EntertainmentTVCourt: California Church Does Not Have to Pay over...

Court: California Church Does Not Have to Pay over $200,000 in Fines for Violating COVID-19 Restrictions


- Advertisment -spot_imgspot_imgspot_imgspot_img

On Monday, a California appeals court ruled that a San Jose church does not have to pay the more than $200,000 in fines it accrued for violating COVID-19 restriction.

The ruling, which was issued by a three-judge panel in California’s 6th District Court of Appeal, reverses several lower court decisions against Calvary Chapel San Jose, which was fined for continuing to hold large, in-person gatherings in violation of state and local COVID-19 restrictions.

According to The Christian Post, the appeals court overturned a December 17, 2020, order requiring Calvary Chapel to pay $33,000 for violating Santa Clara County’s restraining order prohibiting the church from holding indoor gatherings with more than 100 people on November 2, 2020.

The county issued the restraining order on October 13, 2020, after the church failed to follow its COVID-19 rules.

Despite making exceptions for other public institutions, including schools, train stations, airports, medical facilities, stores and restaurants, the county placed restrictions on churches.

For this reason, the appeals court argued that the restraining order was “unconstitutional because it discriminates against a religious institution in violation of the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.”

The panel also ruled that Calvary Chapel does not have to pay an additional fine of $22,000 for violating the November restraining order or a penalty of close to $200,000 levied against the church in February 2021 for contempt.

Monday’s ruling cited previous rulings, including the 2020 decision in Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomoand the 2021 ruling in Tandon v. Newsom, where the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of houses of worship facing COVID-19 gathering restrictions from officials in New York and California, respectively.

As reported by Fox News,  Robert Tyler, president of Advocates for Faith & Freedom, celebrated the appeals court ruling in favor of Calvary Chapel Jose.

“This is a significant victory for churches and pastors across this country,” Tyler said in a press release. “We are honored to represent pastors and churches who are willing to take the heat in defense of liberty because it benefits everyone.”

Mike McClure, the senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Jose, also celebrated the legal victory and argued that the county’s order violated religious freedom.

“I thank God that our actions have been justified by the Court of Appeal,” McClure said in the release. “We are here to help the hurting, save the lost, and worship God without governmental intrusion.”

Photo courtesy: Rawpixel/Unsplash

Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.

Read More

Latest news

- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_imgspot_imgspot_img
- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_imgspot_imgspot_img

Transformers series gets a Magic: The Gathering crossover and a new game in 2023, too

Home PC Transformers (Image credit: IDW Publishing) Good news if you enjoyed the Transformer Earthspark TV show – Outright Games has confirmed a...

Must read

Prepare for every possible purchase path

Consumer expectations have evolved. Be ready for any consumer,...

Kia, Genesis post higher September sales

U.S. sales at Kia and Genesis rose in September as...

Tesla’s robot waves but can’t walk, yet. Elon Musk plans to make millions of them

SAN FRANCISCO -- Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk showed...

Truckmakers see future in hydrogen fuel cell tech

HANOVER, Germany — While the auto industry struggles to...
- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_imgspot_img

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you