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False Claims Act -- Are You a Victim Too?

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Message Debby Bodkin
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The sex abuse crisis throughout the world has escalated to the level of convincing public opinion that something must be done to stop heinous sex crimes that destroy lives, without judicial delays and abuse.  

California's 2003 Sex Abuse Law, Delaware legislation and other states are now dealing with the clergy sex abuse crisis seriously, returning civil justice to survivors of sex crimes committed by employees under the supervision of a religious institution, denied justice most of their lives, those who were told to stay quiet, left to suffer in shame and silence, without resources.   

Tragically, an unpublished appellate court ruling in California on August 10, 2007, has me and many other Catholics and non-Catholics still in shock.  For this reason, the letter below, sent to Bishops, legal counsel and HR supervisors in Orange County, California, is shared for your consideration.  After reading the letter, whether you are a victim of sex abuse or not, there is no doubt that false claims have been made to the general public regarding "pastoral privilege". 

YOUR PRIVACY RIGHTS ARE AT RISK and what you believe to be "pastoral privilege" when submitting confidential information, may someday be revealed in a court of law, LEGALLY, without your permission.  And, religious institutions continue to claim tax exempt, non-profit status,  without accountability, 



August 16, 2007


Bishop Tod Brown, Bishop Jaime Soto, Dominic M. Luong,
Maria Rullo Schinderle, Esq., Ms. Jule Benscoter, HR Director
Diocese of Orange
2811 E. Villa Real Drive
Orange, CA 92867

Albert P. Ballog, Esq., Daniel R. Sullivan, Esq., Michael John Peffer, Esq.
Sullivan & Ballog
400 N. Tustin Avenue, Suite 475
Santa Ana, CA 92705

Re: Request to Publicly Disclose Policies and Procedures of Diocese of Orange, Legal Counsel, HR Director Regarding the "Pastoral Privilege" and Protections of Personal, Private, Confidential and Sensitive Information

Dear Bishops of Orange, Legal Counsel and HR/Director:

This letter is a formal request that you immediately post on the Diocese of Orange website and inform all parishioners attending Masses this Sunday, that personal, private, confidential and sensitive information, is NOT legally protected, NOT an inalienable right to privacy under the California Constitution and NOT protected by the "pastoral privilege" in a judicial proceeding.

This denial of due process is evidenced by court pleadings filed in a judicial proceeding by attorneys representing the Diocese of Orange and LA Archdiocese, in addition to a recently unpublished appellate court decision entitled, Aliado v. LA Archdiocese, California Second Appellate Court Case No. B182806, LASC Case No. BC318676, a copy of which is enclosed.

Your legal advisors make public any publication made outside the courtroom when no function of the court or its officers is involved, so long as the publication is one that is "permitted by law." In sum, your legal advisors have the ability to violate the trust, representations and teachings of priests, nuns, teachers, coaches, employees and other representatives of the Diocese of Orange, without their knowledge.

Your legal advisors have the ability to violate "pastoral privilege" to protect the monetary assets of the Diocese in a court of law. A similar case to Aliado was filed against the Diocese of Orange, OCSC Case No. 07CC05101, which may place the private and confidential information of unsuspecting children and families at risk, without their knowledge or consent.

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As an amateur writer, mother, wife and legal secretary for the past 25 years, my passion for the courage of clergy sex abuse victims, their families and mandated reporters, who made a choice to protect children, before their own career security and (more...)
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