Soon after receiving notice of a lawsuit from Our Lady of Sorrows Church against the town regarding the Health Director’s directive, as authorized under the Governor’s first declaration to apply relevant principles of risk management to decisions about whether to cancel, modify or postpone large gatherings, to cancel congregational prayers and religious events due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The lawsuit was filed just a few days prior to when religious services were scheduled to resume.
On Friday, Town Attorney Vincent Marino was made aware of an email that Police Chief Robert Gagne received from a gentlemen serving on the Board of Directors for Our Lady of Sorrows Church, Inc., stating that the Board of Directors for the Church did not authorize this litigation.
It read, in part, “We never authorized or even knew about this lawsuit. We are upset and stunned. We are trying to contact proper channels to find out how this all came about and how to reverse it.”
Marino immediately got to work on this, contacting the opposing attorney, and others, and then on Monday wrote a letter to Judge Alfred Covello stating his concerns about the issue. He wrote that he believed the proceeding was filed for an improper purpose in order to take advantage of a sensational issue just six days before it would become moot.
After reviewing all of the provided documents, Judge Covello denied the church’s application for a restraining order.
Following are the guidelines for church gatherings beginning Wednesday, May 20.
FYI: As of May 17, the town of Orange has had 111 confirmed cases of Covid 19, and 6 deaths. This is a very dangerous highly contagious virus and the reason these guidelines are put in place.