Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Suit Over Mismanagement of Maryland Church Dismissed

A Maryland federal district court has dismissed a lawsuit growing out of a longstanding dispute over control and operation of the Landover County, Maryland-based Jericho Baptist Church Ministries.  Most of plaintiff's claims were brought as a derivative suit alleging mismanagement and breach of fiduciary duty that caused congregational membership to drop from 15,000 to 30. The suit also alleges that defendants hired themselves at high salaries to operate the church.  In Franklin v. Jackson, (D MD, March 13, 2015), the court held that the derivative claims should be dismissed because plaintiffs failed to make demand on the board to take corrective action before filing the suit in the name of the corporate entity.  The sole non-derivative claim-- an asserted vested right to vote for trustees-- was dismissed on the merits.