Rico Suit against Organized What

labrea_gwAugust 15, 2012

"On the same day that a preacher was found guilty of abetting the kidnapping of her daughter to Nicaragua, Janet Jenkins filed a RICO lawsuit against many of the parties suspected of conspiring in the crime, including Liberty University, the parent of the vile anti-gay hate group Liberty Counsel, whose president Mat Staver is specifically named in the suit."

Students at Liberty Law School tell RD that in the required Foundations of Law class in the fall of 2008, taught by Miller’s attorneys Mat Staver and Rena Lindevaldsen, they were repeatedly instructed that when faced with a conflict between “God’s law” and “man’s law,” they should resolve that conflict through “civil disobedience.” One student said, “the idea was when you are confronted with a particular situation, for instance, if you have a court order against you that is in violation of what you see as God’s law, essentially... civil disobedience was the answer.

This student and two others, who all requested anonymity for fear of reprisal by Staver (who is also the law school’s dean), recounted the classroom discussion of civil disobedience, as well as efforts to draw comparisons between choosing “God’s law” over “man’s law” to the American revolution and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail. According to one student, in the Foundations course both Staver and Lindevaldsen “espoused the opinion that in situations where God’s law is in direct contradiction to man’s law, we have an obligation to disobey it.”


That semester’s mid-term exam, obtained by RD [see excerpts of the actual exam here], included a question based on Miller’s case asking students to describe what advice they would give her “as a friend who is a Christian lawyer.” After laying out a slanted history of the protracted legal battle, the exam asked, “Lisa needs your counsel on how to think through her legal situation and how to respond as a Christian to this difficult problem. Relying only on what we have learned thus far in class, how would you counsel Lisa?”

Students who wrote that Miller should comply with court orders received bad grades while those who wrote she should engage in civil disobedience received an A, the three students said. “People were appalled,” said one of the students, adding, “especially as lawyers to be, who are trained and licensed to practice the law��"to disobey that law, that seemed completely counterintuitive to all of us.”

Still, some knew what they needed to “regurgitate,” in order to get a good grade. “It was obvious by the substance of the class during the semester the answer that they wanted,” said one of the students. “The majority of people that I am acquainted with who did get As wrote that because that was expected of them.”

One of the students who got an A said, “I told them she needed to engage in civil disobedience and seriously consider leaving the country,” adding, “I knew what I needed to write.”

Given what was expected of them on the exam, and the tenor of the class, there is “not a lot of shock among the students about the current developments,” said one of the students, referring to the revelation that Miller is in hiding in Nicaragua. “Everybody semi-suspected that Liberty Counsel had something to do with her disappearance.”

The Vermonts Supreme Court awarded Jenkins sole custody when Miller refused to comply with court appointed visitation rights!

Here is a link that might be useful: good for her

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

What a tangled web--beyond my powers of concentration at the moment to figure it all out.

So how about giving me the short, easy version. Does the suit have a chance?

Interesting that we are now entering a new phase of protest--religious-based institutions do not need to obey any federal or state or local law that the religious-based institution does not want to.

To force them to obey the laws other Americans must obey would be to deny the religious-based institutions their freedom of religion rights.

How can an acredited law school teach that Christians can do whatever they want because the law doesn't apply to them? Or is that the point--that it is not an accredited law school?


    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 9:39PM
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Kenneth Miller (unrelated to Lisa Miller) argued that he did not realize that he was defying any court orders when he assisted Lisa Miller with slipping out of the country using assumed identities. He is considering whether or not to appeal this conviction.

Starting in September 2009, Lisa Miller and Isabella lived near or among the Beachy Amish-Mennonite Community in Nicaragua, hereinafter the (“Nicaragua Brethren”). This was all done in secret and in such a way as to avoid detection by United States authorities and Janet Jenkins. Lisa Miller would eventually go into “hiding” with Isabella among the Nicaragua Brethren, but would continue to communicate with members of Thomas Road Baptist Church with the assistance of Mr. Zodhiates, Kenneth Miller and members of the Nicaragua Brethren. Lisa Miller went by the name “Sarah” and Isabella was called “Lydia” while in Nicaragua.

Unbeknownst to Plaintiff Janet Jenkins, in 2009 Victoria Zodhiates (now Hyden) was an employee of Response Unlimited, Inc., and also a “student worker” at Liberty University School of Law. On information and belief, Victoria Zodhiates sent an email during this time period to her co-workers at the law school requesting donations for supplies to send to Lisa Miller to enable her to remain outside the country. Lisa Miller’s attorney, Matthew Staver was the Dean of the Law School and Ms. Zodhiates’s boss. Matthew Staver and Philip Zodhiates were also personal acquaintances at this time. On September 20, 2009, both Philip Zodhiates and Victoria Hyden called Lisa Miller’s father, Terry Miller in Tennessee to assist in arranging her and Isabella’s transportation from a Walmart parking lot in Lynchburg, Virginia, to Waynesboro, Virginia, from whence they would depart for Canada and Nicaragua the next day.

New to this lawsuit is the allegation which, if proven true, would directly implicate Thomas Road Baptist Church as part of the conspiracy:

Does religion trump law? If so are your prepared to pay the penalty?

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 2:28PM
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Seems like a better use of the RICO act than when SF police arrested my under it for leading a protest, but still a bit of a stretch to name Liberty U as aiding and abetting a kidnap. RICO is better used against Goldman Sachs or the SEC, in my view.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 3:14PM
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47. Lisa Miller's attorneys Mathew Staver and Rena Lindevaldsen also routinely instructed their Law School students that the correct course of action for a person in Lisa Miller's situation would be to engage in "civil disobedience" and defy court orders.

48. Also in 2009, TRBC Head Pastor Jonathan Falwell was among several religious leaders who made a call for "Christian civil disobedience" and published a public declaration, known as The Manhattan Declaration stating that they:

"will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family."

49. Hence, Defendants TRBC and its related ministry Liberty University School of Law encouraged its agents to disregard state laws governing parental rights, particularly Vermont's law giving rights to members of same-sex families. The TRBC and Liberty University School of Law through its public declaration promoted, condoned and explicitly ratified its agent's tortious, racketeering activity. These agents and employees have followed this direction, making TRBC and Liberty University School of Law liable in respondeat superior for the consequences.

Theres that Pesky Manhattan Declaration agin it has over 500,000 people who signed it.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 6:21PM
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I'm not saying Liberty U didn't break laws, including civil rights laws, and shouldn't be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I just dislike legal trickery designed to make circumstantial connections the same as direct proof. If an individual at Liberty U participated in the slightest amount in kidnapping, prosecute him to teh fullest extent of criminal law, but not by saying LU taught civil disobedience which FORCED those people to commit those acts, making all of LU culpable.

This is a legal slippery slope, we've already seen RICO applied towards labor unions, PETA and here's Chevron's 2011 RICO filing against several of my friends and colleagues:
"In February 2011, an American corporation, Chevron, Inc., filed a RICO lawsuit in New York against lawyers and plaintiffs who had been suing the oil giant in Ecuador for alleged environmental wrongdoing. In the RICO complaint, Chevron alleges that the South American lawsuit, which has been in the Ecuadorian courts since 1993, represents an ongoing attempt to extort money from the oil giant. According to Douglas Rees of the Chicago law firm Jenner & Block, although an American RICO judgment would have no bearing in Ecuador, the judgment could make it more difficult for the plaintiffs to collect from Chevron in American courts.'
btw, those two felonies I was arrested for under RICO still show up sometimes, even thought the DA only filed misdemeanor trespass charges and we settled on infraction littering as my actual guilty plea and conviction. That is why RICO is a double-edged sword.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 6:48PM
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The new Spin on it actually it's an old spin a real old one!

Some background!
After asking Vermont to sort out custody Miller didn't like the decision which granted visitation & so took the case to Virginia where she now resided.

July 2004 Lisa Miller files an action in circuit court in Virginia seeking to have herself declared the child's sole legal parent. Miller succeeds in the trial court.
November 2004 Lambda Legal files appeal on behalf of Janet Jenkins seeking to ensure respect for a Vermont court order granting her regular visitation with her daughter.
November 2006 Victory! Virginia Court of Appeals upholds Vermont court order.
April 2007 Virginia Court of Appeals orders lower court to register the order.
April 2008 Lambda Legal argues in Virginia Supreme Court that court orders regarding custody and visitation issued in one state must be enforced in other states as well.
June 2008 Victory! Virginia Supreme Court upholds Vermont court order.
November 2009 Vermont court orders that custody of Isabella be transferred to Janet on January 1, 2010.
January 2010 Janet Jenkins appeals to the public for help in locating her missing daughter, Isabella Miller-Jenkins, after court-ordered custody transfer does not occur.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 9:59AM
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