Editorial: Missouri high court OKs harassment of priest victims group
In the law there's something called a "Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation." They're filed by a powerful individuals or organization who want to shut up their critics by burying them in legal fees and hassles.
Efforts by lawyers for Catholic priests in St. Louis and Kansas City to drag officers of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests into damage lawsuits brought by purported abuse victims are not exactly SLAPP suits. They're worse.
SNAP and its officers, David Clohessy and Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, are not parties to the lawsuits. But because their organization provided counseling to the anonymous plaintiffs, lawyers for the priests want to go fishing through decades of SNAP records.
Incredibly, in the Kansas City case, Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Ann Mesle last yearapproved this Ahab-like expedition.
Even more incredibly, on Tuesday of this week the Missouri Supreme Court refused to block Judge Mesle's order. Many states have strong anti-SLAPP laws, but Missouri's law is narrowly drawn. The court's ruling this week effectively gave car...
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.