Archdiocese of Portland to Notify Parishioners of Class Action Lawsuit.
If you are or were a member of a parish or if you have made gifts, donations, and/or tithes to or for the benefit of any of the 124 parishes located within the territory of the Debtor, which is west of the Cascade Mountains in Oregon ("the Territory") your rights as a parishioner (as well as the rights of the parish) may be affected by the Bankruptcy Case and the Lawsuit.
The lawsuit has one defendant class composed of two sub-classes. One sub-class includes all parishes with their schools and missions. The second sub-class consists of parishioners and donors. Three Catholic high schools: Central Catholic in Portland, Regis in Stayton, and Marist in Eugene are not named in this class action, but the schools are part of the property dispute litigation. Archbishop John G. Vlazny wrote to parishioners in June, "We have steadfastly maintained that parish property and parish money belong to the individual parishes and are not available to pay creditors of the Archdiocese. After many months, it has been determined that parishes, along with parishioners, will have a voice in the proceedings as part of a class that is to be certified."
The Notice summarizes the issue involved in the lawsuit: The issue in this Lawsuit is whether parish churches, schools and certain funds, defined below as the Disputed Property, are available to pay claims against the Debtor. The Debtor contends those assets are not available to pay claims against the Debtor.
The Notice of Class Action answers a number of questions parishioners may have concerning the lawsuit. The question: WILL I HAVE TO PAY ANY MONEY IF THE CLASS LOSES ALL OR A PART OF THE LAWSUIT? is answered: "Under no circumstances will you as a class member be liable for the payment of any money solely as a result of being a member of the class."
Parishioners in the Class Action will be represented by Steven M. Hedberg, Douglas R. Pahl and Michael H. Simon of the Portland law firm Perkins Coie, LLP. A hearing is scheduled for October 11, 2005 at 9:30 a.m., at the U. S. Bankruptcy Court, 1001 SW Fifth Avenue, Seventh Floor, in Portland. Parishioners and other interested parties are invited to the hearing. The Notice explains to parishioners their rights as members of the class, their options and the potential consequences of those options.
The Notice of Class action is posted on the web site for the Archdiocese of Portland www.archdpdx.org/bankruptcy and on the web site for the Committee of Parishes and Parishioners www.parishionerscommittee.org/index.html.
Editors Please Note: A copy of the Publication Notice of Class Action is attached to this news release.
UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF OREGON In re NO. 04-37154-elp11 ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF PORTLAND IN OREGON, and successors, a corporation sole, dba the ARCHDIOCESE OF PORTLAND IN OREGON, Debtor. ----------------------------------------- TORT CLAIMANTS COMMITTEE, Adv. Proc. No. 04-03292-elp Plaintiff, NOTICE OF CLASS ACTION v. ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF PORTLAND IN OREGON, and successors, a corporation sole, dba the ARCHDIOCESE OF PORTLAND IN OREGON, et al., Defendants. -----------------------------------------
If you are or were a member of a parish or if you have made gifts, donations, and/or tithes to or for the benefit of any Catholic parish in Western Oregon that is part of the ARCHDIOCESE OF PORTLAND IN OREGON, your rights may be affected by a bankruptcy case that is pending in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Oregon (the "Bankruptcy Court" or "Court"). The bankruptcy case is referred to as In re ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF PORTLAND IN OREGON, and successors, a corporation sole, dba the ARCHDIOCESE OF PORTLAND IN OREGON, Debtor, Case No. 04-37154-elp11 (the "Bankruptcy Case"). In the Bankruptcy Case, a lawsuit (Adversary Proceeding No. 04-03292-elp (the "Lawsuit") has been filed in the form of a Defendant Class Action Lawsuit. On July 22, 2005, the Court entered an order in the Lawsuit certifying a class of defendants that may include you.
Class members have a choice whether to remain a member of the defendant class in the Lawsuit. Under no circumstances will any class member be liable for the payment of any money solely as a result of being a member of the class.
Information regarding important procedures and deadlines, as well as information regarding the definition of the class, the class representatives appointed by the Court and rights of class members to exclude themselves from the class is contained in the full notice at http://www.archdpdx.org/bankruptcy and www.parishionerscommittee.org. Copies of selected court papers filed in the Lawsuit are also available at the above websites. All court papers can be viewed during normal business hours at the United States Bankruptcy Court, 1001 S.W. Fifth Avenue, Seventh Floor, Portland, Oregon 97204.
Questions may be submitted in writing to Class Counsel: Steven M. Hedberg, Douglas R. Pahl, Michael H. Simon of Perkins Coie LLP, 1120 N.W. Couch Street, Tenth Floor, Portland, OR 97209-4128. Email: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. Telephone: (503) 727-2121. Facsimile: (503) 727-2222. Website: www.perkinscoie.com.
The Bankruptcy Court has scheduled a hearing in the Lawsuit for October 11, 2005, at 9:30 a.m. at the United States Bankruptcy Court, 1001 S.W. Fifth Avenue, 7th Floor, Portland, Oregon 97204, to consider requests by Class members to exclude themselves from the Class, to intervene and other questions pertaining to class certification. Requests to be excluded must be submitted in writing to Class Counsel and postmarked no later than October 3, 2005. Any objections, requests to intervene or other submissions pertaining to the Class must be filed with the Bankruptcy Court at the above address no later than October 3, 2005.
Dated: July 27, 2005. Honorable Elizabeth L. Perris United States Bankruptcy Judge
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|Date:||Aug 18, 2005|
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