By Queen Esther
We are from Arizona on our Vacation to san Diego California. On our visit to 'Balboa park' we had the pleasureÂ to meet a local Brothers and Sisters.Â It was a beautiful day and they had their literature and smiles ready
Look :Â What a beautiful picture. To see a Brother on a wheelchair,Â butÂ yetÂ heÂ stillÂ findsÂ theÂ willÂ the strengthÂ toÂ serveÂ JehovahÂ andÂ preachÂ theÂ goodÂ news !
What a good example....Â Thank you dear Brother
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
By Jack Ryan
The attorney of an alleged victim claims an elder at a local Kingdom Hall molested him when he was eight years old. The attorney is penalizing Jehovah’s Witnesses because they are refusing to hand over documents that might show a pattern of abuse. NBC 7’s Dave Summers has more. (Published Friday, Nov. 10, 2017)
A state appeals court has upheld $2 million in legal sanctions against the Jehovah’s Witnesses after the religious organization refused to produce internal files and documents in a lawsuit that alleges sexual misconduct by a former elder in the organization.
Osbaldo Padron sued the local Playa Pacifica Congregation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, also known as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. Padron claimed he was molested on multiple occasions as a child by Gonzalo Campos, who was also associated with the Pacifica Congregation.
Padron’s attorney, Irwin Zalkin, obtained internal church documents through the legal discovery process. Zalkin agreed to a confidentiality and nondisclosure agreement, which was signed by both parties to the litigation.
But in 2015, a dispute arose over Watchtower’s refusal to produce additional documents requested by Zalkin.
The organization argued, in part, that the order, issued by Superior Court Judge Richard Strauss, violates its First Amendment rights as a religious organization.
Judge Strauss disagreed, and last year imposed monetary sanctions of $4,000 a day for every day Watchtower failed to search for and produce the documents.
Watchtower appealed Strauss’s order, and on Nov. 9, a three-member panel of the state Court of Appeals upheld Strauss’s ruling.
In a unanimous decision written by Acting Presiding Justice Richard Huffman, the justices said Watchtower has abused the legal process and must pay the court-ordered sanctions.
Plaintiff’s attorney Zalkin says the sanctions started on April 16, 2016, and at $4000 a day, now total more than $2 million dollars.
In the conclusion to their 39-page ruling, the justices said: "... the superior court has shown great patience and flexibility in dealing with a recalcitrant litigant who refuses to follow valid orders and merely reiterates losing arguments."
The alleged molester, Gonzalo Campos, could not be found for comment.
Watchtower’s public information office responded with a brief comment when asked about the appellate court ruling:
"We are evaluating our legal options at this time," the organization said.
In papers filed in the Padron lawsuit, Watchtower denies Padron’s allegations of abuse and argues that even if an elder did molest a child, the parent organization has no control over that abuse, and is not responsible for harm done to that child.
By Guest Nicole
Power Rangers at Comic-Con. Daniel Knighton/Getty Images
Attendees arrive dressed in costume for opening day. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Part of the atmosphere at Comic-Con International. Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images
Read more: https://flipboard.com/@flipboard/-comic-con-opens-in-san-diego-pictures/f-6051f105f2%2Fflipboard.com
By Guest Nicole
Children enjoying the convention in San Diego, California, USA
By Jack Ryan
The Watchotwer Tract Society, commonly referred to as the Jehovah's Witnesses, is asking a San Diego Superior Court judge to return the bond money it posted as a result of an August ruling from a California appellate court which found the $13.5 million dollar sexual assault judgement against the church was too harsh.
The church filed the motion to return the bond money on October 7.
Jose Lopez, now aged 38, filed his lawsuit in June 2012 alleging that elder church member, Gonzalo Campos, of the Linda Vista Spanish Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses molested him during bible study sessions when he was seven years old.
Campos had been accused of molesting young boys before. According to Lopez's complaint, senior church officials were aware of his behavior before the incident with Lopez had occurred. Three years before Campos allegedly assaulted Lopez, a 12-year-old boy who shared a room with Campos accused the then-18-year-old Campos of trying to have sex with him. During the following years, seven other church members lodged similar accusations against Campos, as well as the church for trying to bury the allegations. Now, only two complaints remain; Lopez's case, which will be sent back to the trial court for a new judgement amount, and a lawsuit from former Linda Vista congregation member Osbaldo Padron.
Padron sued Campos and the church over similar molestation charges in 2013. In that lawsuit Padron claims that Campos molested him on numerous occasions in 1994 and 1995. In June of this year, superior court judge Richard Strauss, as reported by the Reader, imposed $4000 per-day sanctions on the church for failing to turn over documents to Padron's attorneys during discovery. The church has since filed an appeal over those sanctions. The appellate court has yet to rule on the appeal.
In Lopez's case, the church appealed the $13.5 million judgement, as well as additional sanctions against the Jehovah's Witnesses in August of this year. In its appeal the church claimed judge Joan Lewis should have imposed less severe sanctions.
The appellate court's August 2016 ruling: "We conclude the court erred in ordering terminating sanctions because there was no evidence that lesser sanctions would have failed to obtain Watchtower's compliance with the document production order and because there were other possible sanctions that could have effectively remedied the discovery violation. On remand, the court has broad discretion to start with a different sanction that does not wholly eliminate Watchtower's right to a trial."
According to court documents, Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America issued two bonds to the court on behalf of the Jehovah's Witnesses in 2014. One of which totaled $20.2 million while the other was for $56,698.
The two sides will be in court on October 20 to discuss the motion.
By Jack Ryan
Imposes $4000-a-day penalty for not producing documents in sex-abuse case
By Dorian Hargrove, June 24, 2016
A San Diego Superior Court judge has ordered the Church of Jehovah's Witnesses, also known as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, to pay $4000 a day for every day that it fails to produce documents requested in a civil lawsuit brought by former parishioner, Osbaldo Padron, who claims a church elder sexually abused him when he was seven years old.
In a June 23 ruling, expected to be made final today, judge Richard Strauss admonished the church for willfully ignoring a court order to produce all documents associated with a 1997 Body of Elders letter that church leaders sent to parishes around the world in a quest to learn about sexual abuse of children by church leaders.
Over the course of the past year, the Watchtower Society and its lawyers have fought hard to keep the letter confidential, claiming that turning over the documents would infringe on the privacy of those mentioned in the letter that were not associated with the case.
In March 2015, the church turned over a heavily redacted version of the letter. Opposing attorneys called the redactions excessive, rendering the document illegible. Judge Strauss then assigned a discovery referee to sit with the two sides. But having a referee involved didn't solve matters. Repeatedly, the Watchtower Society has stated that it will not comply with the order.
"By the time of the hearing on the motion for sanctions, it will have been over a year since the initial order and almost three months since the [referee's recommendation] was adopted," reads Strauss's ruling. "In the period since...Watchtower has shown no effort or willingness to comply with the discovery order.
"Based upon the history in this case and Watchtower's statements...the court finds that Watchtower's failure to comply is willful...Watchtower clearly has control over the documents it has already produced and could revise the redactions with regard to those documents. This is obviously and clearly within the scope of Watchtower's powers which it chooses not to exercise. Continuing to repeat its prior unsuccessful arguments in opposition to the discovery order further illustrates Watchtower's obstinacy in compliance."
By Guest Nicole
Bautismo en la Asamblea Regional en San Diego, California, Estados Unidos.
By The Librarian
Seems as if everyone is selling this pins nowadays.
We used to be discouraged from identifying ourselves with Watchtower pins or logos in the past.
How do you feel about our modern wearing of pins?
What would be the arguments for / against such displaying of logos?
By Guest Nicole
Maya Kay y su abuela tomando notas en nuestra asamblea regional en español en San Diego, California, Estados Unidos, este pasado fin de semana.
By Guest Nicole
Mi sobrino de siete meses depositando una contribución en la Asamblea Regional en el Estadio Qualcom en San Diego, California, Estados Unidos.
By Guest Nicole
Durante nuestra asamblea regional en San Diego, CA, en el estadio Qualcomm. La asistencia del domingo fue 17,184.
By Guest Nicole
Amigas en una asamblea regional en San Diego, California, Estados Unidos.
By Guest Nicole
Más de 14,000 Testigos, 64 bautizados, reunidos en la Asamblea Regional en San Diego. Una de las últimas asambleas regionales al aire libre en Estados Unidos.
By Jack Ryan
SAN DIEGO (CN) — The national Jehovah's Witnesses organization must produce any documents in its possession relating to perpetrators of child sexual abuse, a California appeals court ruled.
Jose Lopez sued Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York and the Linda Vista Spanish Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses in June of 2012 for the sexual abuse he allegedly suffered when he was seven years old at the hands of his Bible instructor Gonzales Campos.
In 1986, Lopez's mother allowed Campos to give her son bible study lessons after an elder from her congregation recommended him because he was "good very good with children."
According to the complaint, after Campos had given Lopez several lessons, he sexually molested him.
The abuse was reported to an elder of the church after Lopez told his mother, but nothing was done after the elders spoke to Lopez about where he was touched.
This was not the first time there had been allegations Campos had sexually abused young boys.
Another boy from the same congregation accused Campos of sexually molesting him four years earlier.
Campos admitted to acting inappropriately, but the elders continued to allow him to be around children, and even continued to recommend him as a Bible instructor.
Lopez and his mother left the congregation shortly after the alleged abuse, but Campos continued to rise within the congregation over the next several years, eventually serving as an elder and being placed on the congregation's governing service committee.
Yet, according to the Lopez's complaint, between 1982 and 1995, Campos sexually abused at least eight other children.
Neither Watchtower nor the congregation ever reported the incidents to law enforcement officers, the complaint said.
With more than 1.2 million members and 13,777 congregations across the United States, the Jehovah's Witness religion's practices, policies and administrative duties were supervised by Watchtower during the relevant time period, including congregation elders who served as its agents.
Watchtower challenged two discovery orders -- one requesting the church produce documents concerning the sexual abuse of other victims; the other seeking to compel the disposition of an individual believed to be the managing agent of Watchtower at the time.
The organization also requested that an order, compelling it to pay nearly $38,000 in monetary sanctions, be terminated.
In addition to rejecting claims the document request was overly broad and violated attorney-client privilege, a three-judge panel with California's Fourth Appellate District also found that, although unusual, the 27-year post-incident request "is partly a function of the permissive limitations statutes governing child sexual abuse under which Lopez was seeking to recover for an alleged wrongful act committed almost three decades earlier."
Watchtower's claim that the document request was overly oppressive because it would take years to comply was also rejected by the panel, which pointed out the church's computer system had a search function that could easily identify information within the scanned documents.
The panel also shot down Watchtower's First Amendment objection by citing relevant cases, including a decade old case in which the court held it did not violate constitutional religious freedom when an archdiocese was order to product documents about priests who were indicted for sexually abusing children.
While the three-judge panel upheld the discovery order, it found the disposition order was not supportable because there was no evidence that the named individual was a managing agent at the time Lopez was abused.
Judge Judith Haller, writing for panel, concluded the ruling by finding the sanctions order needed to be vacated. "There was no question Watchtower willfully failed to comply with the document production order." Judge Haller wrote. "The fundamental flaw with the court's approach is there is no basis in the record showing the court could not have obtained Watchtowers' compliance with lesser sanctions."
By Guest Nicole
Video of a Hungry Sea Lion Wanders Into a Restaurant ...
A hungry sea lion pup wandered off the beach and into a fancy seaside San Diego restaurant Thursday morning, took one of the best seats in the house and peered out the window at the waves as if preparing to order a big plate of sardines.
Alas, it was too early to be served. The restaurant, the Marine Room, does not open for dinner until 5:30 p.m. — unless it is offering one of its special “high-tide breakfasts.”
Bernard Guillas, the executive chef at the restaurant, posted photos of the pup, curled up or looking out the window, on his Facebook page Thursday. “We found this little guy in The Marine Room restaurant this morning,” he wrote. “He was a little bit early for his high tide breakfast reservation.”
Continue reading the main story
The pup was eventually rescued and taken to San Diego’s SeaWorld. But it was the latest reported sighting of a stranded sea lion in California, where the mammals are increasingly being found on land in places they were never meant to be, partly because of changing weather conditions driving them ashore.
A sea lion wandered into La Jolla’s Cave Store, a souvenir shop, last month. An employee said she lured it outside with salmon.
“It was very, very gentle,” Jim Allen, the store owner, told a local TV station.
Experts are seeing a higher number ofreports of stranded sea lions, particularly in San Diego through Santa Barbara Counties, according to data published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Many of the stranded mammals have been emaciated pups.
In the first five months of 2015, there were 3,340 young sea lions found stranded, compared with 862 in the same period in 2014 and 1,262 in 2013, the agency said.
El Niño, the weather condition that causes temperatures in the Pacific Ocean to become unusually warm, is believed to be a reason behind the increased strandings because of its impact on the food supply web, according to the oceanic group. It can also generate algal blooms and infectious disease outbreaks.
The Marine Room, a high-end restaurant belonging to the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club in the wealthy San Diego enclave of La Jolla, has for 75 years offered diners a view of crashing waves from its dining room built straight into the ocean.
About 8 a.m. Thursday, Leslie Tovar, a manager for the Shores Restaurant, another of the club’s restaurants, was on the grounds when she got a call from a custodian at the Marine who was “vacuuming up the floor and happened to come across a baby sea lion that matched the interior very well.”
“He said there was a sea lion in the dining room,” Ms. Tovar said in a telephone interview Friday. “Booth 65. Which happens to be one of the best seats in the house, on the waterfront next to the window.”
Ms. Tovar went to the room and saw the pup napping. It was not clear how it got into the dining room, leaving the china and cutlery undisrupted in table settings, and nestled into the booth. But the staff suspects it went through a back door that the cleaner had propped open to take in equipment at 6 a.m.
Ms. Tovar called SeaWorld, which sent a team with a net and roused it from sleep. The team identified it as female, about 8 months old and weighing about 20 pounds — about half the weight it should be at that age.
“It was also a little bit shocking to see how small the pup was,” said Jody Westberg, one of SeaWorld’s animal coordinators, who went to the rescue.
“A micro-pup. Very small in body length, and very malnourished.”
On Friday morning, the pup was getting rehydration fluids in a critical care unit in “guarded” condition. She was spending days at a pool with other pups, and the plan was to get her back to the water, Ms. Westberg said.
Thursday night, after the pup left the Marine Room, dinner went on as usual in the restaurant after a thorough cleaning, Mr. Guillas, the chef, said in a telephone interview.
At one point, he said, the sea lion pup looked out the window toward the ocean, as if to say, “Can I go back now?”
Correction: February 5, 2016 An earlier version of this article misidentified one of the California counties where experts have noticed a rise in the number of stranded sea lions. It is Santa Barbara, not San Bernardino.
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