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HOLY SPIRIT ASSN. FOR THE UNIFICATION OF WORLD CHR

August 24, 1978

HOLY SPIRIT ASSOCIATION FOR the UNIFICATION OF WORLD CHRISTIANITY et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
Miles A. CAUGHEY, Township Manager, et al., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MUIR

I. Introduction.

 II. Findings of Fact.

 1. Members of the Unification Church regularly engage in door-to-door canvassing and regularly go to places where the public gathers for the purpose of expressing their religious beliefs through the distribution of tracts, literature, and publications and through verbal discussion and for the purpose of soliciting for contributions to off-set such programs and to support other church programs. (Undisputed)

 2. Shortly prior to December 12, 1977, Gary Abrahams, the Unification Church Team Leader responsible for activities in the Harrisburg area, attempted to obtain from various officials of Susquehanna Township permission for the above-mentioned church activities. He was unable to obtain any licensing or permission. (Undisputed)

 3. On or about December 12, 1977, church member Frank Lagrotteria was arrested in Susquehanna Township and charged with "soliciting without a permit." (Undisputed)

 4. Plaintiff Scott H. Greene is a lay missionary of the Unification Church.

 5. On or about December 18, 1975, Plaintiff Scott H. Greene visited various officials of Susquehanna Township for the purpose of reaching an agreement with the Township concerning the prosecution of Frank Lagrotteria and future permission for various members of the Church. (Undisputed)

 6. At a meeting between Scott H. Greene and William C. Trapnell, Jr., Chief of Police of Susquehanna Township, and a Defendant herein, on or about December 18, 1977, Chief Trapnell indicated that at an earlier time he had issued a memorandum to the Township Manager recommending that no further permits be issued to the missionaries of the Unification Church. (Undisputed)

 7. A copy of this memorandum dated February 7, 1977 was subsequently made available to the Plaintiffs, which memorandum provided in pertinent part:

 
"I would respectfully request that the permit authorizing the solicitation by the Unification Church be dishonored and withdrawn, and that they be prohibited from ever soliciting in this township again. In the future, any requests coming to my attention from this organization will be denied, and effective this date, we will arrest all representatives caught soliciting, on view." (Undisputed)

 8. On or about December 18, 1977, Scott H. Greene met with John A. Roe, Esq., solicitor for Susquehanna Township at his office at 101 North Front Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, at which time Mr. Roe was provided with legal authorities sufficient to indicate to him that prosecutions brought against members of the church and prior citations which had been issued against members of the church by township officers were unconstitutional and illegal.

 9. On or about December 18, 1977, John A. Roe and Miles Caughey, Township Manager of Susquehanna Township, refused to assist Scott H. Greene in obtaining a permit for the Church. (Undisputed)

 10. Scott H. Greene met with Miles A. Caughey on or about December 18, 1977, at which time Mr. Caughey expressed strong statements of distaste about the Unification Church and its activities. Mr. Caughey also recounted occasions in the past when the Township had interfered with members of the Hare Krishna sect. He told ...


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