Music church to appeal verdict on drug raid
Attorneys for a former music church that lost a federal civil rights lawsuit have given notice they will appeal the jury's verdict.
Attorneys with Reed Smith LLP of Pittsburgh on Aug. 23 filed the notice of appeal in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh on behalf of the former Church of Universal Love and Music; its founder, William Pritts; and eight church members.
Pritts and the others claim Fayette County violated their civil rights when police executed a search warrant to look for drugs at a church function at its Bullskin property.
Church member and Pritts contended the drug raid was ordered by county officials in retaliation for an earlier out-of-court settlement in a years-long zoning dispute that resulted in the county paying the church $75,000 to drop a discrimination lawsuit.
The settlement permitted the church to hold concerts on the 149-acre rural property, but prohibited drugs and alcohol there.
A jury in July found that the Aug. 1, 2009 raid by the county drug task force at the church's outdoor “Funk Fest” did not violate members' constitutional rights to freedom of religion, right of assembly and against illegal search and seizures.
The attorneys indicated they will file the appeal with the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, but nothing had been filed as of Wednesday.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers’ Harrison awaits go-ahead from Tomlin before practicing
- 4 ejections, benches-clearing scrum mark Pirates’ win over Reds
- Slot cornerback Boykin should give Steelers options in secondary
- Pittsburgh airport improvements noted as CEO tries to expand activity
- Pa. breeding ground for corruption, experts say
- Inside the Steelers: Roethlisberger strong in goal-line drills
- Developers share their vision for Garden Theater block on North Side
- Zimbabwe alleges Murrysville doctor illegally killed lion
- Pirates notebook: Burnett says ‘surgery is not an option’
- Tax fight brews among Southwest Greensburg business owners, landlords
- Steelers notebook: WR Bryant sidelined after minor procedure on right elbow