Jay Rogers
Director:
Jay Rogers

Recent Posts

The Forerunner

Federal judge discontinues clinic's lawsuit, 12/23/1999

By Editorial Staff
Published December 23, 1999

Judge: Lawyer abandoned case

By Bridget Hall, Staff Writer, Ocala Star-Banner

OCALA, FL — A federal judge has dismissed the abortion clinic’s lawsuit against local law enforcement and anti-abortion protesters, ruling that Dr. James Pendergraft’s attorney has abandoned the case.

Pendergraft’s attorney, Roy Lucas, has failed to respond to numerous motions filed since August, leaving U.S. District Judge William Terrell Hodges to conclude Dec. 16 that Pendergraft no longer wanted to pursue the case.

Attorneys for the city, county and anti-abortion protesters said they began asking three months ago for the case to be dismissed because Lucas was not responding to their requests or providing any information.

“The city’s position was, what is your proof that all of these horrible things you say are happening are happening, and what are your damages?” city attorney Patrick Gilligan said. “They wouldn’t produce that.”

Lucas did not respond to requests for comment, and Pendergraft’s spokeswoman Marti Mackenzie said the doctor had not yet seen the judge’s ruling.

“Dr. Pendergraft still believes his claims are valid,” Mackenzie said. “He’s anxious to talk with his attorney and see what the next step is.”

Pendergraft filed suit just over a year ago against the City of Ocala, the Ocala Police Department, Marion County and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, saying his right to equal protection under the law was violated when both law enforcement agencies denied his requests for a special duty officer to guard the Ocala Women’s Center.

Both agencies allow officers to work special security assignments in addition to their regular hours. The officers are uniformed, armed and have full arrest powers, but they are paid by the businesses that request them.

Ocala Police Chief Morrey Deen said he denied the clinic’s request because a police officer guarding the clinic could give the appearance of law enforcement taking sides in the heated abortion debate. The sheriff’s office denied the request because the clinic is within the city limits, which is OPD’s jurisdiction.

Pendergraft also sued the Rev. Ed Martin, Meredith Raney and 10 other unnamed abortion clinic protesters, saying they were harassing clinic personnel and patients.

Martin has vehemently denied the charges, saying he and the protesters are simply exercising their free speech rights on a public sidewalk. Raney said he has nothing to do with the case because he has never even been to the Ocala clinic.

“Of all of the allegations in the complaint, none of them had any resemblance to what happened,” said Martin’s attorney, Mathew Staver. “Where (Lucas) got that information was from the imagination of his own mind. When it came time for him to prove it, he couldn’t and he didn’t.”

Pendergraft, who wears a bullet-proof vest and army-style helmet to the clinic because he said he fears for his safety, filed the suit to get police protection, restrict the protesters’ activities and recover unspecified monetary damages.

Hodges ruled in April that until the case came to trial, Ocala Police could not refuse Pendergraft’s request for an officer. Pendergraft had an officer for one day, but then refused to sign OPD’s revamped contract for the special duty program.

The clinic has not had a police officer guarding it since then, Gilligan said.

Pendergraft’s suit also asked that protesters be banned from coming within 75 feet or bringing any surveillance equipment or weapons within 1500 feet of the abortion clinic.

If Pendergraft had his way, protests outside the clinic would have been limited to no more than five picketers gathering for only one hour twice a week. He also wanted the court to prevent protesters from having pictures on their signs and require the signs to carry a disclaimer saying abortion is medically safe and legal.

Hodges refused in April to impose those restrictions on the protesters until the case could come to trial, saying the protesters have acted within their First Amendment rights.

Martin said the restrictions were ridiculous — and unnecessary.

“Nobody’s ever brought a weapon,” Martin said. “We’re just out there as nonviolent protesters to something we think is wrong, and offering assistance to women going in. We’ve never had a problem with the police.”

Attorneys for the numerous defendants said they would ask the appellate court to force Pendergraft to pay for their costs from this “frivolous” lawsuit. Gilligan said the cost to the city has been at least $15,000, and Staver estimated the costs for all parties at about $75,000.

This case is the second abortion clinic lawsuit handled by Lucas to be dismissed in recent months.

In September, U.S. District Judge G. Kendall Sharp dismissed a suit by the Aware Woman Center for Choice in Orlando against CompuServe, America Online, Meredith Raney and 16 other protesters.

The suit, which Lucas filed in January for clinic owner Patricia Windle, alleged that Raney and the other protesters harassed clinic personnel and patients, using those Internet providers’ databases to get personal information about them.

Sharp dismissed that suit because, as with the Ocala Women’s Center suit, Lucas had failed to respond to several motions and serve many of the defendants with the necessary paperwork.


Forerunner - Home » Florida's Murder Industry »

Your comments are welcome!

Textile Help

Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

Just what is Calvinism?

Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

Running Time: 257 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


The Four Keys to the Millennium (Book)

Foundations in Biblical Eschatology

By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.

All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?

These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.

$12.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


Dr. Francis Schaeffer - How Should We Then Live? (DVD)

Special Two-Disc Set!

After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.

Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.

$49.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


Dr. Francis Schaeffer - A Christian Manifesto (DVD)

That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!

Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.

Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


Massacre of Innocence (DVD)

Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion

This presentation looks at the spiritual roots of abortion and exposes the myths surrounding child killing. Little known historical facts about abortion and how they relate to modern feminism are presented logically and accurately. Has been effective in converting many to a pro-life position.

Massacre of Innocence goes where no pro-life presentation has gone before in “tearing the lid off abortion” to reveal the spiritual realities we must battle if we will bring an end to this crime. The presentation is absorbing, fast-paced, informative and incredibly devastating to any attempt to justify abortion.

“… an extraordinary statement … a powerfully articulate presentation about what abortion really means, and why a great and moral nation like the United States must not allow the slaughter to continue.”
— Congressman Robert K. Dornan

Running time: 85 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information

Share |

Search this site:
View CCNow Cart/Checkout
View CCNow Cart/Checkout

RSS
Subscribe to
The Forerunner

Have The Forerunner Weblog sent straight to your inbox!

Enter your email address:

YouTube
The Forerunner Channel on YouTube


Promote Your Page Too

Featured Product
If you like the articles on this website, you may also be interested in:

Featured Articles

Live Seminar!

Real Jesus
The Abortion Matrix DVD: Update

The Abortion Matrix:
Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death

is a 195-minute presentation that traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God has produced. You can order this series on DVD, read the complete script and view clips on-line...
continued ...


View My Stats