Grand Haven Lawsuit Refiled Without Anonymity

I’ve written a couple times about the lawsuit against Grand Haven, a city not far from where I live, involving a giant cross on public property. The plaintiffs, who object to the removal of the cross, initially tried to file anonymously and were denied. They’ve now refiled, using their names.

Attorney Helen Brinkman said she resubmitted the civil suit alleging a city ordinance regarding the use of Dewey Hill is unconstitutional. This time, the suit names the plaintiffs.

The initial lawsuit filed in April was dismissed last week.

Names were not included in the original lawsuit because of fear of retaliation, Brinkman said for a previous story. The plaintiffs in the first lawsuit were only referred to as “Citizens of Grand Haven.”

Ottawa County Circuit Judge Jon Hulsing dismissed the lawsuit because it didn’t meet the criteria required for an “unincorporated voluntary association,” so the group couldn’t file it…

The lawsuit focuses on a resolution adopted by Grand Haven City Council on Jan. 5. City Council voted 3-2 to restrict displays on the public areas of Dewey Hill — with a few exceptions, such as the American flag. This means the cross, which had been raised only for Sunday evening services in the summer, is no longer allowed on the hill.

You can read the actual complaint here. It’s so amateurish that it’s surprising that it wasn’t written by Larry Klayman. This is my favorite part:


Yes, Mitch is associated with the “Freedom From Religion Association.” And the complaint includes a webpage “showing affiliation with Freedom From Religion.” That webpage, of course, clearly says Freedom From Religion Foundation. Apparently the lawyer could not even be bothered to get the name right. But even if she had, of what relevance could this possibly be to the legal issues in the case? She literally spent more than 4 pages of a 21 page complaint to document a totally irrelevant fact.

Nor is the fact that Mitch doesn’t live in Grand Haven the least bit relevant. He lives in nearby Norton Shores. But the plaintiffs in this very case do not all live in Grand Haven. Some of them live “in Ottawa county,” according to the complaint. So the attorney makes two totally irrelevant claims in the complaint, claims that are designed only to make Mitch sound bad rather than to make an actual legal argument. Klayman would be so proud!

As before, this case has virtually no chance of winning. If it isn’t dismissed, the city will win on summary judgment without a full trial. It’s a complete waste of time and money.

"Sorry, but attending a gala honoring someone is something you either voluntarily attend or not. ..."

How to Think Critically About the ..."
"Wow... this is rich... Aussies have more than just Kenny Ham to get entertained by.As ..."

Swanson: God Will Punish Australia for ..."
"True critical and rational thought would acknowledge that false accusations are extremely rare, but that ..."

How to Think Critically About the ..."
"To clarify... I meant groping a grown woman vs. “dating”, i.e. “molesting” a 14 year ..."

How to Think Critically About the ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Modusoperandi

    I don’t see what the issue you people have with this is. It was just Simple Ceremonial Deism, where all Americans could come together on Sundays and worship Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    If anything, you people have more than so-called “Equal Access”. The cross was only up one day a week. Meanwhile, your nothing was up for six!

  • busterggi

    Can’t Christians just be satisfied with pissing on the ground to mark ‘their’ territory?

  • Richard Smith

    Also, this is apparently a legal document from the future! October 20, 2015?

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Stand by for a sordid series of outrageous atrocity reports as the now unshielded plaintiffs face martyrdom in their homes and neighborhoods from an ungodly wave of vicious “WTF?”s!

  • John Pieret

    From the complaint:

    The Cross version of the Monument is used by First Reformed Church as part o f the Worship on the Waterfront, held on Sunday evenings in the summer. The Church rents the City Waterfront Bleachers and the Cross is erected as part of that service.

    Well, at least the lawyer’s aim is sufficient to find her client’s feet.

    So the city was participating in a church service with it’s use of the cross. So where are the Star of David, the Muslim Star and Crescent and the atheist “A,” to name just a few?

  • eoraptor


    Musta been Obama’s magical, mystical, muslim, atheist, communist, LGBTQ time-machine.

  • whheydt

    Re: busterggi @ #2….

    To do that would require installing fire hydrants. Then they’ll need large crosses to find the hydrants.

  • blf

    It’s taken c.2000 years to train the xians who live in places with sanitation system to not routinely piss on the ground and — just as importantly — to not only keep those those sanitation systems working, but to improve them. And now you want ’em to pee on everything?

    “What have the Romans done for us?”

  • briandavis

    She literally spent more than 4 pages of a 21 page complaint to document a totally irrelevant fact.

    Lawyers invoice for billable hours, not useful hours.

  • skinnercitycyclist

    So I gather from this and other recent figures in the news that it really does not take much brains for either law school or neurosurgery…?

  • blf

    Now watch the people named in the complaint dying mysterious deaths, the Assassins Guild’s funds growing, and, and, and whatever else the soon-to-die-“mysteriously” were worried about…