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COYNE v. HOUSS

April 1, 1984

REVEREND JOHN F. COYNE, Plaintiff against MAX HOUSS, Defendant


The opinion of the court was delivered by: GLASSER

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

GLASSER, United States District Judge:

 In an action for assault and battery which is in this Court because of diversity of citizenship, the defendant has moved for an order (1) permitting the deposition of various clergymen to be taken by the defendant by telephone, pursuant to Rule 31(b)(7) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure; (2) appointing the defendant's attorney, Herbert Monte Levy, Esq., to administer oaths in connection with said depositions pursuant to Rule 28(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure; and (3) pursuant to Rule 30(b)(4) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, that the testimony at said depositions be recorded on a dictaphone, that it be preserved by Mr. Levy with a copy thereof furnished to plaintiff's attorney at the defendant's expense.

 In addition, the defendant has moved for an order holding plaintiff in contempt of court for his failure to comply with an order dated April 18, 1983 and for an order pursuant to Rule 37 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure striking the complaint, dismissing the plaintiff's action and preserving the defendant's counterclaim against the plaintiff for assault, battery, trespass and other assorted wrongs.

 The plaintiff is a member of Contemporary Mission, Inc., a not-for-profit organization of Catholic priests based in Westport, Connecticut. Contemporary Mission, Inc. has been a party to a number of lawsuits in the federal courts of this circuit. *fn1" This action arises out of the aftermath of one of those lawsuits, Contemporary Mission, Inc. v. Bonded Mailings, 671 F.2d 81 (2d Cir. 1982). More specific background concerning Contemporary Mission, Inc. and of the controversies in which it and its members have been embroiled can be gleaned from reading Contemporary Mission, Inc. v. U.S. Postal Service, 648 F.2d 97 (2d Cir. 1981) and O'Reilly v. New york Times Company, 692 F.2d 863 (2d Cir. 1982).

 A reading of those cases will reveal that questions have been raised about the bona fides of Contemporary Mission, Inc. as a not-for-profit corporation engaged in religious and charitable pursuits and of the manner in which its member-priests obtained their ordinations. It is against that skeletal background that these motions become more meaningful.

 The defendant served upon the plaintiff a request that the following documents be produced:

 A. Those submitted by or on behalf of the plaintiff as authentication for the canonical examinations required of candidates for the priesthood, or in connection therewith.

 B. Those used in obtaining the ordination of the plaintiff or in connection therewith.

 C. Any and all correspondence between plaintiff and the Archdiocese of St. Louis, or any of its representatives.

 D. All transcripts attesting to the plaintiff's academic preparations, whether used in connection with or obtaining ordination, or as authentication for the canonical examinations required of candidates for the priesthood.

 E. Copies of all applications made by the plaintiff for admission to law school.

 F. Copies of all applications made by the plaintiff for admission to medical school.

 G.Copies of all applications made by the plaintiff for admission to any ...


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