Thursday, August 12, 2010
S.C. Declines to Review Order Barring GOP Candidate From Church
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The California Supreme Court yesterday declined to review an April ruling by this district’s Court of Appeal, leaving in place an injunction that bars a former member, who is also a Republican Assembly candidate, from attending the Church of Christ in Hollywood.
The ruling by Div. One was the fourth time the panel had ruled against Lady Cage-Barile. She is currently running as Lady Cage in the 47th Assembly District, facing Democrat Holly Mitchell and Libertarian Sean Mc Gary.
In the most recent case, the panel held—in an unpublished opinion by Presiding Justice Robert Mallano—that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Edward Ferns did not abuse his discretion in denying the defendant’s motion to lift the injunction, which has been in place since 2003.
“Cage-Barile is a former member of the congregation who disagreed with how the Church was run. In January 2001, she began to engage in disruptive conduct at the Church.
“On occasion, Cage-Barile entered the Church building and followed certain members, shouting that they were adulterers, agents of Satan, and demon-worshipers. She shouted at Church leaders, calling them Satan’s agents because they allowed divorced and remarried persons to participate in Church ministries. Members of the young adult ministry were so intimidated by her conduct that they met secretly; those wishing to attend had to dial a central telephone number to learn the time and location of the meeting.
“After learning that one congregant, who led a popular weekly Bible study, had been divorced and remarried, Cage-Barile started attending Bible study each week, loudly chastising him about his marital history. As a result, he left the Church. Cage-Barile also interfered with an Alcoholics Anonymous group by surreptitiously recording its meetings.”
In a 2007 ruling, the court rejected the defendant’s contention that the length of the injunction should have been limited to three years under the statute authorizing anti-harassment injunctions. The panel held on that occasion that the statute did not apply because the conduct complained of by the church was not limited to harassment.
In the latest case, Mallano wrote:
“Cage-Barile offered no evidence of a change in facts, made no argument that the law had changed, and did not show that the ends of justice supported her position. Nor has she done so on appeal. The trial court therefore properly declined to dissolve the injunction.”
The presiding justice rejected the defendant’s argument that she had a constitutional right to attend the church. Mallano explained that the First Amendment permits a church to enact rules regarding the behavior expected of members and attendees, and to exclude those persons who refuse to abide those rules.
The case is Church of Christ in Hollywood v. Cage-Barile, B213233.
Copyright 2010, Metropolitan News Company