In a Bombshell lawsuit sent to CalvaryChapelNews.com, attorneys for the defense invoke the “doctrine of ecclesiastical abstention” due to Calvary Chapel’s “ecclesiastical hierarchical structure” which they say, includes CCOF, which is the licensing arm of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa (and Chuck Smith is president of CCOF per IRS documents). According to the suit, Calvary Chapel believed the court had “no jurisdiction” in ruling on what Calvary Chapel called “an internal affair” that should be handled by the church, not the courts.
Citing a “disciplinary and restoration process”, the defense argued that the Court could not be involved in hearing the matter at hand without getting itself inter-mingled with church doctrine, beliefs and practices.
The lawsuit has been described as “incredible” and a “bombshell” with regards to two current Child Molestation lawsuits against Calvary Chapel that are currently pending in the Idaho Court System.
Chuck Smith has made public statements recently that Calvary Chapel “has no control, has exercised no control” and “has no responsibility” for other “100 percent independent” Calvary Chapel Affiliates. Smith and his surrogates have further claimed that they have no authority and “have never gotten involved” in individual Calvary Chapel Affiliate matters. The Arizona lawsuit seems to indicate otherwise.
At issue with the Calvary Chapel Child Molestation lawsuits is the doctrine of Agency and Implied Agency according to legal experts who have spoken with CalvaryChapelNews.com. If the plaintiffs in the Calvary Chapel Child Molestation lawsuits can prove that there is a connection between CCCM/CCOF and the so-called “100 percent independent” Calvary Chapel Affiliates, then the doctrine of Implied/Apparent Agency is in play and Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and CCOF have responsibility in doing the most they can to protect children in their 2,000 Affiliate Calvary Chapel System.
Currently, Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa (and their attorneys) deny any liability and any responsibility for what goes on in their 2,000 Affiliated churches…and have stated recently in phone calls, interviews and an in-person meeting with Chuck Smith, Dave Rolph and Attorney Janet Carter that Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and CCOF “have never gotten involved” with matters affecting other CC’s and have never tried to influence or control issues that have gone on in other Calvary Chapels.
Link to the Arizona Lawsuit Docs here:
Arizona Lawsuit: CC defense proves “ecclesiastical hierarchical structure” and direct link to CCOF/CCCM “disciplinary and restoration process” with regards to what Chuck Smith calls “100 percent independent” Calvary Chapel Affiliate