Grand Haven Lawsuit Refiled Without Anonymity

Grand Haven Lawsuit Refiled Without Anonymity June 15, 2015

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.

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