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Sovereign Grace Ministries Inc.'s Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit Case No. 369721-V

Sovereign Grace Ministries Inc.'s Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit Case No. 369721-V

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This is the entire text of Sovereign Grace Ministries, Inc.'s Motion to Dismiss the Plaintaiffs's Complaint pertaining to Lawsuit/Case No. 369721-V. The complaint also references arguments made in support of dismissing the lawsuit filed against Covenant Life Church, Inc. and Covenant Life Church School.

This document is a public record acquired from the Montgomery County Circuit Court in Rockville, Maryland.

It can be copied and distributed by anyone.
This is the entire text of Sovereign Grace Ministries, Inc.'s Motion to Dismiss the Plaintaiffs's Complaint pertaining to Lawsuit/Case No. 369721-V. The complaint also references arguments made in support of dismissing the lawsuit filed against Covenant Life Church, Inc. and Covenant Life Church School.

This document is a public record acquired from the Montgomery County Circuit Court in Rockville, Maryland.

It can be copied and distributed by anyone.

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Published by: JLC on Mar 18, 2013
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JANE DOE, et al.

No. 369721-Y Judge: Hon. Sharon V. Burrell


Defendant, Sovereign Grace Ministries, Inc., by counsel, Carr Maloney P.C., pursuant to

Maryland Rules of Civil Procedure 2-322(b)(2), moves this Court to dismiss with prejudice

tePlaintiffs' First Amended Complaint. In support of this Motion, Sovereign Grace refers the


-*Courl to the accompanying Memorandum of Points and Authorities. RULE 1-313 CERTIFICATION
Undersigned counsel hereby certifies that he is admitted to practice iaw in the State of Maryland.

tf: (\




Alexander M. Gorrirley

Respectfully submitted,



Alekander M.

Gormley giUu 2000L Street, NW, Suite 450 Washington, D.C. 20036


it A'r-./l .W,f*"" ''ii" /,r/i,

(202) 3 1 0-5 500 (Telephone) (202) 3 I 0-s555 (Facsimile) arng@carnnaloney.com



postage pre-paid, on this 25tt' day of

HEREBY CERTIFY that a copy of the foregoing was e-mailed and mailed, first February,2013,to:
Thomas Patrick Ryan, Esquire 2200 Research Boulevard, Suite 500 Rockville, MD 20850 Attorneys for Defendants Covenant Life Clurch, Inc., Charles Joseph Mahaney, Gary Ricucci, John Loftness, and Grant Layrnan
Susan L. Burke, Esquire


1000 Potomac Street, N.W.

Washington DC 20007 Attorneys for Plaintffi

William T. O'Neil, Esquire THE O'NEIL GROUP, LLC 7500 Old Georgetown Road, Suite 1375 Bethesda, MD 20814 Counselfor Plaintffi
Daniel D. Smith, Esquire Gammon & Grange, P.C. 8280 Greensboro Drive Seventh Floor Mcl-ean, Y A22102 Counsel for Covenant Life School, Inc. Roberl E. Worst, Esquire Kalbaugh, Fund & Messersmith 4031 University Drive, Suite 300 Fairfax, VA22030 Counsel for Defbndants Sovereign Grace Church Fairfax, David Hinders, Louis Gallo, Frank Ecelbarger, Mark Mullery, and Vince Hinders
Richard D. Hoiziteimer, Jr., Esquire Cochran & Owen LLC; Suite 160 8000 Towers Crescent Drive Vienna, YA22042 Counsel for Lawrence Tomcza

M. Gormley

JANE DOE, et al


No. 369121-Y


Judge: Hon. Sharon V. Burrell



, '

Plaintiffs' First Arnended Complaintl is a vague, confusing document that fails to state

any legal or factual basis for the claims against Defendant Sovereign Grace Ministries, Inc.

(SGM)' The events

at the heart of Plaintiffs' Complaint involve scurrilous accusations of sexual

and physical abuse allegedly committed by a host of unnamed perpetrators at various


many of which are not identified-over many years. The Plaintiffs have not brought any claims
based on abuse against the alieged perpetrators,

however. Instead, they have alleged

a number


torts based on the alleged coucealment of the abuse, attempting to hold liable:


various church

pastors involved in the so-cailed "cover-up"; (2) the two churches that the pastors worked for;

(3) a school; and (4) inexplicably, the religious denomination with which the churches were


It is clear that Plaintiffs' Complaint has failed to state a claim for any liabitity, First, their
Con-rplaint is so vague and factually deficient that

it is nearly impossible to tell who commiled.

Hereinafter referred to as ,,the Complaint.,,

the acts of abuse andwhen andwhere the aileged acts of cover-up occurred, much less how old the alleged victims were both then and norv. Plaintiffs appear to have done this in a deliberate

etfort to deprive SGM of the factual grounds that it is entitled to for various defenses, including
statute of

limitations. Therefore, the Complaint must be dismissed for violation of Maryland

Ruie 2-304(c), which requires Plaintifls to plead the specific tirne and place when it is material to
a defense. Second, by alleging that the alleged tortious conduct was a product of the churches,

teachings that conditioned the church members to "unquestioningly obey" their "spiritual leaders", Piaintiffs have put the spiritual and doctrinal affairs of SGM and the local churches

directly at issue' Plaintitfs aliegations therefore violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment and must be dismissed. Third, even if the Complaint could survive in spite of its
deficiencies and Constitutional violations, there are independent grounds rvhy the plaintifls have

failed to state a ciaim lor each respective tort alleged. Fourth, there are varying reasons why


s claims should be dismissed, ranging

from failure to allege any facts that

Defendants comrnitted the torts alleged, to statute of limitations violations, to lack of causation.

to lack of standing.
Even if Plaintiffs can show that they have stated a claim, their Complaint could still not

survive dismissal as to SGM because they have no grounds to impute liability for the alleged torts of the other Defendants to SGM. Although not entirely clear, it appears that plaintiffs are
seeking to impute liability for the cover-up to SGM on the grounds that SGM "includes and opetates" the two church-Defendants Covenant Life Church, Inc. and Sovereign Grace Church of

Fairfax and that the pastor-Defendants are employees of SGM. This overlooks the facts that: (1) SGM is a religious denomination that does not own, operate or control any churches; and (2) at
the times of the alleged tortious conduct, SGM did not empioy any of the pastor-Defendants who

are alleged to be employees of SGM and "personaily involved in the events that led to this

lawsuit." Therefore, Plaintiffs cannot, as a matter of law, impute any liability to SGM.


The Plai'tiffs a'd their Allegations of rorlious conduct The eight Plaintiffs are allegedly victims of abuse or the sibling of a victim of abuse.

With the exception of the claims of one Plaintiff(Carla Coe) against one Defendant (Larry
Tornczak), the Plaintiffs have not filed clairns for abuse against any of the alleged perpetrators. Instead, they have filed ciaims based on the ailegations that: "Defendants failed to stop repeated
and ongoing sexual predation occurring at SGM churches and organization[s], including

Covenant Life Church and Covenant Life School. Defendants failed to report known incidences

of sexual predation to law enforcement and interposed themselves betrveen the parents of the

victims and larv enforcement.


(Compl. at fl 1.) Based on these allegations, plaintiffs have

alieged the following torts: Negligence, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Conspiracy

to Obstruct Justice, Negligent Hiring and Supervision (only as to the institutional Defendants);
and Misrepresentation.

The Complaint does not assert that any of the alleged acts of abuse occurred at SGM, but rather that they occured at: "Covenant Life Church and Covenant Life School"2, ,,at various church events convened in Maryland"3, "the bathroom at Church"a or just generally in Maryland and/or Virginias. Moreover, with the exception of Tomczak, the Complaint does not identify the alleged perpetrators, but instead vaguely asserts that they were: (1) for Paula poe, ,,a pastor and

at $ l, refening to all plaintiffs generally. Cornpl. ar r 3. referring to plainrilf pauli poe. ' 'Compl. at fl 54, relerring ro plaintiflKarl Koe. See Compl. at !l$ 4' 47 (refering to Plaintiff Carla Coe); at 5 (refening to Plaintiff Grace Goe); at Jf 6 (referying fl to Plaintiff Karen Koe); at fl 6 (refen ing to Plaintiff l(arl Koe); ai I lretining to plaintiff Jane Doe); at tj g 11 (referring to Plaintiff Nonna Noe); ar 9 (refening to plaintiff noum ioe.; u

I Cornpl.

teacher" and a "children's ministry worker"6; (2) for Grace Goe, ,,her father,,7; (3) for Karen

Koe' a "juvenile sexual predator"s; (a) for Karl Koe, "the male son of a church pastor,,g; (5) for
Jane Doe, a "church member"l0; (6) for Norma Noe, a ,,church member,,lr; (7) for Robin Roe

(who brings claims based on alleged abuse of her sister), her "stepfather.',12 There is no allegation that any of these alleged perpetrators, including Tomczak, were employees of SGM or
that any employees of SGM were responsible for hiring or supervising them. As to the dates of the alleged abuse and subsequent "cover-up" (i.e. when the abuse was repoded to the individual Delendants and they faiied to repofi it), the Complaint fails to state this for all but three of the eight Plaintiffs: Jane Doel3, Norma Noela and Robin Roe.ls Among those three, only Norma

Noe states her current age, which is 22-years old.16 II.


The Denomination

The Complaint alleges that SGM "is a nonprofit organized under Maryland law.,,

(Compl' at lT 10). The Cornpiaint further alleges that "SGM includes and operates Sovereign
Grace Church Fairfax, Covenant

Life Church and numerous other churches in the United


and abroad ." (Id.).Moreover, the Complaint alleges that during the time at issue, ,,SGM generated substar-rtial revenues in Maryiand and elsewhere by planting churches, training leaders,


' Comol at

Compl. at fl 37.


Compl. ut 1i eo. o Compl. at 1i5j.

Compl. atll 62. I' Compl at],74.


'See Compl. rllat 62-63. '' See Cornpl. lI at74-75. 'See CompJ. llfl 87-88.
'o See

Compl. at,lf 9.

Cornpl. at g


holding conferences, operating the 'Pastors Coilege', selling books, music and audio products..."


The Local Churches and School Defendants

The Complaint alleges that Defendant Covenant Life Church, Inc. (CLC) "is a nonprofit organized under Maryland

law." (Compl. at fl 11). The Cornplaint further aileges that "at all

times relevant to the allegations in this lawsuit, CLC was a parl of SGM." (1d.) Then, the

Complaint makes the same allegations as it did for SGM about the activities that CLC conducted in Maryland and elsewhere during the time at issue - i.e. "planting churches, training leaders, holding conferences, operating the 'Pastors Coilege', selling books, music and audio



The Compiaint alleges that Defendant Sovereign Grace Church of Fairfax (SG Fairfax),

"at all times relevant to the allegations in this lawsuit" "was


part of SGM." (Compl. atl12.)

fhe Complaint fuither alieges that "fd]uring [the] timeframe at issue in this lawsuit, [SG Fairfax]...worked in collaboration with SGM and CLC to plant churches, train leaders, hold
conferences, operate the 'Pastors College' and sell books, music and audio products." (1d.) The Complaint alieges that Defendant Covenant Life School, Inc. (CL School) "is a

nonprofit organized under Maryland law." (Compl. at t| 13.) It states further that "[t]he school
began tn

I9J9" and that it "provides an education

based on the Church's philosophy in exchange

for tuition payments." (Id.) It then alleges that "[t]he School is controlled by the Church" (id.), which presumably means CLC given that the Complaint uses the defined term "SGM" for SGM.
(See id. at fT 10.)


The Ten Individual Pastor-Defendants

Lawrence Tomczak is the only defendant alleged to have committed any acts of abuse.
(See Compl. at'lJfl

43-47.) The Complaint alleges that he was "personally involved in the events

that led to this lawsuit, including but not limited to, the abuse of Carla Coe.,, (Compl. at u 14.) There is no specific allegation that Tomczak is or was employed by SGM at any time or that he

committed the alleged abuse within the scope of employment with SGM. (Id.) The Complaint simply alleges that he "founded SGM in 1982.,, (Ict.)
Charles Mahaney is not alleged to be "personally involved in the events that led to this

lawsuit," The Cornplaint simply
as President

alleges that he "founded SGM

in lgBZ" and ,,presently serves

of SGM." (Compl, at 11 13). There is no mention of Mahaney beyond this, much

less any specific allegations of tortious conduct.

All of the remaining pastor-Defendants
events that led to this

are alleged to be "personally involved in the

lawsuit." Of these eight, the Complaint alleges that all are ,,ernployed by

SGM", except fbr John Loftness who the Complaint alleges "presently serves as the Chairman of
the Board of SGM."


at,!l 15.)



Legai Standard for Motion to Dismiss

A complaint "shall contain

a ciear statement

of the facts necessary to constitute a cause of

action and a demand lor judgment for relief sought." Higginbotham v. Public Service Cont,n


Maryland, 171 Md. App,254,272(2006) (citing Maryland Rule 2-305). "ln considering

motion to dismiss fbr failure to state a claim under Maryland Rule 2-322(bX2), a court must
assume the

truth of all well-pleaded material facts and all inferences that can be drawn from

them." Tavakoli-Nouriv. State, 139 Md. App.716,725 (2001) (quoting Rossakiv. //US Corp.,


Md' App. 11,


(1997)). "The grant of a motion to dismiss is proper if the complaint


not disclose, on its face, a legally sufficient cause of action." Rossaki Corp.,116 Md. App. at 18 Fioretti v. Maryland state Bd of Dental Examiners,351 Md. 66,7r-72(199g).


the pleadings do not as a matter of law allege sufficient facts to entitle a pafiy to the

relief sought on the claim, a court may grant a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim

to Maryland Rule 2-322(b)." Noble v. Bruce,349 Md. 730, 759 (1998) (citation

omitted). In order to withstand a motion to dismiss, the plaintiff "must allege facts with
specificity; bald assertions and conclusory statements . . . will not suffice
133 Md. App. 519, 534 (Md. App. 2000) (quoting Bobo v.
see also Bell


Campbell v. Cuslnua,

*tqte, 346 Md. 706,708-09 (tgg1));

Atlantic Corp. v. Tv,ombly, 550 u.s. 544,555,510 (2007).
aims Asainst SGM Should
ismissed for



Plaintiffs' Failure to Plead Material Facts about the Time of the Alleged Tortious Conduct and the Current Ages of the Plaintiffs Warrants Dismissal for Violating Md. Rule 2-304(c) and Precluding Defenses available to SGM

Maryland Rule 2-304(c) requires that "[t]ime and piace shall be averred in a pleading
when material to the cause of action or ground of defense." Here, Plaintiffs' Complaint is conspicuously vague as to timeframe, failing to allege the dates of the abuse and when the abuse
was repofied, as well as the ages of the victim-Plaintiffs both at that time and

now. In fact, the

Complaint only states when the alleged abuse and subsequent reporting occurred for three of the
eight Plaintiffs: Jane Doe (1998- lggg)tl,Norma Noe (1gg3)'8 and Robin Roe (1 ggT.te Among
those three, oniy Norma Noe states irer current age and her allegations are ambiguous as to

whether she turned 18 years-old three or four years ago. Regardless of whether it was plaintiffs,


See Compl ,1t at 62-61. '" See Compl. flfl ar 74-75. re See Compl. l]fl 87-88.

intention to omit these required dates to try to deprive SGM of facts critical to its defense, they
have done exactly

that. The dates of the alleged

abuse and cover-up, as

well as Plaintiffs,


when the alleged tofis occurred and when they filed this action, are material to SGM's statute of

limitations and respondeat sttperior defenses. Plaintiffs' claims are not based on the aileged abuse, but are all based on the pastorDefendants' alleged conduct of either: ( 1) faiiing to stop the abuse before it happened2l; or (2)

failing to report the abuse to the authorities and actively concealing it once they learned of


Plaintiffs allege that these tofis occurred in Maryland andlor Virginia, each of which has its own
respective statutes of limitations. In Maryland, each torl alleged by Plaintiffs has a three-year
statute of lirnitations.

Md. Code, Cts. and Jud. Proc., $ 5-10122. InMaryland, forcauses of

action that accrued when a plaintiff was a minor, the plaintiff must file the "action within the
lesser of three years or the applicable period of limitations after fachieving the age of majority].,,

Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. $ 5-201. In Virginia, each of the torls alleged has
statute of





Va. Code Ann. $ 8,01-243


In Virginia, for causes of action that



Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. $ 5-101 states: "A civil action at law shall be filed within three years fiom the date it accrues unless anotherprovision of the Code provides a diffelentperiod of time within which an action shall be cotnmenced." For Intentional Infliction of Ernotional Distress, see also Robinson v. It'itt"o Corp.,620 F. Supp. 1066 (D. Md. 1985)(holding that Maryland has a three-year statute of limitations applied to intentional infliction of emotional distress claims). For Negligent Hiring and Supervision, see also Mason v. Bct. of Educ. of Baltimore Co., 143 Md. App. 507 (2002) aff d, Mason v. Bd. Of Educ. of Baltimore Co.,315 Md. 504 (2003)(holding thar once the former student attained age 1 8, thereby rernoving the disabiliry of infancy, the three-year starute of limitations began to run on her claim for negligent supervision action against board of educators and others). For Misrepresentation/Fraud, see also Hat ford Mut. Ins. Co. v. Seibels, Bruce & Co., 519 F. Supp. 135 (D. Md. 1984)(holding that elaims for negligent misrepresentation and fi'aud in inducement were barred by Manrland's threeyear statute of limitations).


See Count lI - Negligent Hiring and Supervision. See Counts I through V.

Va. Code Ann. $ 8.01-243(A) states: "every action for personal injuries, whatever the theory of recovery, and every action for damages resulting from ffaud, shall be brought within two years after the cause of action accrues.,, That explicitly covers Negligence and Fraud/Misrepresentation. For Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, see also Welchv. Kennedy PigglyWiggly Stores, Inc.,63 B.R. 888 (W.D. Va. 1986)(holdingtharplaintiffs action for emotional distress against defendant employer was governed by Virginia statute of limitations on actions for personal injury rather than by stalute providing a one year limitations period for personal actions not otheru,ise govemed, and was therefore tirnely brought within the two year period). For Negligent Hiring and Supervis ion, see


accrued when a plaintiff was a minor, the plaintiff must "bring it within the prescribed limitation

period after such disability [i.e. minority age status] is removed." Va. Code Ann. 8.01$

229(A)(1)' On this basis, it is clear thatwhen the alleged tofiious conduct occurred andwhenthe
Piaintiffs achieved the age of majority is material to the grounds for a statute of limitations
defense. It is also clear that when the aileged tortious conduct occurred is material to the

groundsforSGM'sdefensebasedonlack of respondeatsuperior liability,asthesefactsare critical to determining whether any of the pastor-Defendants were employees of SGM at the
times at issue.

Maryland law lioids that a plaintiff s failure to plead facts perlaining to time that are
material to a defense, especially one based on statute of limitations, wanants dismissal. When a
statute of limitations couid potentially
case here, the burden is on the





right to maintain the action, as is the

plaintiff to prove that action was initiated within the prescribed

time limit. Anderson v. Sheffield,53 Md.App. 583 (1983); see Edrnonds v. Cytologlt Services Maryland, Inc., 711 Md.App.233,244 (1996) cert. grantect,344 Md. 330 (1996)(stating that


"[t]he purpose of a statute of limitations is to provide


time frame in which to allow the plaintiff

to pursue his claim diligently while shielding the defendant(s) from stale claims"). As such, in
order to establish a viable claim, Plaintiffs must prove that the alleged conduct accrued within the statutorily aliowable time frame. "[I]n the context of the statute of limitations, '[t]he law is
concerned with accrual in the sense of testing whether all of the elements of a cause of action have occurred so that

it is complete." Shailendra Kuntar, P.A. v. Dhanda,426Md.185, i95

Urda v. PetSntart, Inc., 854 F. Supp. 2d359 (E.D. Va. 2012)(holding that under Virginia law, a cause of action against an employer for negligent hiring accrued, and two-year statute of limitations period began to run, when supervisor allegedly threatened female employee that he would manipulate her schedule so she did not receive any work hours if she said anyhing about his physical advances.)

(2012) citing St. Paul Travelers v. Millstone,412}/1.424,432 (2010) (emphasis added)

(quotation omitted). It is axiomatic that failure to properly state all eiements of a claim amounts
to failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and warrants dismissal pursuant to

Md. Rule 2-322(b). Hrehorovichv. Harbor Hosp. Ctr., Inc.,93 Md.App.772 (1992). Further, to
survive dismissal, the plaintilf must state the issue between the parties with reasonable accuracy
so that the defendant may be put on notice of the nature of the complaint that he or she is

required to answer and defend (2000).


B & P Enterprises v. Overland Equip. Co., I33 Md. App. 5 83

Based on their failure to plead the critical facts perlaining to the time of the conduct at issue and their ages both then and now,

Plaintiffs' Complaint should be dismissed pursuant to

Rules 240a@) and 2-322(b)(2) In the alternative, the Plaintiffs should be ordered to provide a more deflnite statement, pursuant to Rule 2-322(d), in order to remedy the defects discussed
above and provide the following details: when and where each underlying act of alleged abuse

occurred and who committed it, when and rvhere the alleged torlious conduct occurred (i.e. the

Plaintiffs' reporling the abuse to the pastor-Defendants and the alleged acts of "cover-up); and
how old each Plaintiff was at the time of the aileged abuse and the subsequent "cover-up" and
horv old each Plaintiff is now.


Plaintiffs' Allegations Require the Court to Delve Into Spiritual and Doctrinal Affairs In Violation of the U.S. Constitution's Free Exercise Clause

It is well-settled in Maryland that, so as not to violate the First Amendment right to free
exercise of religion, courts shall not delve into the spiritual or doctrinal affairs of a church or

denomination. As the Courl of Appeals has stated:
is well to keep in mind that the courts, wisely we think, will not enter a theological thicket. Maryland courts, iike courts generally in this country, have no authority to resolve religious disputes. Indeed, in regard to the spiritual or doctrinal


affairs of a church or denomination, the Maryland courts must not interfere. Such matters must be left with the authorities of the church or denomination who have the power, by custom and usages of the ecclesiastical organrzation, to consider and determine upon them." Mt. Olive African Melhodist Episcopal Clrurch of Fruitland, Inc. v. Bd. of Inc orpor al ors o/' African Methodist Epis copal Cltur ch \nc., 348 Md. 299, 309, 7 03 A.2d 194, 199 (1997)(internal quotations and citations omitted.)
Here, the basis of Plaintiffs' claims is that that the alleged cover-up was somehow a

product ofthe churches doctrines and teachings: "The individual Defendants, acting on behalf of SGM andlor CLC, implemented Defendants' policies and practices through regular weekly teachings, books, and audio tapes conditioning members tofollow'spiritual lesders,' Defendants directed members to unqttestiortgly 'obey' tlte Clturch in all matters, including methods of parenting, place of residence and employment." (Compi. at $ 26)(emphasis added.)

By alleging that liability can arise from the "practices" the pastor-defendants taught and
required their church members to "fo11ow" and "unquestioningly obey", the Plaintiffs have put the spiritual and doctrinal affairs of SGM (and the local churches) directly at issue. Accordingly, the Con-rplaint shor-rid be dismissed for violation of the First Amendment's free exercise clause.

In further supporl of this argumenJ, and for purposes of judicial efficiency, SGM hereby adopts
and incorporates by reference the First Amendment argument set forlh in Covenant

Life School,

Inc.'s rnotion to disrniss.


ifl's Have failed to State a Clai through V

br Each R

ount: I


Plaintiffs' Allegations Do Not Support


Claim for Count I - Negligence

Plaintiffs' claim for negligence is based on their allegation that the Defendants "owed
fthem] a duty to exercise reasonable care to protect them from predators and report abuse to law

enforcement." (Compl. at lJ 116.) Plaintiffs, however, do not allege and cannot establish the
existence of any relationship between them and SGM that would impose a legal duty to protect

themfromabuse,astheyarerequiredtodo. SeeRentsburgv.Montgomery,376Md.568,583584 (2003) (a plaintiff establishes that a defendant owes him a "special duty" to protect him from

theactsofathirdparlybyoneofthefollowing: "(1)bystatuteorrule; (2)bVcontractualor
other private relationship; or (3) indirectiy by virtue of the relationship between the torlfeasor
and a third

party." SGM is a corporate entity

and a religious denomination, not an individual.

SGM cannot therefore, as a matter of law, have the type of relationship with the Plaintiffs that
gives rise to a duty: that "based on either a confidential or fiduciary relationship." Latty v, St. Joseph's Soc. of Saued Heart, Inc.,I98 Md. App.254,265,I1 A.3d 155, 160 (2011). Furlher,

if Plaintiffs

assert that the pastor-Defendants have such a duty and that this duty can

somehow by imputed to SGM-which Plaintiffs have not explicitly alleged-it is clear that

Maryland has no statute establishing a legal relationship "between a priest and his parishioners." Latty t,,

Joseplt's Soc. of Saued Heart, [nc.,798 Md. App. 254,265 (20i 1). Accordingly,

Plaintiffs' allegations against SGM do not supporl the existence of any duty, and their claim of
negligence fails as a matter of law. In further support of the argument that Plaintiffs have failed

to state a claim for negligence, and in the interest ofjudicial efficiency, SGM adopts and
incorporates the argument on this point made by Defendant CLC its Memorandum in Supporl of

its Motion to Dismiss.


Plaintiffs Have Failed to State a Claim for Count II - Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Because They Have Not Sufficiently Alleged that the Emotional Distress they Suffered Was Severe

To suwive a motion to dismiss, "ia] successful emotionai distress claim requires proof of
the follorving: (1) The conduct must be intentional or reckless; (2) the conduct must be extreme
anci outrageous; (3) there must be a causai connection between the

wrongfui conciuct

an<i the

emotional distress; (4) the emotional distress must be severe." Latty, 198 Md. App. at 275-76.
Even assuming, for argument only, that the pastor-Defendants did intend to conceal the alleged


abuse and that this amounted to extreme and outrageous conduct,

Plaintiffs have not sufficiently

alleged that the emotional distress they suffered rvas so severe as to satisfy the fourlh element.

To satisfy the fourth element, Plaintiffs "must have suffered a severely disabling emotionai response to lthe Defendants'] conduct, The emotional distress alleged must have been
so severe that no reasonable man could be expected to endure

tt." Latty,198 Md. at276.


Plaintiffs assert that, as a result of the pastor-Defendants' "failure to repoft abuse and engage in
its concealment" (Compl. at tl 126) they:
"suff-ered and continue to suffer physical and emotional distress, shock, embarrassment, loss of self-esteem, disgrace, humiliation and loss of enjoyment of life; have sustained and will continue to sustain loss of earnings and earning capacity; and have incurred and will continue to incur expenses for medical and psychological treatment, therapy and consulting." (Compi. at 12g) fl These allegations paraliel closeiy those in Latty where the plaintiffs alleged that, as a

result of the defendants' extreme and outrageous conduct, they suffered "severe emotional disttess", including "mental anguish, embarrassment and loss of self-esteem." Latty,198 Md. at

276. The Court of Speciai Appeals held that "these allegations simply do not meet the requisite
standard for pleading this tort with particularity" and found that they "do not rise to the severity

ofl' other "emotional distress fcases in Maryiand] alleging far u,orse emotional distress...that

sttll insufficienl to meet the heavy burden of severity." Id. (emphasis added.) The Court

noted that examples of this "far worse emotional distress" that still merited dismissal included:

(1) allegations that the misconduct caused plaintiff to "seek medical treatment" and that "she
suffered fear at work; that the misconduct required her constantly to be aiert; and that it forced
her to leave lher work site] for another work site although she later returned."; (2) "evidence that

[plaintiffl went to a psychologist one time, felt insecure and incapable of trusting others, and
suffered weight loss"; and (3) allegations that "other employees and a supervisor mimicked,
harassed, and shamed [the]

plaintiff regarding [a] stuttering defect," including "evidence that


felt hurniliated and that his speech impediment was exacerbated." Id. at276-77. Here, the

Plaintiffs' conclusory allegations about their emotional distress fall far short of the specificity
oflered by the deficient allegations in the cases cited by Latty. Accordingly, where those cases

LatQ failed to clear the bar for surviving dismissal, so too do Plaintiffs' allegations.


Plaintiffs Have Failed to State a claim for count III - conspiracy to Obstruct Justice, Because No Such Cause of Action Exists

There is no legal basis or authority for Plaintiffs' claim for "Conspiracy to Obstruct

Justice." Under Maryland law, it is clear that conspiracy is not itseif
be based on an independent, underlying

a cause

of action but must



Alleco Inc. v. Harry & Jeanette Weinberg

Fottnd,, lnc.,340 Md. 176,189,665 A.2d 1038, 1045 (1995)("This Courl has consistently held that 'conspiracy' is not a separate tort capable of independently sustaining an award of damages

in the absence of other torlious injury to the plaintiff.") Here, Plaintiffs contend that "obstruction

ofjustice" is the underlying tort on which they can base their conspiracy claim. There is no such civil

of action for obstruction ofjustice, however. While obstruction ofjustice gives rise

to a criminai cause olaction, under Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law Section 9-306, this does not
create a


cause of action for money damages. As a matter of law, therefore, this novel and

unprecedented cause of action should be dismissed with prejudice.


Plaintiffs Have Failed to State a Claim for Count IV - Negligent Hiring and Supervision, Because They Have Not Alleged that Any of the Alleged Perpetrators Were Hired or Supervised by SGM
15 uaseu
l,-I tr ' on -r ulelr allegallon inai


f^-- -^^^l:^^,^-l^:,-:,-^,-s supqrvlSrun ^--,-^,--.:^:^,-:^ ^l^:-^ I rdruLnrs Lr4ilrr rur llcBuBsrrr rrrrlirB ailu

"[t]he institutional Defendants [ ] negligently retained sexual deviants to serve in capacities with
authority over children. Defendants negligently failed to supervise those to whom Defendants
entrusted the care of

minors." (Compl. at\ I37.) Plaintiffs have not alleged, however, that any

of the aileged perpetrators were hired or employed by SGM. In fact, the only alleged perpetrator
who is identified by name is Tomczak, and there is no allegation that he was employed by SGM
or that his aileged wrongful conduct occurred within the scope of employment. Accordingly,

Plaintiffs have failed to allege sufficient facts to establish the existence of an employment
relationship between the alleged perpetrators and SGM, which is the threshold requirement for a claim of negligent hiring and supervision. See lmiliams v. Clotterleaf Farnts Dctit"y, Inc.,78
F.Supp. 2d 419 (D. Md. 1999)(in order to defeat a motion to dismiss a claim for negligent

hiring, retention and supervision, a plaintiff must adecluately plead: (1) The existence of an
employment relationship (2) That the employee's act or omission proximately caused the


s injuries; (3) That the employer knew or should have known by the exercise


reasonable care that the ernployee was capable of inflicting harm of some type; (4) That the

employer faiied to use proper care in selecting, supervising or retaining that employee; and, (5) That the employer's breach of duty iikewise proximately caused the

plaintifls injuries).

Accordingly, Plaintiffs' claim against SGM for negligent hiring and supervision must be
disrnissed with prejudice.


Plaintiffs Have Failed to State a Claim for Count V - Misrepresentation, Because they Do Not Allege that the Misrepresentations Were Made to them, but to their Parents
argument for dismissal

In supporl of the

of Count V,


in the interest of judicial

efficiency, SGM adopts and incorporates the argument on this point made by Defendant CLC in
its Memorandum in Support of its Motion to Dismiss.


Each Plaintiffls Resp.qctive Claims Should Be Dismissed for Var)'ing Reasons

In addition to the above-discussed grounds for global dismissal of all Plaintiffs' claims,
there are unique grounds for dismiss al of each Plaintiff s respective claims.



Paula Poe

Unlike all other Plaintiffs, Paula Poe has not alleged that she ever reported the alleged
abuse to defendants. (See Compl. at flfl 3,


) Given that each count that the Plaintiffs


raised is premised on the pastor-Defendants' alleged failure to report the abuse (as discussed in

Section II.A, above), Ms. Poe has failed to plead suthcient facts in support of these counts and they all must therefore be dismissed.


Carla Coe

Carla Coe's allegations all perlain to alleged abuse by Tomczak. Ms. Coe alleges that

tiris abuse occurred over a "25-year period spanning her childhood and adulthood" (Compl. at
fl43) "prirnariiy in Maryland and Virginia" (ld. at fl 4.) Although Ms. Coe does not state how

old she is now or when she achieved the age of majority, the facts as pled show that she would
have turned 18 at least 7 years ago in iight of her allegation that the abuse started at least 25 years ago. Given that the statutes of limitations for all counts Ms. Coe has raised is 2 years in

Virginia and 3 years in Maryland (as discussed in Section ILA above), her respective claims
would have expired 5 years ago in Virginia and 4 years ago in Maryiand. Accordingly, ali of Ms. Coe's claims should be dismissed as time-baned.


Grace Goe and Karl Koe

Grace Goe and Karl Koe have both failed to plead their current age, and the time that the

alleged abuse and subsequent cover-up occurred. Accordingly, they have failed to satisfy Rule 2-304(c), for the reasons discussed above, and have therefore faiied to plead sufficient facts in support of their cause of action.



Karen Koe

Karen Koe has stated that the perpetrator who abused her was "successfully prosecuted.',

(Compl. at fl 61.) Because each count that Ms. Koe has raised is premised on defendants' failure
to report the abuse, the fact that her abuser was prosecuted cuts offcausation for each ofher

claims. It is well-settled that in establishing causation, "the 'but for' test applies when the injury
would not have occurred in the absence of the defendant's negligent act." Wanket v. A & B Contractors, Inc.,12l Md. App. 128, 158,732 A.2d,333,349 (1999). Because Ms. Koe's abuser
was in fact successfully prosecuted, she cannot claim that her abuser would have been prosecuted but for Defendants' failure to reporl him. Therefore, as a matter of law, she cannot establish the causation element of each of her claims and they al1 must therefore be dismissed.


Jane Doe

Jane Doe has not stated her current age, but has stated that she was "three years old,'

when the alleged abuse first began around August 1998. (Compl. at fl

62.) Onthis

basis, Ms.

Doe appears to be between 17 and 18 years old at present, but she cannot leave defendants
guessing as to which age.

If Ms. Doe is 17 years

o1d then she is a

minor and lacks standing to

bring this suit on her own behalf. See Md. Ftule 2-202(b); atso Piselli v. 75tt' Street Medical,3TI

Md. 188 (2002xho1ding that tortious injury to a minor child gives rise to distinct



action, one by the minor child, which is brought on the child's behalf by a parent, guardian, or next friend, and another by the parents or guardians). Accordingly, Ms. Does' failure to plead
her current age violates Maryland Rule 2-304(c) and her claims must therefore be dismissed.



Norma Noe

Norma Noe's claims should be dismissed on two grounds. First, like Karen Koe, she has alleged that her alleged abuser was convicted for abusing her. (Compl. at tl 83.) Therefore, for the same reasons discussed above with respect to Ms. Koe, Ms. Noe cannot establish the causation element of each of her claims. Second, it appears that Ms. Noe's claims are timebarred, but her failure to plead her exact current age has deprived defendants ofthe necessary facts for that defense. For example, Ms. Noe alleges she was the victim of a one-time act of
abuse that occurred on

March 17,7993, when she was two years old, and that her parents

reported this to defendants the next day, March 18, 1993. (Cornpl. at\1\174-75.) Given that Ms.

Noe states she is currently 22 years old, that means she would have reached the age of 18 about 4
years ago, at which point she would have had 3 years to

file suit for each of the torls

she has

alleged. The initial Complaint was filed on October 17,2012, which means all claims would be
time-barred under Maryland's statute of limitations if Ms. Noe turned 18 at any time before

October 17,2009.24 Accordingly, Ms. Noe's failure to plead her current age violates Maryland
Rule 2-304(c). For that reason, and the lack of causation, each of her claims must therefore be


Robin Roe

Robin Roe lacks any standing to raise these claims. She does not allege that she was the

victim of any abuse or the pastor-Defendants' failure to repoft


Instead, she has inexplicably

filed these claims on the grounds thal her sister was allegedly the victim of abuse by their
stepfather that Defendants failed to


(See Compl,


9, 87-95.) Ms. Roe has not alleged


Because Ms. Noe alleges that the abuse occurred in Gaithersburg, Maryland (Cornpl. at\174), it appears the subsequent reporling of the abuse and alleged torts of cover-up occured in Maryland and thus a three-year statute


limitationsapplies. Iftheallegedtortsofcover-upoccurredinVirginia,however,atwo-yearstatuteoflimitations would apply and Ms. Noe's claims clearly would be time-baned.

that her sister is an individuai under disability, or any other grounds that would give her legal

standing to raise these clairns on behalf of her sister. Rather, Ms. Roe alleges that she has been aggrieved by nature of the fact that her sister was abused, asserting "Robin Roe brings this action
on her own

behalf." (Compl. fl 9.) There is simply no authority for Roe to bring such an action.

In fact, the Court of Special Appeals made this clear in a case remarkably similar to Roe,s

situation. rnLattyv.

St. Joseph's



Sacred Heart,

Inc.,l98 Md. App.254 (2011),


chiidren of a church organist who were fathered as a result of their mother's affair with a priest
brought claims against the religious society for negligent hiring, retention and supervision. The

couft affirmed the trial court's dismissal on the grounds that the children had no clairn against the religious society, stating: "a claim for negligence predicated on the conduct that appellants allege could only be brought by fthe mother] Anna Senna herself, not by her children. She was the only parly potentially injured as a result of Fr. Ryan's allegedly taking advantage of his position of power, and hers as an allegedly r,ulnerable church organist. Conduct directed at Anna Senna does not automatically give her children a cause of action. Homer, 90 Md.App . at 72-13, 599 A.2d, rr93 (1992) ('lC]onduct directed at A does not necessarily give B a cause of action.'). We are unable to connect the dots of liability from the society's alleged failure to properly hile and supervise Fr. Ryan, and the affair supposedly resulting from the alleged breach, to the injury appellants allege." Late, 198 Md. App. at 274-75. Roe's claims, based on the same improper posture as that taken by plaintiffs tn Latty,
should be dismissed for her similar lack of standing.


Plaintiffs Have Fai Allese Sufficient F an Agenc:t or Respondeat Superior Theor\r



M Under ei

Assuming, arguendo, ihat any Piaintiffs have stateci a ciaim ior any of the tons aiiegeci, all claims should still be dismissed as to SGM because Plaintiffs cannot impute liability to SGM.

Piaintiffs' Complaint has failed to explicitly assert any specific basis for SGM's vicarious

liabiiity for the alleged tortious conduct of the pastor-Defendants. By inference, however, they

appear to invoke two theories for irnputing

liabiiity for the conduct of the individual defendants

to SGM

. First, they vaguely assert that "SGM includes and operates SGC Fairfax and CLC,'

and that CLC and SG Fairfax were "part of SGM" at all relevant times (Compl,


presumably relying on an agency theory. Second, they assert that that some of the individual pastor-Defendants were employees of SGM (see Compi. at\) 16-22), reiying on a theory of respondeat superior.


Plaintiffs Have Failed to Plead Facts In Support of an Agency Theory of Imputed Liability

It is well-established that the essence of an agency relationship is whether the purported
principal has control over the purported agent. As the Maryland Courls have stated, for an
agency relationship to exist, "the agent must be subject to the principal's control over the result

or ultimate objectives of the agency relationship 507-08, 735


Green v, H & R Block, Inc., 355 Md. 4gg,

A2d 1039,

1050 (1999). Here, Plaintiffs have not pled any facts alleging that SGM

"controlled" CLC or SG Fairfax at any time. With respect to SGM's relationship with CLC, Plaintiffs allege that the two engaged in similar activities-planting churches, training leaders,
owning real estate, etc.2s-but there is no allegation that SGM somehow controlled CLC (or vice
versa) by or through these activities. With respect to SGM's relationship

with SG Fairfax, the

only allegation is that SG Fairfax "worked in collaboration with SGM and CLC" to engage in
church planting and the other activities just-described.26 This does not say anl.thing about SGM

controlling SG Fairfax (or vice versa). In fact, the very aliegation about "collaboration" would
suggest thai the eilorts to work togeiher were cione voiunrariiy, springing from common spirituai

beliefs, not because one parly compelled or required the other to do so.



-o See

Compl. ar fl l0 cf. Compl. at lJ 12.




Additionaily, Plaintiffs have not pled any facts in support of their conclusory allegations
that SGM "includes and operates" CLC and SG Fairfax and that those churches are "part of

SGM." Nor have Plaintiffs alleged any facts in supporl of their conclusion that SGM "operated
the School" (Compl,

atl26), presumably meaning Defendant CL School. In fact, the allegations

in the Cornplaint cut against this very conclusion. Plaintiffs' acknowledge that SGM and CLC
are incorporated separately from one another, noting that each ofthem

"is a non profit organized

under Maryland iaw." (Compl. at tlfl 10-11). Plaintiffs do the same with respect to SGM and CL



Compl. at tl10,13)27


As to SG Fairfax, the Plaintiffs do not allege that it was ever

incorporated as a parl of SGM, and the allegations that SG Fairfax "worked in coilaboration,'

with SGM again cuts against the conclusion that SGM somehow had ownership over or operated
that chr-rrch. On this basis, it is ciear that Plaintiffs have not pled sufficient facts to impute

liability to SGM under an agency theory.


Plaintiffs Cannot Establish the Facts to Support Theory of Imputed Liability

a Respontleat


As with their agency theory, Plaintiffs have failed to allege any specific facts in support of their conclusory assefiions that cerlain pastor-Defendants were employees of SGM, including
the time period during which they were allegedly employed. Even assuming they did, the

indisputable facts show that none of the pastor-Defendants who Plaintiffs assert were involved in the allegedly wrongful conduct had an employment relationship with SGM at the applicable

times. As a threshold matter, Plaintiffs do not allege that Mahaney was "personally involved in
the events that ieci to ihis

iawsuit." as to Tomczak,the Compiaint


not aliege that he was

ever an employee of SGM, or that his allegedly tortious conduct occurred within the scope of his
2TPlaintiffs cannot allege that CL School is controlled by SGM because that would conflict with its allegation that

"[t]he School is controlled by the Church" (Compl. at ll 13), which presumably means CLC given that the Complaint uses the defined term "SGM" for SGM. (See id. at 1T 10.)

employment28--.just that he founded it rn I982.2n lsun Compl. at tl 14.) Accordingly, the facts as alleged present no basis for Plaintiffs to impute respondeat superior liability from either Mahaney or Tomczak to SGM.

Next, of the remaining eight pastor-Defendants, all but John Loftness are alleged to be "employed by SGM". (See Factual Background, supre, at Section I.C.) None of these seven
have ever been employees of SGM, except for fucucci



Affidavit. of T. Hill, attached

hereto as Exhibit


at!1l]4-10301 The Complaint alleges that Ricucci's tortious conduct

occurred in 198731 and,199332. Ricucci did not become an employee of SGM untrl ntany years afler this, however, sometime between 2003 and 2004.33 (See Ex. A at tf 4.) Accordingly, there is no factual basis to impute respondeat superior liability to SGM for the tortious conduct of

Ricucci or these other pastor-Defendants: Grant Layman, David Hinders, Louis Gallo, Frank
Ecelbarger, Mark Mullery, and Vince Hinders.

As to Defendant Loftness, Piaintiffs do not allege that he was an employee of SGM, but
rather that he "presently serves as the Chairman of the Board lof Directors]." (Compl. at fl 15.) The more accurate facts are that Loftness was on SGM's board from May 31, 1988 to June 1989,
and again from July 2011 to February 2013 when he resigned, serving as Chairman from


2012 until his resignation; he was also an employee of SGM from May 31, 1988 through

In fact, Plaintiffs' allegations about Tomczak suggest that his alleged acts ofphysical abuse occurred in a domestic context, in his home, outside of the context of any employment duties. See Compl. atlfl43-47. 2e Fufiher, the claims against Tomczak are barred by the statute of limitations, as discussed in SeCtion IV.B, above. 30 Pursuant to Maryland Rule 2-322(c), the Courl can review matters outside of the pleading and treat the motion to dismiss as one for summary judgment. Tri-Countlt Unlimited, Inc. v. Kids First Swint School Inc.,19l Md. App. /1nln\'Wnchnutt l:hrliek lll\,1.1 ,,yy. Ann 7ll ?)tl)nn!\ Afierthenqrtiecareoivpn.oo"nnohlonnnnrrrnin,rn , rlqJviiuui! vppuiiuiiiit av \.-v 4vlr ' present all pefiinent material, the Courl may dispose of the Complaint under Rule 2-501 if there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and that the parry in whose favor judgment is entered is entitled to judgment as a

matterof law. Barclayv. PortsAmericaBaltimore, lnc.,198 Md.App.569"51'/ (2011)(citingRule2-501(f).
1T 87, regarding Robin Roe's allegations of cover up. id. at \74, regarding Nonna Noe's allegations of cover up. " N.B. The Complaint also alleges that fucucci was ilvolved in the cover-up of the abuse of Grace Goe" See Compl. at t| 51. The Complaint does not state the dates of this cover-up, however, and therefore deprives SGM of the factual basis for determining if Ricucci was its employee at that time. For the reasons set forlh in Section III , this violates Rule 2-304(c) and warrants dismissal.



See Compl. at


September 30, 1988. (See Ex.


at fl

3.) None of these times during which Loftness was a board

member or employee of SGM coincide with the tirnes in which his tortious conduct is alleged to
have occurred: 19873a and 1gg33s. Accordingly, there is no basis to impute respondeat superior

iiability from Loftness to



For the above stated reasons, the Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint should


dismissed with prejudice, or in the aiternative, summary judgment should be granted in favor of

Defendant Sovereign Grace Ministries,

Inc. If that relief is not granted, the Court should order

PlaintilTs to amend their First Amended Complaint to provide a more definite statement of the time and place and particulars of the alleged tortious conduct and alleged underlying abuse.
Respectfully submitted,




NW, Suite 450 Washington, D.C. 20036 (202) 3i 0-5500 (Telephone) (202) 31 0-5 5 55 (Facsimile)



See Compl . al\87, regarding Robin Roe's allegations of cover up. Further, assuming for argument only that Loftness was an employee of SGM at the time of tortious conduct Roe al1eges, Roe has standing to bring a claim (as discussed in Section IV.G, supra) and therefore there is no basis to impute liabiliry to SGM for her claims against Loftness. 3s See id., zt \14, regarding lrlanna Noe's allegations of co.,'er up. 3u Assuming for argument only that Loftness was on the board of SGM at the time of his aileged tofiious conduct that is still not, as a matter of law, a basis fol imputing respondeat superior liability. To establish respondeat superior liability, the Plaintiff must establish that the tortious conduct at issue was done by an entployee"acting within the scope of employment." Barclay v. Briscoe, 427 Md. 270,282, 47 A.3d 560, 561 (2012)(emphasis added).

Plaintiffscannotestablisheither. UnderMarylandlawitisclearthat,"fneithera]directornoranyotherofficerofa

Shriverv.Cerlin&FultonCo.,155Md.51,58(i928). See F .2d 862, 861 (4th Cir. 1910)(a director, including thechairrnanoftheboardof directors,"... whoisresponsibleonlytohimsellcannotbelikenedtoanernployee
also, Phoenix Sav. & Loan, Inc. v. Aetna Cas. & Sur. Co., 427
under the direct supervision olmanagetnent and colporate authority.")

I HEREBY CERTIFY that a copy of the foregoing Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs' Complaint was e-mailed and mailed, first class, postage pre-paid, on this 25th d,ay of February, 2013, to:
Thomas Patrick Ryan, Esquire 2200 Research Boulevard, Suite 500


20850 Defendants Covenant Life for Church, Inc., Charles Joseph Mahanelt, Gary Ricucci, John Loftness, and Grant Layman


Susan L. Burke, Esquire BURKE PLLC 1000 Potomac Street, N.W. Washington DC 20007


for Plaintffi

William T. O'Nei1, Esquire THE O'NEIL GROUP, LLC 7500 Old Georgetown Road, Suite 1375 Bethesda, MD 20814

for Plaintffi

Daniel D. Smith, Esquire Gammon & Grange, P.C. 8280 Greensboro Drive, Seventh Floor Mclean, y A22102 Counsel for Covenant Life School, Inc.
Robert E. Worst, Esquire Kalbaugh, Fund & Messersmith 4031 University Drive, Suite 300 Fairfax, VA 22030 Counsel for Defendants Sovereign Grace Church Fairfax, David Hinders, Louis Gallo, Frank Ecelbarger, Mark Mullery, and Vince Hinders Richard D. Holzheimer, Jr., Esquire Cochran & Owen LLC, Suite 160 8000 Towers Crescent Drive Vienna, VA22042 Counsel for Lawrence Tomczclk

Alekander M. Gormley

i -4" .i1 ""/t it.#4,-.Y.,t'*v_tdf,



No. 369721-V


Judge: Hon. Sharon V. Buruell

I' Thomas 'l' Hill' Jr.' do hereby affirm the following facts based upon personal knowledge; 1. I am over- the age ol 1g and competent to testify.


I am the Director of Finance ancl Administration, and narne<l Secretary Treasurer under the Articles of Incorporation, for Sovereign Grace Ministries,




' John L' Loftness was an employee of sGM from the tirne of its incorporation dale of May31, lgSSthroughseptember30, 1988. HewasonsGM'sboardof clirectorswhenitwas first incorporated inir4ay 1988, but resignecl in June 1989. He became a director again in July 2011, becoming the chairman of the Board in April 2012,butresigned in February 2013, He is currently a pasror and en'rployee of solid Rock chr-rrch in RiverdalelMaryland. 4' Gary fucucci is curently an ernployee of SGM. His title is pastors College Director of Student care' For the events that thsFiist Aniencled compl"i"iuir.g., Ricucci was personally involved in, the only dates provided are 1987 (s'ee First Am, complaint at lf gz) a'd 1993 (see id. atIu 74) Ricucci was not an employe. oi scHa in l9g7 o. 1993, and did not become one until sometime between 2003 and ZAA4.5. 6. . 8'

Gra't Layman is not currently

an employee of


anci has never been.

David I-Ii*ders is not currenlry an employee of sGM and rras never been.
Louis Gallo is not currently an employee of SGM
a-nd ha_s

never becn.

Frank Ecelbalger is not currently an employee of SGM ald has never been.


Mullery is not cun"ently an employee of SGM and has never


10. vi'ce Hinders is not currently an employee of sGM and has rrever been.






Director of Finance and Administration Sovereign Grace Ministries, Inc.

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