Governments must pay $800,000 in legal fees to church for COVID-19 overreach

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California officials have agreed to pay $800,000 in prevailing-party attorneys’ fees to a popular Christian megachurch in Los Angeles after state and federal courts in California issued permanent injunctions barring government officials there from ever again imposing discriminatory restrictions on houses of worship.

In the United States, unsuccessful litigants only rarely have to pay their opponents’ legal fees, even when their cases are weak.

Although it’s common in other parts of the Anglosphere such as the United Kingdom and Canada for the unsuccessful party in civil litigation to be required to pay the legal costs of the successful litigant, it’s “very rare” for it to happen in the United States, Paul Jonna, Thomas More Society special counsel, told The Epoch Times.

The Thomas More Society, a national public interest law firm, represented Grace Community Church (GCC) and Pastor John MacArthur in legal proceedings that began in March 2020 when California and local governments initiated a sweeping response to combat SARS-CoV-2, the CCP virus that causes the disease COVID-19. Government officials repeatedly tried to shut down in-person church attendance after the pandemic began.

On Aug. 31, the Board of Supervisors of the County of Los Angeles voted to approve the settlement with GCC and MacArthur. Under the agreement, the county will pay $400,000, and an additional $400,000 will be paid by the state of California as compensation for the attorneys’ fees incurred by GCC and MacArthur.”

Read the full article at The Epoch Times.

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