Pastor John MacArthur and Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, are the targets of a County of Los Angeles request to be held in contempt of court. Thomas More Society attorneys are representing the internationally followed preacher and his church and defending their religious freedoms against the county's unconstitutional violation of the right to worship together.
Jenna Ellis, Special Counsel for Thomas More Society, responded to the attack by the county:
The LA County Board of Supervisors has decided to continue their unconstitutional attack against Pastor John MacArthur and Grace Community Church. They are now asking the court to hold the church in contempt for simply being open for worship last Sunday. Pastor MacArthur is standing firm that church is essential and has no plans to yield to this tyrannical board, which is clearly defying the constitution's mandate to protect religious liberty.
MacArthur and Grace Community Church are suing the county—and the state of California—for attempting to shut down their worship under COVID-related orders that violate the state's constitution. The lawsuit was filed after MacArthur received a cease and desist letter prohibiting indoor worship and threatening him with fines and imprisonment should Grace Community continue to worship in their church building.
After a California Superior Court judge denied the county's request for a temporary restraining order against MacArthur and his congregation, the church held weekend worship services. Following that, the County of Los Angeles asked the court to hold the pastor and church in contempt.
Read the Plaintiffs' Ex Parte Application for an Order to Show Cause re Contempt and for Sanctions for Violations of Court Orders, filed by the County of Los Angeles, at the Superior Court of the State of California—County of Los Angeles, Central District, on Aug. 18, 2020, in County of Los Angeles, et al. v. Grace Community Church of the Valley, et al. here.
Read the Thomas More Society's Complaint filed with the Superior Court for the State of California County of Los Angeles – in Grace Community Church and Pastor John MacArthur v. Gavin Newsome et al., on Aug. 12, 2020, here.
Read the Demand Letter sent to Pastor John MacArthur by attorney Jason Tokoro, representing the County of Los Angeles in California, on July 29, 2020, here.
About the Thomas More Society
The Thomas More Society is a national not-for-profit law firm dedicated to restoring respect in law for life, family and religious liberty. Headquartered in Chicago, Omaha and Fairfield, New Jersey, the Thomas More Society fosters support for these causes by providing high quality pro bono legal services from local trial courts all the way up to the United States Supreme Court. For more information, visit thomasmoresociety.org.
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