The action today in Dupage County Circuit Court in the ongoing lawsuits against IBLP and Bill Gothard was not what we wanted, but know the Lord is firmly in control.
1). The judge denied the motions brought by IBLP and Bill to dismiss the lawsuit “with prejudice” based on statute of limitation barriers and other concerns. The plaintiff team sought for a narrow foundation of possibility to stay within the statue laws based on each plaintiff claiming a medical condition which kept them from understanding or remembering the “abuse” until – in most cases – decades had passed. The judge is allowing them the ability to proceed with that possibility remaining to be proven. This would have been an ultimate “slam dunk” conclusion, not typical for a major lawsuit. The fact that the defense lawyers were quite hopeful the motions were going to prevail could shed some light on their perspectives on the relative strength of the claims being made.
2) The objection to the “bundling” of a group of plaintiffs not in a class was denied. Rationale was that this is sometimes done for expediency in the early stages of multiple lawsuits with similar concerns, with the understanding that each plaintiff will eventually stand alone in trial in his/her own complaint, should their cause get that far.
3). Ruth Copley Burger’s charges were dismissed “with prejudice”, meaning they cannot be retried – each side handles their legal costs. This drops Dr. Ken Copley from the lawsuit. We have no idea what actions he may wish to take, but he has been savagely slandered over many years, most recently at the hands of Recovering Grace. He has suffered loss of employment and open hatred from those that believed the published accounts, which include the hastily withdrawn allegations by Jane Doe 2 against him. Dr. Copley had at his disposal testimony of those whom Ruth had told early on that she, with the encouragement and help from others, had fabricated allegations to get even with her parents. Simple objective fact checking would have clued the RG “team” in that the accusations were likely false . . . But instead she was simply considered acceptable fodder for the overall objective of harming IBLP generally and Bill specifically. Our justice system is not set up to allow personal vendettas to be furthered with lies and frivolous lawsuits. It does protect those that are so defamed.
4). Matthew Heard’s case lags the others as he just obtained counsel. We believe he also filed for dismissal, hearing early March.
5). All references to “criminal sexual assault” as a charge were stricken from the lawsuit.
Next steps involve examination of each remaining count in the suit, challenges from the defense, responses from the plaintiffs, with a status hearing March 2nd, 2017. Thereafter depositions will be taken from each plaintiff, witnesses as discovery proceeds.
There were mixed feelings praying for a speedy cancellation of the suit. On the one hand the flow of tons of money into legal firms would be stanched, but Bill guilt or innocence would never have been addressed. As it stands now the claims will be examined under bright lights, getting brighter the further it goes. And that is a very good thing.