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Churches continue to fight Hawaii schools lawsuit

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 01:40 p.m. HST, Apr 07, 2014

A religious liberty group is fighting an amended lawsuit that claims churches owe millions of dollars for renting Hawaii public school buildings for services.

A judge previously dismissed a lawsuit claiming the churches owe more than $5.6 million in rental fees, saying the legal action didn't contain the required level of detail for a case alleging fraud.

Hawaii Citizens for the Separation of Church and State founder Mitchell Kahle and public advocate Holly Huber filed an amended suit in February, detailing alleged underpayment of fees by One Love Ministries and Calvary Chapel Central Oahu for the use of school facilities.

The lawsuit was filed under a law that allows private parties to bring action on behalf of the government.

Religious liberty group Alliance Defending Freedom filed another motion to dismiss the lawsuit earlier this month, reiterating its previous argument that the state Department of Education knew how the facilities were being used.

"The substance of it is basically the same," one of the group's attorneys, Erik Stanley, said Monday. "There's really nothing new in the amended complaint."

A hearing on the motion to dismiss is scheduled for May 27.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs and for the state couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

The original lawsuit also named three New Hope churches as defendants. But their denomination, International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, agreed to pay a $775,000 settlement, said general counsel Elford Clark. He said the court approved the settlement amount.

"We settled it because we felt it was better to help the schools than to try to fight a long lawsuit," Clark said, adding that he believes the churches would have prevailed. "We try to be good neighbors and good citizens."

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Barefootie wrote:
And so it continues, Mitch Kahle is doing this for the MONEY, and not out of any altruism or religious fervor, or even out of the goodness of his heart! He has found a way to continue to make easy money and will continue his attacks, until the State legislature closes those loopholes that he is currently exploiting to his own gain!
on April 7,2014 | 12:28PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
No doubt what he's claiming is true though, these church groups have been inappropriately using these facilities at the expense of the taxpayers. They should pay a fair rent.
on April 7,2014 | 01:45PM
lookup wrote:
The true facts stand as proof...the churches have payed the state what was due and have also contributed to caring for the school grounds by cleaning, painting and doing other fix it projects just to be a blessing to the school and students. They paid the rent that was agreed upon and Kahle is trying to make some money for his own pocket at the expense of the people of Hawaii as those who attend and support the churches spoken of are tax paying Citizens of Hawaii!
on April 7,2014 | 02:30PM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
lookup wrote: "The true facts stand as proof...the churches have payed the state what was due and have also contributed to caring for the school grounds by cleaning, painting and doing other fix it projects just to be a blessing to the school and students."

I am so sorry. Apparently you get your news from the Star Advertiser and this is one of those stories they choose to bury. The Civil Beat got it though: "What Will the Hawaii DOE Do With the $775K New Hope Settlement?"


on April 7,2014 | 05:40PM
joseph007 wrote:
Churches, like the bible, are run by men! And we know "men" would never lie, cheat, steal or misrepresent their activities.
on April 8,2014 | 08:53AM
handsomeguy wrote:
Let's face it. The churches are entitled to their own opinion but not their own facts. They failed to pay the appropriate rent and now must do so. I hope this goes all the way up to the supreme court if the churches don't pay. They already don't pay any tax on anything which shifts the burden to us poor tax payers. Most people are tired of those people claiming to do the work of God while they sexually molest our innoncent little children.
on April 7,2014 | 03:46PM
pakeheat wrote:
you are nuts!
on April 7,2014 | 03:56PM
handsomeguy wrote:
Pake...Calling people names only displays your ignorance. When you graduate from high school, you might be able to start making intelligent comments. Until then, it is better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.
on April 7,2014 | 04:28PM
handsomeguy wrote:
pake...calling people names only displays your ignorance. When you graduate from high school, you might be intelligent enough to make a comment. Until then, it is better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.
on April 7,2014 | 04:31PM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
Apparently New Hope is nuts too, because they've already paid up.

"The international megachurch that oversees New Hope has agreed to fork over $775,000 to settle a lawsuit claiming it shortchanged the state when it rented public school facilities on Oahu. "


on April 7,2014 | 05:41PM
8082062424 wrote:
In resolving the lawsuit, Foursquare Gospel — which was not named in the original complaint, although it faced a separate claim from Kahle and Huber — “admitted no under payment or wrongdoing,” the settlement says. In a statement included in the settlement, an unnamed spokesman for Foursquare Gospel said that “helping schools is a better use of church funds than fighting law suits.” they never admitted any wrong doing
on April 7,2014 | 06:36PM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
No, they never admitted wrong doing, they just gave up $750,000 rather than go to court and try to defend themselves in front of a jury.

on April 7,2014 | 07:52PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
on April 8,2014 | 05:32AM
pakeheat wrote:
you are nuts too!
on April 7,2014 | 07:48PM
lookup wrote:
Hello... facts are facts...different people do not have different facts to the same situation. The truth is the truth!
on April 7,2014 | 04:29PM
thos wrote:
“us poor tax payers.”

Wanna little cheese with that whine?

As a bid for sympathy this is truly pitiful.
on April 8,2014 | 06:09AM
handsomeguy wrote:
People are entitled to their own opinion...they are not entited to their own facts. When the person who said that I am nuts graduates from high school, they might be intelligent enough at that point to express an opinion, Until then, it is better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.
on April 7,2014 | 05:05PM
handsomeguy wrote:
It looks like someone from the Catholic church or one of the New Hope people who works at the Advetiser is blocking comments.
on April 7,2014 | 05:07PM
8082062424 wrote:
the Catholic church does not rent from doe they have churches
on April 7,2014 | 06:32PM
thos wrote:
Then how come YOUR comment was not blocked, eh?
on April 8,2014 | 06:10AM
blackmurano wrote:
You see a picture of a smiling Atheist Mitch Kahle. When I first saw this Atheist, he had very long hair, a strong sounding voice, and a face looking hatred for Christianity. I was attending a men's Christian conference at the Blasidell years ago, and this Atheist was walking fast back and forth with his blasphermy sign against Chrisitanity. In the past he attempted to stop the Honolulu Police Department that something to do with Christianity. Don't know if he succeeded. Mitch Kahle had a weblink that was given to me by a brother in Christ. I had to delete it after looking at it. It was pure hell against Jesus Christ and Christianity.
on April 7,2014 | 08:41PM
Giligan wrote:
Go Kahle and Huber, Go!
on April 8,2014 | 06:01AM
thos wrote:
Yes and I can suggest a destination, too, for the both of them.
on April 8,2014 | 06:12AM
thos wrote:
Kahle is a zealot of the Religious Left. His gospel - - and that of his fellow hater-tots - - preaches the eradication of religion, especially Christianity.

You can take it to the bank: Hating the Church is for him a matter of FAITH.

He DESPISES the free exercise clause of the First Amendment and will not rest until he has ground it under foot by any means, fair or [preferably] foul.
on April 8,2014 | 06:18AM
hawaiikone wrote:
No, Kahle is simply an employee of a different boss. He probably ought to check out the retirement benefits.
on April 8,2014 | 08:07AM
Skyler wrote:
They have tasted blood (money) and are going for the jugular. What comes around, goes around - 'nuff said.
on April 7,2014 | 08:41PM
whs1966 wrote:
The churches fighting the lawsuit are claiming to be victims, claiming that their religious freedoms are begin threatened. What nonsense! Yes, as Barefootie states, it is about $$. The churches using public facilities need to pay what they owe. End of story. If they don't want to pay what they owe the taxpayers of the state, they should build their own facilities.
on April 8,2014 | 05:40AM
hawaiikone wrote:
I've been disappointed throughout this entire investigation. New Hope's payment is an indication that perhaps once again an overzealous individual has given someone like Kahle the opportunity to condemn the church. Whether unintentional or otherwise, and regardless of motive, far more harm is done than good when mistakes like this are revealed. Reimbursing the state is manini compared to the damage we cause Christ's image to the lost. He told us to "render unto Caesar", and as Christians, our personal lives as well as our church's secular relationships must stand up to the closest scrutiny. We are supposed to be representatives of Jesus, just as Kahle is a representative of another master. Giving him ammunition is the last thing we should be doing.
on April 8,2014 | 07:14AM
Clayton wrote:
Not only are the churches being hurt by these law suits. Many other community groups and non-profit organizations are also being hurt, as their relationships with the schools have been altered because school administrators are worried about their schools being involved in other law suits brought on by Mr. Kahle. Scouts are a good example. They do a lot for the schools they use as well as serve the community they are in, but door have been shut to some because of these use of facility law suits. In the end the community well as the schools are the losers. I am also wondering what we (the tax payers) are paying in court costs for law suits that a vote would show that the majority of people don't want.
on April 8,2014 | 08:13AM
Winston wrote:
Ain't humanity a marvel--- to produce such as this Kahle fellow. I can imagine what the society he envisions would look like. Pretty ugly.
on April 8,2014 | 09:01AM
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