Home of Jayne Bray
Seized To Pay $1 Million Federal Judgment
Against Her Husband
25 Mar, 2008
Along with her defendant husband, Jayne Bray (51) and her eight minor children have been threatened by the federal government to have their home (owned by husband and wife) taken away. Federal marshals arrived on 1 October, 2007 and removed computers, office equipment, cameras, religious books, and other items. They gave the family 30 days to leave. The cause was the collection action following a judgment in which her husband Michael Bray was ordered to pay $1 million to Planned Parenthood and several abortionists (all plaintiffs).
Fortunately, after a hearing on October 29, Magistrate Judge Kemp suspended the order to vacate the home until other matters of personal property could be settled. He ordered most of the seized property to be returned as it was exempt under Ohio law. At issue, however, is the value of Bray’s writings which must appraised, sold, and deducted from the $1 million (plus interest) before the house is sold to chip away at the balance. (Or are those writings – essays, sermons, letters, and two books worth more than a million bucks?)
This action finds its legal basis in a federal lawsuit (Planned Parenthood et al v. American Coalition of Life Activists) brought against Michael Bray and a dozen other anti-abortion activists in 1995. Bray and his dozen co-defendants were subjected to a bizarre suit filed in the radically leftist Ninth Circuit in which they were alleged to have threatened various abortionists across the land. In the end, they were not found to have actually made threats – in the normal and legal use of the word. Rather, they were found to have used “wanted posters” featuring abortionists in such a way that the abortionists might be dissuaded out of fear for their safety from continuing to commit abortions.
Because of the “context” ─ the termination of two abortionists by gun shot within two years of the production of the posters ─ they ought to have known, says the Court, that abortionists would have “felt threatened” by such wanted posters. This novel definition of a “true threat” was the design of trial Judge Robert Jones of the District of Oregon. He carefully charged the jury in this way:
“[a] Statement is a ‘true threat’ when a reasonable person making the statement would foresee that the statement would be interpreted by those to whom it is communicated as a serious expression of an intent to bodily harm or assault.”
None of his co-defendants had ever been jailed other than for OR-type “rescues” (blockades). None in the ACLA ever intended to use the posters as a threat to abortionists and stated the same at trial. Michael was not even a member of the newly organized ACLA, but was apparently selected by the plaintiffs in order to smear the ACLA with the reputation of a felon “bomber.” The “legal” means of associating him with the ACLA was to assert that he had attended an ACLA meeting at a hotel conference room where he had been invited to sell his book when the ACLA held a conference near his residence in the D.C. area.
In the end, these posters were judged to be the means by which threats were communicated even though all they called for was information leading to the arrest and conviction of abortionists for various crimes and violations of codes. His case had been reversed 3-0 in the appeal process, but lost again 6-5 as it continued up through the Ninth Circuit. The Supreme Court declined to review it and the hapless defendants are stuck with the obscene judgment of a court gone wild.
So how is it that Jayne Bray and the children ought to suffer for the “sins” of Michael Bray? She and the children are not parties to this suit (though they loath abortion no less). She owes them nothing! Yet Ohio law permits the sale of her home to pay his judgment. (This change in Ohio law in 1985 came about at the behest of the credit industry to enable the forced sale of homes to collect on debts. Formerly, a married couple held property by “tenancy in the entirety” – each had full rights to the property). The change required that real property owned by a married couple be held by “tenancy in common,” which means that each party owns half of the property and thus no longer had full rights to the whole (hence, incidentally, the high foreclosure rate of homes in Ohio).
No complaint has been raised on Mrs. Bray’s behalf by the National Organization of Women. Do they advocate only for pro-abortion abused women?