Summary of PP v. ACLAJayne Bray 26 January, 2013
In 1994 a band of abortionists and Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit against the American Coalition of Life Activists [ACLA] and 14 individual anti-abortion activists.
The ACLA was formed as a coalition of pro-life activists across the U.S. for the purpose of opposing abortion by LAWFUL means while refusing, as a matter of conscience, to condemn those who use other ways.
Plaintiffs (PP) said they “felt threatened” by ACLA’s doctrine and actions. Those “actions” consisted in a few members publicizing “Wanted for Crimes against Humanity” posters. (NONE of the plaintiffs, themselves, were actually on any of the posters!) A federal judge said that in order for a threat to have occurred, a jury only needed to find that the defendants (ACLA) “ought to have known” that plaintiffs would “feel” threatened by the posters.
Michael Bray was found liable for $1 million for this association with the ACLA. Bray was brought into the suit because he attended an ACLA convention in Virginia where the posters were unveiled and presented to attendants as a means of advancing the message of their mission: the sanctity of human life. Michael Bray was not a member of the ACLA, but he was invited to the convention to sell his book, A Time to Kill. The book was freshly published and eminently relevant, addressing the historical issue of the use of force generally (wars, police, personal defense, etc.) as well as the particular protection of unborn children. It was ordered regularly by UCLA and the University of South Florida for a several semesters. (Orders ceased right after Bray disclosed that fact to PP attorneys during deposition.)
The effort to collect on this debt involved hours of legal correspondence and depositions to discover assets which ultimately were found solely to be this: his house and his writings. In 2007, Planned Parenthood seized these items along with his computer claiming that writings contained therein had value. One of the officers of the law specifically inquired during the raid about any copies of the book in the house. We call the seizure a “raid” because it was done without warning. Up until the raid the Bray’s attorney had been in regular contact with the U.S. Marshals and had promised full cooperation. The surprise raid was conducted with flack-jacketed and fully armed federal agents along with local police ransacking the house while Michael Bray was put under “house arrest” and confined to the couch. Minor children arriving home from school were traumatized by this scene.
In order to collect on this debt, Ohio law requires that personal property be sold before the house can be auctioned off. Since personal property is solely Bray’s writings, these must be identified, appraised and sold before the house can be sold to take his half ownership.
This is happening now. We are at the appraisal-of-the-writings stage .
So, curiously, the very writings of Bray which PP regards to be so threatening must be advertised and sold by PP in order to collect on the judgment.
Bray shares ownership of the house with his wife, Jayne. Seven minors among their eleven children, still living at home will be joined with their parents in homelessness.