At age five, 1954, "the Bishop" (Chicago's Cardinal Stritch) stood over me and said, I had to "stop babbling" about what the priest did to me. It took me 40 years to talk about it again. Today, I babble.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Catholic Church drowns Supreme Court in arguments, in attempt to prevent more lawsuits about pedophile priests in California

By Kay Ebeling
Creator, City of Angels

Whether adult victims of pedophiles will be able to file lawsuits against third parties in California will be decided in the next year by the state Supreme Court. In recent months, two cases regarding California Catholic archdioceses came out of two appellate courts with two opposite opinions of the Legislature's 2002 amendments to the statute of limitations in child sex crimes - a testament to the perpetual confusion in California law, as well as the perpetual fight by the Catholic Church to keep the crimes of its pedophile priests a perpetual secret.

Attorneys for the Catholic Church filed dozens of letters requesting review of Quarry vs. Doe 1 on behalf of archdioceses all over the state - as well as insurance companies and, of course, other law firms. The Supreme Court of California granted the request to review Quarry June 10, 2009.

Here at City of Angels we have tracked down some of those filings and in upcoming posts we will quote them fluidly. The initial Request for Depublication states outright why the Catholic Church wants the Court to keep the Statute of Limitations the way it was before Freud: If Quarry stands there might be more lawsuits against the church.

“In addition to representing the Bishop of Oakland (Doe 1) in Quarry, this office represented the Bishop of Oakland and a number of other defendants in more than 70 cases in (California). This office has currently three matters which are directly impacted by the Quarry opinion. If Quarry stands, more are expected.”

Oh my god, we don't want the Supreme Court opening doors for justice in this state. Below is the list of documents filed with the California Supreme Court since March 20th this year by the Catholic Church trying to prevent the grave injustice of more lawsuits against the Catholic Church, if more adult victims of pedophile priests are allowed to come forward in California.

The first “request for depublication” quoted above was filed by Steve McFeely of Foley & Lardner - yes, same attorneys who represent the Salesian Religious Order all over the state. They also represent the Bishop of Oakland.

The same McFeely who is renowned for his pitiless attacks in court on adult victims of pedophiles who sue his clients -

If Quarry stands, more lawsuits are expected, whines McFeely defending the Catholic Church

First some Background:

The same amendments that opened the one year window for “time barred” lawsuits in 2003 contained language about third party defendants and the statute of limitations after 2003. Now as cases continue to be filed concerning pedophile activity on Catholic properties, plaintiffs believe the 340.1 Amendments say any person bringing a claim has eight years after majority or three years after discovering the abuse later in adulthood to file suit. Defendants, primarily attorneys for the Catholic Church, say failure to file a lawsuit during 2003 bars you from ever being able to file even if you did not remember the crimes or understand how the crimes affected you until 2007, if you were over 26 on January 2003, you had your one year to file a lawsuit, now you're time barred.

The two cases that resulted in conflicting appellate court decisions this year were both filed in 2007 concerning decades old abuse. The 340.1 amendments also resulted in lawsuits against the Mormon Church, the Boy Scouts, and an all man’s choir in Orange County.

Still predictably, it is the Catholic Church that is fighting with the full flanks of its army of law firms to persuade the Supreme Court of California to vote in favor of the Church.

FILED SINCE March 2009
By Church Attorneys
To influence the California Supreme Court


Request for depublication (petition for review pending)
By Respondent Doe 1 Diocese ~Attorneys Stephen A. McFeely, etal

Petition for review filed by Respondent Doe 1 Diocese By Attorneys Stephen A. McFeely, etal


Request for depublication
By a Non Party

Request for depublication
By Roman Catholic Bishop of Sacramento (Non-Party)
by Stephen J. Greene, Jr., Sweeney & Greene LLP, counsel

Request for depublication
File by United State Fire Insurance Company, depublication requested by Lawrence A. Tabb, counsel

Request for depublication
The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles by Lee W. Potts, Hennigan Bennett & Dorman LLP, counsel.

(Continued after this trip down memory lane:)


Church Attorney Lee Potts pictured above wrote to the California Supreme Court in support of "depublication" of Quarry, on behalf of the L.A. Archdiocese. Cartoon by Kay Ebeling originally appeared: Thursday, April 17, 2008 at City of Angels 4:

Jury Selection a challenge for LA trial re pedophile priests, with settlements in the news last year, and trial expected to last five to six weeks


(List of documents filed with Supreme Court to persuade it to review Quarry decision continued:)


Lodged Exhibits to Request for Depublication; Declaration of Lee W. Potts (1 vol.)


Request for depublication
By American Insurance Association (Non-party) by Steven Suchil, counsel


Request for depublication
By The Ordinary Mutual
Law Office of Barbara A. Goode, retained counsel

Opposition filed
By appellants to numerous requests to depublish opinion

Received: letter from counsel for respondent Doe 1 re S173042

Petition for review granted
Votes: George, C.J., Kennard, Baxter, Werdegar, Chin, Moreno, and Corrigan, JJ.


So will it still be possible to discover damages and sue a private institution for allowing pedophilia in this state? Or did the California Legislature open the one-year window in 2003 as a once in a lifetime opportunity only?


Two Opposing Appellate Decisions

On June 10, 2009, after much pressure from the Catholic Church, the Supreme Court of California agreed to review Terry Quarry vs Doe 1, a decision favoring plaintiffs, which the 1st Appellate District published February 10, 2009. Quarry says plaintiffs can sue within three years of realizing the damages in their lives are a result of sexual abuse they experienced as children. Quarry says no matter how old you are when you make the connection, no matter how long ago the crimes took place, the SOL starts when you realize the pedophile crimes caused your problems. “"This is the current state of the law, and is the law that was in effect when the complaint was filed," reads the Appeals Decision in Quarry.

The Third Appellate District court reached virtually the opposite opinion in John K. J. versus Bishop of Stockton, petitioned for review on May 19, 2009. Here the appeals court decided against the plaintiffs, saying the 2003 one year window was a one-time only opportunity, and the Legislature did not grant on ongoing opportunity for plaintiffs to file lawsuits that are in “repose,” Californians want the SOL to remain the way it was before the 2002 amendments.

Quarry and KJ were both filed in 2007 as civil lawsuits.

“I've got to believe they will review both opinions, Quarry and KJ,” an attorney who is not connected to either case explained to me. “And yes, it could go either way, or they could split the baby and make both sides happy or unhappy.”

Another attorney friend told me: “Yesterday (June 10th) the Supreme Court agreed to hear Quarry, and there hasn't been a decision yet on KJ.” He continued, “To me, they're likely to grant review of KJ, since they've taken Quarry.”


Why the Church often wins with this bombardment of paper tactic:

The Courts, being civil, have to hear and consider all arguments and then, of course, justices want to appear balanced so they have to grant at least a fraction of the entreaties filed by attorneys for the priests. This gives new meaning to the expression “throwing your weight around,” whether it’s the number of humans taking up space in front of the judge in court, or the pounds of paper when these Church filings are printed out.

Keep up with Quarry before the State Supreme Court for yourself:


Quarry Opinion
Quotes from 1st Appellate Decision
(the one favoring plaintiffs)

"We hold that the prior limitations periods did not extinguish claims that had not accrued while those limitations were in effect, and that the timeliness of the complaint is to be measured by the statute in effect at the time the complaint was filed."

From Terry Quarry v. Doe 1 Filed 2/10/09
In the First Appellate District

More quotes here.

"The statute now permits an action against a nonperpetrator defendant to be brought within three years of discovering that the psychological injuries were caused by the childhood abuse (§ 340.1, subd. (a)) if that defendant “knew or had reason to know, or was otherwise on notice, of any unlawful sexual conduct by an employee . . . or agent, and failed to take reasonable steps, and to implement reasonable safeguards, to avoid acts of unlawful sexual conduct in the future by that person, including, but not limited to, preventing or avoiding placement of that person in a function or environment in which contact with children is an inherent part of that function or environment” (id., subd. (b)(2)). The amendment also revived for a period of one year, commencing January 1, 2003, any claims “permitted to be filed [under the amendment] that would otherwise be barred as of January 1, 2003, solely because the applicable statute of limitations has or had expired . . . .” (§ 340.1, subd. (c).)

"This is the current state of the law, and is the law that was in effect when the complaint was filed."

Read more of the Quarry appeals decision here:


Watch in upcoming posts as we will be quoting many of these requests for depublication by Church attorneys.


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Onward. . .

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

People of the Catholic faith:

You cannot continue to fund what amounts to the sexual assault of children.

There is not one single charity that is worth saving (ostensibly) by your donations if a portion of those donations are used to pay for the legal defense of pedophiles and those who aid and abet them.

Donating to RCC is nothing more or less than supporting an organization that defends pedophiles who hide in the office of the priesthood, and then oppresses the victims and denies them justice.

If you donate to the RCC, and you know this,___ then you share in their guilt.