HONOLULU — Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and allied attorneys Wednesday filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit against two Oahu churches that are among five which two atheists have falsely accused of defrauding the government.
“These churches have not only faithfully paid all of their rent, they’ve sacrificially given much more in service and funding to the schools and communities they love,” added co-counsel James Hochberg of Honolulu, one of nearly 2,300 allied attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom. “This lawsuit’s accusations are not only false; they are downright shameful.”
The atheists, Mitchell Kahle and Holly Huber, filed their suit, Kahle v. New Hope International Ministries, with Hawaii’s Circuit Court of the First Circuit under the state’s False Claims Act. The law allows “whistleblowers” with inside information to expose fraudulent billing by government contractors; however, the lawsuit fails to cite a single instance in which the churches submitted a false statement to defraud the government.
The motion to dismiss, filed on behalf of One Love Ministries and Calvary Chapel Central Oahu, explains that Kahle and Huber “have failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted because they have not alleged and cannot allege that there were any false claims by One Love or Calvary Chapel. Because the existence of a false claim is a necessary element of a False Claims Act complaint, and because [Kahle’s and Huber’s] allegations, even if taken as true, demonstrate that no false claim exists (or can exist), their Complaint must be dismissed.”
The motion also explains that Hawaii’s False Claims Act requires that those bringing suit under the act be the original source of the information upon which they are filing suit and that the allegations be highly particular. The motion points out that Kahle and Huber do not meet either of these requirements.
Submitted by Alliance Defending Freedom, an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.