2-0 Application for Summary Relief
May 22nd, 2020
APPLICATION FOR SUMMARY RELIEF BY PETITIONER IVY HILL CONGREGATION OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES
This action implicates one of the core liberties enshrined in both the Federal and State Constitutions – the right of individuals to worship according to the dictates of their own faith and conscience. Petitioner Ivy Hill Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses (“Ivy Hill Congregation”) consists of adherents to the practices and teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Ivy Hill Congregation’s beliefs and practices are now at issue given recent actual and threatened enforcement actions by the Commonwealth under the Child Protective Services Law (the “CPSL”), see 23 Pa.C.S. §§ 6301, et seq., combined with the peculiar construct of the privilege afforded to clergymen, such as ministers of the gospel, under that statute. In order to redress this harm and ensure that its congregants can worship according to the dictates of their faith, while also complying with the laws of this Commonwealth, the Ivy Hill Congregation seeks summary relief and declarations concerning the rights and responsibilities of its ministers of the gospel.
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