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Cradle of Liberty case pushed back to end of 09

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  • 7 months later...


Just an update. This is an email that was sent out by the Cradle of Liberty Council to it's members this week. Should also be on their web site. Vince.




I am pleased to let you know that we won a major victory yesterday in federal court. Shortly after Cradle of Liberty filed its lawsuit, the City filed a separate lawsuit in state court seeking an eviction. Although we attempted to work with the City in a manner that would permit Cradle of Liberty to remain in the building while the parties litigate their dispute in a single forum, the City insisted on moving forward in state court in order to obtain immediate possession of the building. Today, however, the judge presiding over the federal action ordered the City to cease and desist in its eviction efforts and to immediately dismiss the state court action.

While this does not end the litigation, we are pleased because the federal court concluded that Cradle of Liberty's constitutional claims are strong. Among other things, the court stated that the "evidence presented to date would support a finding that [the City] intentionally treated [Cradle of Liberty] differently from other similarly situated lessees by solely subjecting it to scrutiny." The court also stated that the City "has yet to present evidence to support" a "legitimate justification" for its actions.

While the legal process will continue to play out, we wanted all of you to know that this means for now that we can remain in our home, and more importantly focus on our core mission of serving over 50,000 children in Philadelphia who benefit from the programming and mentorship provided by Scouting everyday.

Thank you for your support, words of encouragement and helping hands over this long haul. We are grateful. We will continue to keep you posted on any new developments. Good Luck with Scouting for Food, have a wonderful Thanksgiving.



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The Federal Court's comments seem to be very positive. Perhaps this case will have a good ending by saying that the city cannot pick who they do not like but rather they will have to evict all groups that have membership standards. If a group has membership standards then it discriminates against those who do not meet the standards. Philadelphia has elevated homosexuality to a more important standard than other groups which is not allowed.

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The Scouts have a ground lease. When someone has a ground lease, they can build on the leasehold. When the lease expires, the building remains as part of the land - at no cost to the landlord.


It's going to be interesting to see how this all plays out in federal court - they don't typically get involved in disputes between landlords and tenants.

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I'm not a lawyer.

It seems to me that the city has a very strong case.

I don't like having to say that!

But I think it's the truth.

Yes at the end of all of this the city will win.


On an emotional level.

Everyday I go to work in a Pa Department of Pennsylvania Correctional facility. I'm saddened when I see the number of young African-American men who are from Philadelphia who are locked up.

The city has a lot of problems.

For it to spend so much time and energy fighting with an organization which I admit might not be perfect, but is trying to help fix some of the problems. I do think is not very bright.

Then again maybe the time has come for the BSA to look at the things it is doing that are not that bright?

It's a mad, mad , mad world.


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Maybe one of you real lawyers can 'splain this to me:


Forget all the BSA membership stuff for the moment. Assume two parties sign a lease on a piece of property. One party invests a substantial sum in real improvements to the property based on return over the term of the lease. For some reason, the lease is voided early (although I imagine the reason makes a big difference). Isn't the leasee due some compensation? Does the leasor take over the improvement although they didn't perform the full terms of the lease? Is there statute or precedence which governs or does is go back to the lease?

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You ask a lawyer question, here's a lawyer answer: It depends. :)


No, but really, it depends on what the specific lease actually says. Or to put it another way, the key word is the word "early." What's "early" in this case? If I recall correctly, there is a lease that permitted the Scouts to build a building on the property (which as Calico correctly says above, became part of the leased land), but it also permits the Scouts to occupy the leased building (and the land on which it sits) for $1 per year, and what I am a little hazy on is that I think there was a termination clause. Based on my vague recollection of past discussions, I believe the lease actually says either party has the right to terminate the lease on one year's notice. Maybe someone else has a clearer recollection or is willing to dig through years worth of old threads to find the answer. But if that's what it says, and the city gave the BSA the year's notice (which I believe they did), then the city did not end the lease "early."

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