SafeNet is committed to helping individuals and communities gain access to as much information about the clergy abuse crisis as possible, particularly as it pertains to the Franciscan Province of St. Barbara. Informed decisions depend on full disclosure.
When civil complaints and the demurrers/responses answering these complaints are filed in the courts they become public documents. This information, though available, is often not so readily and easily obtainable. SafeNet consults with legal representatives on both sides of the process and continues to receive their cooperation on many levels. We publish all civil complaints and demurrers/responses on our site as a necessary public service. Our intention is to make this information available in the interest of healing and to help others find a better understanding of the depth and complexity of this problem.
Court filings of this nature are difficult and painful for many of us to read. They often describe in detail the tremendous pain and anguish, sorrow and grief, that victims/survivors have endured. Our hearts are open to the men and women who have suffered so much, and our support for them and their families is unwavering. In ourselves, the feeling of anger is a natural response. So, too, is compassion. We urge all who read these complaints and the demurrers/responses to be open and mindful of their own feelings, and to be aware of the process, the circumstances, and the context.
Posted here are recent copies of civil complaints that have been filed in the courts by various plaintiffs and their attorneys, as well as any copies of demurrers/responses filed by the Franciscans and their attorneys. In each complaint the Franciscan Province of St. Barbara is named as the defendant. In some complaints, plaintiffs have agreed to be identifed, and their names, either in full or part, have been made public. In other complaints, plaintiffs have chosen to remain anonymous and protect their identities, and their names have not been disclosed. Both the complaints and demurrers/responses are posted as PDF files in the order of their filing dates.
Note: A hearing date for Case No. 1337577 was initially set for March 16, 2010, 9:30 A.M., Dept. 3, Superior Court, State of California, County of Santa Barbara, Anacapa Division. That hearing was postponed by the Court on March 16, 2010 pending further review by the presiding judge. A hearing date was then set for April 20, 2010, 9:30 A.M., Dept. 3, Superior Court, State of California, County of Santa Barbara, Anacapa Division. That hearing proceeded as scheduled and a tentative ruling on the Demurrer/Motion to Strke was handed down on April 20, 2010 by Judge Thomas Anderle which ruled: "The demurrer is sustained without leave as to the 1st cause of action for public nuisance, 5th cause of action for fraudulent concealment, 11th cause of action for unfair competition; the demurrer is sustained with leave to amend as to the 6th cause of action for fuduciary/confidential relationship fraud/conspircy and 12th cause of action for intentional misrepresentation. The motion to strike is denied."