LA County’s Fourth Bid to Shut Down Community Church Denied, County Again Retaliates


On August 25, 2020, in California Superior Court, Judge Mitchell Beckloff issued a five-page opinion, County of Los Angeles et al. v. Grace Community Church et al., denying the County of Los Angeles’ renewed application for a temporary restraining order against the church and Pastor John MacArthur.

Thomas More Society attorneys are defending the renowned pastor and his congregation against an aggressive assault by the county over the right to hold indoor worship services.

In a very well-reasoned analysis of the prior proceedings, the court held that the county’s attempt to obtain a restraining order did not meet statutory requirements and that the Court of Appeal’s order did not justify a new temporary restraining order; rather, it simply stayed Judge Chalfant’s August 14 order and gave the county permission to enforce its own health order.

Thomas More Society Special Counsel Paul Jonna explained, “The court correctly concluded that Los Angeles County’s renewed application for a temporary restraining order was both procedurally and substantively defective. This was their fourth unsuccessful attempt to obtain a court order prohibiting indoor worship services at Grace Community Church. We look forward to fully vindicating our clients’ constitutionally protected rights in subsequent proceedings for this important case.”

Shortly after California Superior Court Judge Beckloff’s decision, the LA County retaliated by terminating a lease agreement of a large portion of a parking lot from Los Angeles County that Grace Community Church has leased for the past 45 years, Todd Starnes reported.

Starnes said, “No doubt this is in retaliation for the church invoking its Constitutional rights to gather for Sunday worship.”

“If Grace fails to vacate the premise as required, the District may enter the premises and remove Grace’s personal property,” the letter said.

The California mega-church was given 30-days to vacate the property. The church had been paying $8301.41 per month to use the parking lot.

Read more at the Thomas More Society here and at Todd Starnes here.

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