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Complaint filed in AHA v. City of Lake Elsinore

Complaint filed in AHA v. City of Lake Elsinore

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This is the complaint filed in American Humanist Association et al. v. City of Lake Elsinore, California, challenging the city's construction of a war memorial featuring an image of a soldier kneeling before a cross as a violation of the Establishment Clause.
This is the complaint filed in American Humanist Association et al. v. City of Lake Elsinore, California, challenging the city's construction of a war memorial featuring an image of a soldier kneeling before a cross as a violation of the Establishment Clause.

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Appignani Humanist Legal Center on May 28, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/21/2013

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1VERIFIED COMPLAINT
 
William Burgess (D.C. Bar No. 473101)E: bburgess@americanhumanist.orgAmerican Humanist Association1777 T Street, N.W.Washington, D.C. 20009T: (202) 238-9088F: (202) 238-9003David J.P. Kaloyanides SBN 160368E: djpkaplc@me.com15338 Central Ave.Chino, CA 91710T: (213) 623-8120F: (213) 402-6292Attorneys for PlaintiffsUNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIAEASTERN DIVISION
AMERICAN HUMANISTASSOCIATION, JOHN LARSEN
 and
DIANA HANSEN
,Plaintiffs,vs.
CITY OF LAKE ELSINORE,
BYITS MAYOR ROBERT MAGEE,MAYOR PRO TEM NATASHAJOHNSON, AND CITYCOUNCILMEMBERS DARYLHICKMAN, STEVE MANOS ANDBRIAN TISDALE,Defendants.))))))))))))))Case No.:VERIFIED COMPLAINT FOR EQUITABLE RELIEF AND DAMAGES
 
 
2VERIFIED COMPLAINT
 
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VERIFIED COMPLAINT
 Seeking to protect their civil liberties and constitutional rights, the plaintiffs
identified above (the “Plaintiff 
s
”), as
their complaint against the City of Lake Elsinore,
California (the “City”), by its city council (the “City Council”), consisting of its mayor,
Robert Magee, mayor pro tem Natasha Johnson, and councilmembers Daryl Hickman,Steve Manos and Brian Tisdale (collecti
vely, the “Defendant”), allege as follows:
 NATURE OF THE CLAIMS1.
 
This action challenges the constitutionality of the City’s design, approval,
funding, construction, ownership, maintenance and prominent display of a
monument (the “Cross Monument”) depictin
g a soldier kneeling before a Christiancross as a violation of the separation of church and state required by (i) theEstablishment Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, asapplied to the City by the Fourteenth Amendment thereof, and (ii) theEstablishment, No Preference and No-Aid to Religion Clauses of Articles I(Section 4) and XVI (Section 5) of the California Constitution.2.
 
The Plaintiffs seek injunctive and declaratory relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983against the Defendant and nominal damages to redress this violation of the
separation of church and state, together with recovery of attorney’s fees and costs
under 42 U.S.C. § 1988 (b).
 
 
3VERIFIED COMPLAINT
 
JURISDICTION AND VENUE3.
 
This case arises under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the
United States and presents a federal question within this court’s jurisdiction
 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1343 (a)(3). This Court has supplemental jurisdiction to hear the related claims under the California Constitution arisingfrom the same facts pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367.4.
 
The Court has the authority to issue a declaratory judgment under 28 U.S.C.§ 2201 and to provide injunctive relief under 28 U.S.C. § 1343 and Fed. R. Civ. P.65.5.
 
Venue is proper within this judicial district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b)(2) because the events giving rise to the Plaintiffs
claims occurred herein.PARTIES6.
 
The first Plaintiff, t
he American Humanist Association (“AHA”)
, is anonprofit 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in Illinois with a principal place of  business at 1777 T Street N.W., Washington, D.C. AHA is a membershiporganization, with over 160 chapters and affiliates nationwide (including 20 inCalifornia) and over 20,000 members and supporters, including residents of theCity. AHA promotes humanism and is dedicated to advancing and preservingseparation of church and state, the constitutional protections found in the Bill of Rights, and, in particular, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.AHA brings this action to assert the First Amendment rights of its members.7.
 
The second Plaintiff, Diana Hansen (“Ms. Hansen”), is a member of AHA
and a resident of the City. She objects to the funding, construction and display of 

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