Friday, February 23, 2007

The Kirk's Legal Documents

Now that the legal process is fully underway, our trustees decided that it would be appropriate to post links to them for your reading. I’ve given a short abstract of each document, along with a link to take you to that document. In order to go to the document, just click on the blue title in italics.

Motion for Summary Judgment with Exhibits
This was filed on January 22 of this year. Essentially, it asks the judge to make his decision based upon the information that has been presented.

Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery’s response
EOP responded to our request by asking for more information from us (the “discovery process”). Note that this list of 94 separate requests is entitled “Eastern Oklahahoma Presbytery’s First Interrogatories and First Request for Production of Documents” (emphasis added).

Petition to the court

This document is our original suit to have the affidavit removed from the Kirk’s property. This went to court because the Presbytery, upon our request, refused to remove it, therefore placing impediments to the clear ownership of our property.

PCUSA's Response and counterclaim
The PCUSA’s response to our initial petition lays out their claim that they own the Kirk land, buildings, and everything in the buildings (excluding, one hopes, the pastoral staff).

It is our hope that linking these will serve several purposes:
  1. We have nothing to hide in this process and believe that as much as possible should be shared.
  2. The Kirk’s membership should be allowed to read these documents for themselves.
  3. There may be other churches who can benefit from some of our experience in this process.

Note that laws regarding property are judged differently in each state, so what is presented here is focused on Oklahoma laws.

Good reading!

Tom

3 comments:

Jim said...

Tom,

Are you familiar with Groklaw.net?

It started out to fight the one-sided reporting of the SCO vs. IBM lawsuit. It has even been quoted by the Judges in the case. It put everything it could get from the court case, out in the open.

Many eyes, gave it many opinions and many hands, made for light work.

Some have influenced IBM on how they have handled the case! (The site is pro-IBM, but from a freedom to innovate point of view. It is now considered the premiere example of how a blog can be a high quality research tool.

katie said...

they want stuff from 1961?? sounds like they are just trying to bog you down with unimportant busy work!!
~katie

Anonymous said...

Tom,

Thank you and the trustees for allowing us to read the legal documents.

From the founding of the Kirk in 1961, all the legal documents pertaining to the Kirk's property have clearly stated the owner of the property is the Kirk of the Hills Corporation.

Neither the PCUSA nor Eastern Oklahoma has any legal documents giving them title to the land on which the Kirk is located. The fact an affidavit was filed by EOP in 2006 is an attempt by them to lay claim to something for which they have no legal docmuents.

Their sole claim to the Kirk property is based on statements in the Book of Order and the PCUSA Constitution and is not backed up by any legal papers.

It is apparent that the Cimarron case is not applicable to the Kirk's situtation because that church was a mission church, was never fully funded by the congregation, and certainly had no corporation that held title to the property.

It is rather frightening to think that that an association to which one belongs can claim title to property with no legal documentation (which is what the EOP and PCUSA are doing).

The argument the PCUSA is making is that they own all the property of all the churches affiliated with them by vitue of the fact this is stated in the Book of Order and the Constitution of the PCUSA. However, they have no legal documents giving them title to these churches and properties.

I wonder.....what would happen if the leaders of some of the homeowners associations in town decided to draw up documents stating that all the homes and property in the association were held in trust by the association for the benefit of the association?

Peggy Alexander