ADF to Hawaii court: Dismiss renewed attack on churches

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys available to media following hearing
Friday, May 23, 2014

WHO: Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley and allied attorney James Hochberg
WHAT: Available for media interviews following hearing on motion to dismiss filed in Kahle v. One Love Ministries
WHEN: Tuesday, May 27, immediately following hearing, which begins at 9 a.m. HAST
WHERE: Hawaii First Circuit Court, 777 Punchbowl Street, Honolulu

HONOLULU — Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys will be available for media interviews following a hearing Tuesday concerning their motion to dismiss a renewed lawsuit that two atheists have filed against two churches. The atheists are once again falsely accusing the congregations, One Love Ministries and Calvary Chapel Central Oahu, of defrauding the government even though the court dismissed the atheists' claims earlier this year.
 
The new suit again claims the churches committed fraud by paying discounted rent to the public schools in which they meet even though the school district agrees that the churches have consistently paid all agreed-upon rents. In January, the court found that atheists Mitchell Kahle and Holly Huber failed to sufficiently allege any evidence of fraud.
 
“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,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley. “The court rightly threw out this lawsuit and its invented claims against our clients in January, and we are asking the court to do so again.”
 
“Congregations serving the neediest in their communities deserve better than trumped-up accusations stemming from a clear hostility to churches,” added co-counsel James Hochberg of Honolulu, one of more than 2,300 allied attorneys with ADF.
 
Kahle and Huber filed their original suit 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 includes no evidence of false statements or fraud of any sort.
 
The court allowed Kahle and Huber to amend their complaint within 45 days of the dismissal order if they believed they could sufficiently allege any violation of the False Claims Act. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys point out that the amended complaint in Kahle v. One Love Ministries again fails to demonstrate any wrongdoing.
 
  • Pronunciation guide: Hochberg (HOAK’-burg)
 
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
 
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