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Tamaqua church files objections to civil suit

Published December 26. 2012 05:02PM

Preliminary objections were filed by Zion Evangelical Church, Tamaqua, to the civil suit filed by Frances L. Stahl, 12 Miler Lane,Tamaqua, in the Schuylkill County Court. The church seeks to have the suit dismissed.

Francis L. Stahl filed the law suit against Zion Evangelical Church and George Taylor, president of the church counsel, as a result of a dispute she encountered with the church and its members concerning a project she undertook to research and write a book about the history of the church, then sell the copies of the book to the general public with profits from the sales to go to the church. Stahl in her suit claimed to have suffered various physical, emotional and mental injuries as a result of the dispute.

In responding to the suit the church filed preliminary objections in the nature of a motion to strike various documents listed in her complaint, such as certain e-mail correspondence, a proposed compromise, selected church chapter bylaws, a private admonishment and church council meeting minutes because they are impertinent and should be stricken. The church claims these impertinences in a pleading is the averment of a fact or facts which are irrelevant to the material issues and which, whether proven or not, or whether admitted or denied, can have no influence in leading to the result of the judicial inquiry.

The church claims Stahl may plead only material facts and not the evidence which may be offered to prove those facts at trial and is to plead no more than one material fact in each charge. The church refers to existing laws which state the line of demarcation between what is fact and what is evidence is not always easy to find and claims Stahl is attempting to plead evidence she intends to establish in support of her allegations of negligence against the defendant and asks the court to dismiss the suit on grounds it fails to comply with the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure.

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