West Virginia Freemason Issues

Square & compasses (Insignia of Freemasons) ca...

From On The Level http://www.masonictravels.com/2008/09/bro-haas-lawsuit-update.html

Bro Haas Lawsuit Update

Posted: 24 Sep 2008 08:41 PM CDT
Kanawha judge denies Masonic Lodge effort to dismiss suit

For those Brethren who are continuing to follow the status of the Bro Haas court case, please see this supplementary information from the Charleston Gazette. For previous posts on this subject I’ve linked out at the bottom of this post. — Bro Ken

An administrative law judge’s lawsuit against the West Virginia branch of the Free Masons will continue after a judge denied the Masons’ motion to dismiss the suit last week.

By Andrew Clevenger – Staff writer
September 17, 2008

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — An administrative law judge’s lawsuit against the West Virginia branch of the Free Masons will continue after a judge denied the Masons’ motion to dismiss the suit last week.

In June, Frank Joseph Haas sued the Masons, alleging that they improperly expelled him in retaliation for his efforts to make the group more inclusive and progressive.

Kanawha Circuit Judge Irene C. Berger’s order notes that the court should only dismiss the case if, assuming Haas’ allegations to be true, there is no set of facts that would enable him to win.

Haas headed the statewide Grand Lodge from October 2005 to October 2006. During his tenure, he tried to make the policies of the state Masons less discriminatory and racist and more in line with the U.S. Constitution and the state’s public policy, according to the lawsuit.

The suit contends that his immediate successor, Charles F. Coleman II, immediately reversed the progressive reforms enacted by Haas and approved by a majority of the members of the Grand Lodge. Coleman’s successor, Charlie L. Montgomery, humiliated Haas by expelling him without warning at a meeting at his home lodge in Wellsburg, the suit alleges.

At a hearing in August, defense attorney John Tinney argued that the case should be dismissed because Haas had not exhausted his appeals within Masonic law.

Bob Allen, Haas’ lawyer, countered that any appeal within the Masonic legal framework would be “a sham.”

On Tuesday, Tinney said that Berger’s ruling means that the case will now proceed to the discovery phase.

Haas’ attorneys deposed Montgomery Tuesday, and would likely depose Coleman today, Tinney said. Haas’ deposition is scheduled for Oct. 8, he said.

Haas’ suit seeks his reinstatement as a Mason and asks that any Masonic record of his expulsion be expunged. It also seeks unspecified punitive and compensatory damages.

Previous Information:

1. The New York Times Article
2. Initial Reactions
3. An Email to the Grand Lodge
4. A note to a misguided GM
5. PDF Copy of Civil Court Document ** (1 MB)

** Please note to read the Civil Court Document you need a copy of Adobe Reader, most computers should already have it but if there seems to be a problem you can download it from the Adobe website.


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~ by vwbora25 on 09/25/2008.

3 Responses to “West Virginia Freemason Issues”

  1. West Virginia has now severed ties with the Grand Lodge of Ohio because we Initiated , Passed, and Raised Brother Haas in a legal lodge. Shame on the Grand lodge of West Virginia for their shabby treatment of a Brother particularly a Most Worshipful Brother who I am sure served the fraternity well during his time in West irginia

  2. West Virginia has now severed ties with the Grand Lodge of Ohio because we Initiated , Passed, and Raised Brother Haas in a legal lodge. Shame on the Grand lodge of West Virginia for their shabby treatment of a Brother particularly a Most Worshipful Brother who I am sure served the fraternity well during his time in West Virginia.

  3. I would like to see how the fraternity has evolved since 287AD to present ?.

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