not going to be any out-of-court settlement, no discussion, no anything.

Since it was a closed discussion, could some how the jurors, by their having to be in the courtroom before 8:30 AM, have given Ms. Petrick, or representatives in the courthouse forehand knowledge that the ruling would be for the defendants, Palm Beach County?

I submit to one and all, is the reason the County's position changed within just a few minutes from being amiable to one of no more discussion of an out-of-court settlement, that the one retired attorney, or another one of the jurors, who set on the 6-man jury panel, some how got word to the Defendants that the jury found for the County's side?

This was a total shock to the plaintiffs, that there was no more need to have an out-of-court settlement, when it was the defendents who approached the plaintiffs to reason together, so that everyone wins in this case.

In order to appeal this case, which is due Westgate Tabernacle, who have been denied a fair and honest verdict for a myriad of legal reasons by a jury of their peers, Rabbi Barry Silver, Esq., who took this case pro-bono, and who has spent hundreds of hours working on this case at his own expense, Mr. Silver needs $25,000 up front to cover the appeal costs.

I ask, is there anyone who is reading this comment, anyone at all, who can make this appeal possible?

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