Thursday, June 28, 2018

Challenge To Hearing Scheduled For Rosh Hashanah Is Rejected

In Tarbutton v. Tarbutton, (LA App., June 27, 2018), a Louisiana state appeals court rejected a claim by a litigant seeking spousal support that her religious freedom rights were infringed when the trial court refused to reschedule a hearing on the matter scheduled for Rosh Hashanah.  Having already received one continuance, Brenna Tarbutton filed another motion for a continuance one day before the hearing.  Since her ex-husband refused to consent to the continuance, the court held the hearing without Brenna present.  At the hearing, it refused to admit into evidence her affidavit of income and expenses. The court said in part:
Not all burdens on religion are unconstitutional and the court may consider important governmental interests in assessing a limitation of a party’s First Amendment rights....
It was Breanna’s delay in filing her motion that required the hearing on the continuance to be held on the asserted holy day. In addition, Breanna’s claim that she was unable to file her motion sooner because of “confusion” about the date of the holy day is not plausible, since she could have consulted a calendar or a religious official to determine the date well before the afternoon prior to the hearing which had been scheduled two months earlier.