Sunday, October 09, 2016

California Court Issues TRO Against Kaporos Practices

As previously reported, in late September an animal rights group filed suit against Chabad of Irvine in a California federal district court challenging Chabad's promotion of the pre-Yom Kippur ceremony of kaporos that involves use of live chickens which are then slaughtered. (Complaint in United Poultry Concerns v. Chabad of Irvine, (CD CA, filed 9/29/2016)). The complaint contended that defendants are in violation of California's unfair business practices law. On Oct. 6, the court on its own motion ordered plaintiff to show cause why the case should not be dismissed for lack of standing. (Full text of court order.)  On Oct. 7, plaintiff filed a response (full text) arguing in part:
UPC has standing under the Unfair Competition Law based on its diversion of organizational resources spent addressing Defendants’ unlawful activity and attempting to convince authorities to take action. 
The court was apparently convinced.  It issued another order (full text) on Oct 7 granting plaintiff a temporary restraining order barring defendants from killing chickens or other animals in exchange for a fee or donation in violation of California Penal Code Sec. 597(a). It set a hearing on whether to order a preliminary injunction for October 13, the day after Yom Kippur-- effectively barring the pre-Yom Kippur practice by defendants for this year.