Jay Rogers
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

Freedom: The Model of Christian Liberty (DVD)

“Give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.

The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).

Welcome to the Second American Revolution!

This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.

$14.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information

A Revival Account: Asbury 1970 (DVD)

What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?

Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.

Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!

“This simple video does a wonderful job of conveying something of God’s heart and power, Everyone we have ever shown this to has received an immediate impartation of faith for revival and the power of prayer.”
— Bob and Rose Weiner, Weiner Ministries Int’l

Running Time: 40 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information

The United States of America 2.0: The Great Reset (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 40 pages of dynamite!

Revival, Resistance, Reformation, Revolution
An Introduction to the Doctrines of Interposition and Nullification

In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.

By the 21st century, we need a “Puritan Storm” to sweep away the Hegelian notion that the state is “God walking on earth.” We need revival and reformation in full force to vanquish the problems that plague us as a nation — from government controlled healthcare — to abortion on demand — to same sex “marriage.” This booklet gives a primer on our founders’ Christian idea of government and examines how the doctrine of nullification was woven into the Constitution as a safeguard against federal tyranny. It concludes with the history and theology of civil resistance. A Second American Revolution is coming with the Word of God growing mightily and prevailing! (Acts 19:20).

$7.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information

Frank Schaeffer Will You Please Shut Up! (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 200 pages

A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism

Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner

The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.

Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.

Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.

$14.95 — 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 |

View CCNow Cart/Checkout
View CCNow Cart/Checkout

Subscribe to
The Forerunner

Have The Forerunner Weblog sent straight to your inbox!

Enter your email address:

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