Friday, December 3, 2010

Excerpts 6-10 - Opinion of US 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, Case No. 08-2306 Options

November 23, 2010 - 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rules against Haifan Baha'is of Wilmette, Illinois
Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Opinion, Judge Sykes.
Excerpts - Opinion of US 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, Case No. 08-2306

No. 08-2306
...tual Assembly in federal court in the Northern District of
Illinois. The Hereditary Guardianship claimed entitlement
to the majestic Bah House of Worship in Wilmette,
Illinois, pictured here:
and also sued for all other properties and funds in the
National Spiritual Assembly s possession. The National
Spiritual Assembly in turn asserted counterclaims against
the Hereditary Guardianship for trademark infringement
and unfair competition, among other causes of action.
No. 08-2306
In a decision issued on June 28, 1966, Judge Richard
Austin sided with the National Spiritual Assembly.
Among other factual findings, Judge Austin found that
Shoghi Effendi was the only Guardian of the Baha i
Faith, and there is no Guardian at the present time
and has been none since 1957. The procedures
followed by the Hands of the Cause and the succession
of authority from Shoghi Effendi to The Universal
House of Justice were in full accordance with
the controlling documents and sacred writings and
teachings of the Faith.
Nat l Spiritual Assembly v. Nat l Spiritual Assembly, No.
64 C 1878, 1966 WL 7641, at *2 (N.D. Ill. 1966). The judge
also found that the National Spiritual Assembly is
the highest authority of the Baha i Faith in the
continental United States, and has been recognized and
authorized as such by The Universal House of Justice and
its predecessor supreme Baha i Faith authorities. Id. at *3.
On the basis of these and other findings of fact, Judge
Austin concluded that [t]here is only one Baha i Faith,
and that the National Spiritual Assembly is the highest
authority for the Faith in [the] continental United States
and is entitled to exclusive use of the marks and symbols
of the Faith. Id. at *11. The judge went on to hold that
the National Spiritual Assembly owned valid trademarks
in several specific Bah symbols, names, and
phrases including a trademark in the word Bah 픗all
of which the Hereditary Guardianship had infringed.
Judge Austin then entered the following injunction:
No. 08-2306
counter-defendant, [the Hereditary Guardianship], its
officers, agents, servants, employees, attorneys, and all
persons in active concert or participation with them,
including [affiliated local groups], and individuals, or
any of them, be and they are hereby enjoined from
using in their activities the designations National
Spiritual Assembly of the Baha is of the United States
of America Under the Hereditary Guardianship, Inc.,
Baha i News Bureau, Baha i Round Robin,
Baha i, trademark representations of the Baha i
House of Worship, the Arabic design The Greatest
Name, and any other designation which by colorable
imitation or otherwise is likely to be mistaken for or
confused with [the National Spiritual Assembly s]
name or marks as indicated above or is likely to create
the erroneous impression that [the Hereditary Guard-
ianship s] religious activities, publications or doctrines
originate with [the National Spiritual Assembly], and
from otherwise competing unfairly with [the National
Spiritual Assembly] or infringing [the National Spiri-
tual Assembly s] rights.
Id. at *12.
Remey acquiesced in the injunction, and he forbade the
Hereditary Guardianship and its followers from pursuing
reconsideration or appeal regardless of consequences. A
few months later, in December 1966, the Hereditary
Guardianship ceased all activities and dissolved. Remey
eventually reconstituted his church and changed his title to
the First Guardian of the Abha Faith.
No. 08-2306
B. The Current Dispute
In 2006 the National Spiritual Assembly returned to court
seeking contempt sanctions against five religious organiza-
tions and individuals all remnants of the Hereditary
Guardianship but nonparties to the original litigation for
allegedly violating the 1966 injunction. The National
Spiritual Assembly contended that the alleged contem-
nors were in privity with the Hereditary Guardianship and
therefore bound by the injunction. The named respondents
can be classified into two groups. The first includes Joel
Marangella, Frank Schlatter, and the Provisional National
Bah Council of the United States, Inc. The second
includes the Second International Bah Council d/b/a
Bah s Under the Provisions of the Covenant ( Second
International Council ) and Bah Publishers Under the
Provisions of the Covenant ( Bah Publishers ). We offer
a brief description of each.
1. The First Group of Alleged Nonparty Contemnors
Joel Marangella was the president of a council
that functioned essentially as a liaison between Remey
and the Hereditary Guardianship. While not a
board member of the Hereditary Guardianship, Marangella
was actively involved in the organization and
participated in some aspects of the underlying litigation,
basically as a trusted assistant to Remey. A few years
after the Hereditary Guardianship dissolved, Marangella
split with Remey and forced a second schism. He pro-
claimed himself to be Remey s appointed Third
Guardian of the Bah Faith. Remey disputed Marangella s
No. 08-2306
claim; he had already announced that upon his
death, Donald Harvey was to succeed him as the next
Guardian. Remey and M arangella thus parted
ways. Starting in 1970, Marangella organized a
succession of religious assemblies dedicated to his Guard-
ianship. The first, the National Bureau of the Orthodox
Bah Faith ( National Bureau ), was established in
New York as an unincorporated body. In 1972 Marangella
moved the National Bureau to New Mexico and later
changed its name to the Mother Bah Council, which
was incorporated under the laws of New Mexico in 1978.
In 2000 the Mother Bah Council changed its name to
the Provisional National Bah Council of the United
States, Inc. ( Provisional National Council ).
Franklin Schlatter was a founding board member and
officer of the Hereditary Guardianship. He appears to
have been involved with the Hereditary Guardianship s
activities to a considerable degree and was part of the
board that voted to sue the National Spiritual Assembly.
W h en the Rem ey-M arangella schism occu rred ,
Schlatter followed Marangella and served as secretary of
the Provisional National Council (and its predecessors)
from 1978 through 2001. In 1997 Marangella appointed
Schlatter as a Hand of the Cause of God to assist and act
on his behalf.
The Provisional National Council governs all believers
within the United States who recognize Marangella as
the Third Guardian, much like Hereditary Guardianship
governed those who recognized Remey as the
Second Guardian. Marangella personally appoints all
Provisional National Council board members and....

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