Welcome!

News Feed Item

Harbor Missionary Church Files Emergency Motion in the Ninth Circuit to Continue Ministry to the Homeless

VENTURA, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 08/05/14 -- Harbor Missionary Church, a nonprofit religious corporation, today filed an emergency motion (No. 14-56137) with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to continue its ministry to the homeless. For six years the church has provided clothing, food, showers, counseling and other support to thousands of homeless residents of the City of Ventura. Approximately 12 weeks ago, on May 15, after denying the church a permit to continue its ministry, police and code-enforcement officers from the City of Ventura arrived without warning and searched the church to ensure that it was no longer ministering to and feeding the homeless.

Since 2008, Harbor Missionary Church has welcomed the homeless into its church. "For the first four years, the City of Ventura did not require or even ask the church to apply for a special permit to serve the homeless," said Lisa Freeman, an attorney with Horvitz & Levy who is representing Harbor Missionary Church.

Then, in January of last year, the city told the church that it would need a separate, conditional-use permit, in addition to its church permit, to continue its ministry. The church applied for the permit the following month, but despite a City Staff Report recommending the granting of the permit subject to certain conditions, the Planning Commission late last year denied the permit in its entirety. The church appealed to the City Council, which deadlocked on May 12; as a result, the City Council took no action and under the City Council Protocols, the Planning Commission's decision to deny the permit became final.

The permit denial has forced the church to stop caring for the homeless, a particularly vulnerable group in our society. According to Freeman, many of the church's homeless congregants are not only poor, but are fleeing from domestic violence. The church, she said, had less than $37,000 in the bank at year end. "If it is not allowed to continue its ministry to the homeless during the appeals process, and without the donor and volunteer support for its ministry, it may not survive," Freeman added.

In addition to Freeman, Harbor Missionary Church is represented by John Taylor of Horvitz & Levy, by James Sonne and Jared Haynie of the Stanford Law School Religious Liberty Clinic, and by Michael McCollum and Claire Borthwick of Foley & Lardner LLP.

On May 14 of this year, the church filed a lawsuit in federal district court alleging that the permit denial violated the church's right to free exercise of religion under the First Amendment and under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). On May 30, fifteen days after police had searched the church, Judge Manuel Real of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (Case No. 2:14-cv-03730) granted a temporary restraining order allowing the church to continue its charitable work during the litigation. In its temporary restraining order, the district court recognized the church's homeless ministry as an exercise of religion, calling it "a significant part of Harbor's religious expression."

At a hearing on July 9, however, the district court denied the church's motion for a preliminary injunction, questioning the legitimacy of the church's belief that it was required to provide clothing, food, and other services to the poor at its church. In its appeal to the Ninth Circuit, the church alleges that the order erred in questioning the legitimacy of the church's religious beliefs and in finding that the least restrictive means of protecting the neighborhood surrounding the church was to shut down the homeless ministry completely.

"An immediate order is needed now so that the church can continue its ministry while the Ninth Circuit considers the church's appeal," Freeman said. "Every passing day without an injunction prevents the church from exercising its religion, in violation of federal law. And the loss of the church as a safe place to eat, bathe, and pray for the period of this appeal could be devastating to the church's homeless congregants," Freeman said.

Sam Gallucci, the church's head pastor, summed up the church's sentiment, "The church feels keenly the loss of its freedom to practice its faith and to follow Jesus Christ's command to help the poor and hungry."

The emergency motion that Harbor Missionary Church just filed, if granted, will allow the church to continue its homeless ministry until the Ninth Circuit determines whether the district court failed to protect the church's free exercise of religion as required by the First Amendment and RLUIPA.

Since 1957, Horvitz & Levy LLP has been dedicated to appellate litigation. One of the largest firms in the nation to practice exclusively in this area of the law, the firm is focused on winning appeals for professionals, individuals, businesses and organizations in a variety of industries. Based in Los Angeles, the firm handles matters involving business and commercial law, class actions, consumer law, entertainment law, the First Amendment, healthcare law, insurance law, intellectual property, labor and employment law, premises liability, products liability and toxic torts, public-entity liability and real property. On the net: http://www.horvitzlevy.com.

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
In his General Session at DevOps Summit, Asaf Yigal, Co-Founder & VP of Product at Logz.io, will explore the value of Kibana 4 for log analysis and will give a real live, hands-on tutorial on how to set up Kibana 4 and get the most out of Apache log files. He will examine three use cases: IT operations, business intelligence, and security and compliance. This is a hands-on session that will require participants to bring their own laptops, and we will provide the rest.
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
When you focus on a journey from up-close, you look at your own technical and cultural history and how you changed it for the benefit of the customer. This was our starting point: too many integration issues, 13 SWP days and very long cycles. It was evident that in this fast-paced industry we could no longer afford this reality. We needed something that would take us beyond reducing the development lifecycles, CI and Agile methodologies. We made a fundamental difference, even changed our culture...
"LinearHub provides smart video conferencing, which is the Roundee service, and we archive all the video conferences and we also provide the transcript," stated Sunghyuk Kim, CEO of LinearHub, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"We're bringing out a new application monitoring system to the DevOps space. It manages large enterprise applications that are distributed throughout a node in many enterprises and we manage them as one collective," explained Kevin Barnes, President of eCube Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the work...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud taking place June 6-8, 2017, at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long developm...
In a recent research, analyst firm IDC found that the average cost of a critical application failure is $500,000 to $1 million per hour and the average total cost of unplanned application downtime is $1.25 billion to $2.5 billion per year for Fortune 1000 companies. In addition to the findings on the cost of the downtime, the research also highlighted best practices for development, testing, application support, infrastructure, and operations teams.
Updating DevOps to the latest production data slows down your development cycle. Probably it is due to slow, inefficient conventional storage and associated copy data management practices. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, in Product and Solution at Tintri, will talk about DevOps and cloud-focused storage to update hundreds of child VMs (different flavors) with updates from a master VM in minutes, saving hours or even days in each development cycle. He will also...
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
@DevOpsSummit taking place June 6-8, 2017 at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York Call for Papers is now open.
A look across the tech landscape at the disruptive technologies that are increasing in prominence and speculate as to which will be most impactful for communications – namely, AI and Cloud Computing. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Curtis Peterson, VP of Operations at RingCentral, will highlight the current challenges of these transformative technologies and share strategies for preparing your organization for these changes. This “view from the top” will outline the latest trends and developm...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dataloop.IO, an innovator in cloud IT-monitoring whose products help organizations save time and money, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Dataloop.IO is an emerging software company on the cutting edge of major IT-infrastructure trends including cloud computing and microservices. The company, founded in the UK but now based in San Fran...