A California appeals court yesterday upheld a move by Planned Parenthood attorneys to collect an estimated $100,000 from a non-profit law firm known for its many legal challenges against the nation’s leading abortion provider.
The San Diego-based United States Justice Foundation now faces bankruptcy, according to its president, Gary Kreep.
“We don’t have the money,” he told WorldNetDaily last night. “Unless God intervenes and people come forward with money, we will be shut down.”
The three-judge panel of the California Court of Appeal – Patricia Benke, Judith Haller and Terry O’Rourke – ruled San Diego Superior Court Judge Kevin A. Enright properly imposed sanctions in the form of attorney’s fees because USJF filed a frivolous motion to dismiss a lawsuit.
Enright later said he regretted his decision, but the appeals-court judges were unswayed by that fact, Kreep said.
In the suit, Planned Parenthood of San Diego and Riverside Counties sought an injunction against a pro-life protester for allegedly harassing employees and customers of a San Diego-area clinic.
In October 2002, Enright awarded Planned Parenthood attorneys more than $60,000, agreeing that based on photographic evidence, no reasonable attorney would file a motion to dismiss the case against the pro-life activist. But USJF contended the photos clearly are open to interpretation.
Kreep has said he sees Planned Parenthood’s move as a retaliatory response.
“Planned Parenthood and their attorneys have been talking for years about trying to put us out of business,” Kreep told WorldNetDaily in December.
In addition to the $60,000, USJF will be forced to pay Planned Parenthood’s attorney’s fees in the appeals case, which could amount to an additional $40,000 or more.
Already, USJF had been forced to pay $15,000 in sanctions to Planned Parenthood in another case involving Enright. On Aug. 29, the judge threw out two counts of USJF’s 15-count lawsuit against the organization.
One count charged the clinics knew physical or sexual abuse of hundreds of children was occurring but did not report it. The other charged them with unlawful business practices.
Enright said those charges are frivolous, but USJF insists it has overwhelming evidence to prove Planned Parenthood routinely ignores its legal obligation to report cases in which it knows physical or sexual abuse of minors is occurring, citing an in-depth study, public records and the organization’s own records.
Kreep points out USJF has been defending pro-life picketers in criminal prosecution and civil litigation for more than 20 years.
“We do not charge for our services and rely on tax deductible donations to pay our staff and to fund our work,” he said in a statement in January. “We now need the help of the pro-life community.”
The attorney for Planned Parenthood of San Diego and Riverside Counties, James McElroy, has informed Kreep that if he cannot collect the money from USJF, he will seek it from Kreep personally.
Editor’s note: Contributions to the United States Justice Foundation can be made by calling (760) 741-8086 or sending a check to: USJF, 2091 E. Valley Parkway, Ste. 1-C, Escondido, CA 92027.