Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Long Court Case

This Struck me as funny:

Payout over church ban

THE Seventh-Day Adventist Church has been ordered to pay $20,000 for defaming a couple it banned from its congregation.

But Sydney and Deanne Plenty's claims for compensation for emotional distress over their expulsion were rejected by the Supreme Court. The decision brought to a close what is understood to be Australia's longest-running civil court case.

The Napperby couple sued the church after they were "disfellowshipped" from the Port Pirie congregation in 1979.

Their case began in the Supreme Court in 1982.

Church president Pastor Garry Hodgkin said the church was pleased the case had "come to finality".

He said the church would respect the ruling and the couple would be reinstated in the congregation.

Mr Plenty yesterday declined to comment on the case.

The court heard the church expelled the couple because of alleged disorderly conduct and their attitude towards those in authority.

Mrs Plenty, who was superintendent of the Adult Sabbath School, fell out with her predecessor over an order she had been given about which door her students could use.

About the same time, Mr Plenty was charged with assault after he allegedly hit a police officer who tried to serve a summons on one of their children on their farm in 1978.

He appealed against the assault conviction and the High Court overturned it.

Justice Kevin Duggan awarded Mr and Mrs Plenty $10,000 each over a defamatory letter the church wrote in 1980 detailing why they were expelled

Reminds me of the quote: "I would never want to belong to a group that would have me as a member".

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