TMLC Files Lawsuit on Behalf of Pastor Terry Jones – City of Dearborn Employs New Tactic to Silence Christian Pastor
ANN ARBOR, MI – Yesterday afternoon,the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) filed a federal lawsuit in the Federal District Court against the City of Dearborn, and its police chief over the City’s new tactic to stop Pastor Terry Jones from speaking out against Sharia law.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Pastor Terry Jones, Stand Up America Now, (an organization he founded), and Associate Pastor Wayne Sapp.
In February 2012, an application for a special events permit was filed with the City to allow Pastor Jones to speak this Saturday, April 7th in front of the largest mosque in North America located in Dearborn, Michigan.
However, Dearborn demanded Jones and his organization sign a ‘Hold Harmless’agreement as a condition to granting the permit. [Link to Agreement] The agreement requires Pastor Jones to surrender all of his legal rights if he wants to speak on public property. TMLC’s lawsuit claims the Defendants’ Hold Harmless agreement places an unconstitutional restriction on Pastor Jones’s First Amendment rights. [Link to lawsuit]
The Thomas More Law Center is a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan whose mission is to restore and defend America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and moral values and to promote a strong national defense.
Erin Mersino, TMLC’s attorney handling the case claimed in the lawsuit, “Plaintiffs should not be forced to sign a one-sided, unconscionable contract subject only to the unbridled discretion of the city’s legal department in order to exercise their constitutional rights,” She continued, “the city’s free speech restriction imposes an unconstitutional burden on plaintiffs’ constitutional rights.”
TMLC represented Pastor Jones and his associate Wayne Sapp last November after they were jailed in Dearborn before uttering a word. In that case, a State District Court judge ordered that they sign a ‘Peace Bond.’ However, the Law Center overturned that order on appeal.
The Thomas More Law Center currently represents several Christian missionaries whose first amendment rights have been trampled upon by the City of Dearborn, home to the largest Muslim population in the United States.
Stand Up America Now, headed by Pastor Jones, was established for the purpose of proclaiming the Holy Bible to Muslims and educating people about the threat of Sharia law to our Nation’s fundamental principles of freedom. As part of his outreach efforts, Pastor Jones travels around the country speaking about Christianity at Muslim events and mosques.