The Satanic Temple

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  • The United Federation of Churches, LLC does business as "The Satanic Temple", and owns its trademarks. It was originally registered in 2014. Its governing persons are jointly Cevin Soling and Douglas Misicko, as well as their pseudonyms. It is a for-profit Limited Liability Company.
  • The Satanic Temple Inc achieve Public Charity Status in 2019 as "a church or a convention or association of churches." It was originally registered in 2017 as "The Satanic Temple" before changing to its current name following the change in its federal tax status. Its governing board consists of Misicko, solely.

Both entities have been involved in a number of lawsuits under the name "The Satanic Temple", including "Inc" taking over some recent appeals of cases begun by "UFC LLC". In addition, TST members have been involved in religious discrimination arguments when reprementing themselves or when represented by the ACLU.

Lawsuits

Nonprofit Church Lawsuits

The Satanic Temple Inc. became the primary legal entity used for in suits involving "The Satanic Temple" beginning in 2019; this followed IRS recognition of the entity as a nonprofit church. The shift would include at one instance of taking over case begun by United Federation of Churches LLC. However, a point of contention in Cave et al v. Thurston between TST and the state of Arkansas has been which entity has actually officially involved in that case, begun in May 2018.

The Satanic Temple Inc. Cases
Issue Date Filed Case Name Original Jurisdiction Case Number Original Result First Appeal Second Appeal Notes
Other 2/25/2022 The Satanic Temple, Inc. v. Lamar Media Corporation ("Lamar II") US District Court for the Western District of Arkansas 5:22-cv-05033 Ongoing TST Inc. withdrew from a previous state-level lawsuit in Februrary 2021
Other 2/16/2022 The Satanic Temple, Inc. v. Newsweek Magazine LLC US District Court for the Southern District of New York 1:22-cv-01343 Ongoing Lawsuit relates to Newsweek's coverage of UFC LLC v. Johnson et al[1][2]
Abortion 2/1/2022 The Satanic Temple, Inc., et al v. Young et al ("Ann Doe II") 459th Civil District Court (Travis County, Texas) D-1-GN-22-000560[3] Ongoing State-level filing distinct from "Ann Doe I" filed the year before in federal court.
Abortion 2/5/2021 The Satanic Temple, Inc. et al v. Hellerstedt et al ("Ann Doe I") US District Court for the Southern District of Texas 4:21-cv-00387 Stayed 2/4 counts in initial claims dismissed; case stayed till June 2022[4][5]
Public monuments 2/4/2021 Satanic Temple, Inc v. Belle Plaine, City of ("Satanic Temple II") US District Court for the District of Minnesota 0:2021cv00336 Dismissed (failure) [6] Ongoing [7] Judge sanctioned TST for filing second suit before first was complete
Invocations 1/20/2021 The Satanic Temple, Inc. v. City of Boston US District Court of Massachusetts - Boston 1:21-cv-10102 Ongoing [8][9]
Other 9/27/2020 The Satanic Temple, Inc. v. Lamar Advertising of Louisiana, LLC ("Lamar I") 19th West Circuit Court 5 (Benton County, Ark.) 04CV-20-2100 Terminated (unclear) [10][11] TST Inc. withdrew lawsuit but no terms available, if any
Invocations 3/2/2020 The Satanic Temple, Inc., et al v. City of Scottsdale U.S. Court of Appeals - Ninth Circuit 20-15338[12] - Affirmed (failure) [13][14][15] Case begun by UFC LLC
Public monuments 4/25/2019 Satanic Temple, The v. Belle Plaine, City of ("Satanic Temple I") US District Court for the District of Minnesota 0:19-cv-01122-WMW-JFD Dismissed (failure) [16][17] Ongoing[7]

For-Profit Corporation Lawsuits

The United Federation of Churches, LLC has been involved in a number of lawsuits since its formation.

In 2018, the company sued Netflix Inc. and Warner Brothers Entertainment Inc. in the Southern District of New York over use of a breastless Baphomet statue with children in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, claiming defamation and that its intellectual property rights had been violated, harming its business reputation.[18]

The suit was eventually dismissed with prejudice after Netflix agreed to give a copyright credit on all episodes that had been filmed.[19]

The following list is non-exhaustive and includes several cases represented by lawyers of The Satanic Temple but did not include them as plaintiffs.

United Federation of Churches LLC court cases
Issue Date Filed Case Name Original Jurisdiction Case Number Original Result First Appeal Second Appeal Notes
Intellectual Property 4/3/2020 United Federation of Churches LLC v. Johnson et al US District Court for the Western District of Washington 2:2020cv00509 Ongoing Initial claims dismissed[1][2]; amended complaint re-filed[3], motion for re-consideration dismissed[4]
Intellectual Property 11/8/2018 United Federation of Churches LLC v. Netflix, Inc. et al US District Court for the Southern District of New York 1:2018cv10372 Settled Out of Court (Success) [19][20] TST utilized outside law firm D'agostino, Levine, Landesman & Lederman LLP
Public monuments 5/23/2018 Cave et al v. Thurston US District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas 4:18-cv-00342 Ongoing "Doug Misicko" and "Satanic Temple" listed as Intervenors
Abortion 2/28/2018 Doe v. Greitens et al ("Judy Doe")[21] US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri 4:18-cv-00339-HEA Dismissed (failure) [22] Affirmed (failure) [23][24][25] Appeal to U.S. Supreme Court denied (failure) [26][27][28] TST had also sought to disqualify new Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett[29][30]
Invocations 2/26/2018 Satanic Temple et al v. Scottsdale, City of et al US District Court of Arizona - Phoenix 2:2018cv00621 Judgment in favor of Defendants (failure) [31][32] Case continued by The Satanic Temple Inc
Abortion 6/23/2015 The Satanic Temple et al v. Jeremiah Jay Nixon et al. ("Mary Doe II") US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri 4:2015cv00986 Dismissed (failure) Affirmed (failure) [33] Mary Doe was not pregnant at time of filing federal case, so court determined she lacked standing
Abortion 5/11/2015 Mary Doe v. Jeremiah J Nixon et al ("Mary Doe I") Circuit Court of Cole County, Missouri 15AC-CC00205 Dismissed (failure) [34] State Appeals Court ordered transfer (neutral) [35][36] State Supreme Court affirmed (failure) [37][34] State supreme court upheld lower court decision unanimously, but two of seven justices had concurring opinion

Other Lawsuits

Early legal cases involved The Satanic Temple or its members being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, however, contrary to popular belief, the Temple's only involvement in the ACLU's successful case to to remove the 10 Commandments monument from the Oklahoma State Capitol (Prescott v. Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission) was a footnote from the opinion.[38]

Cases by others involving TST
Issue Date Filed Case Name Original Jurisdiction Case Number Original Result First Appeal Second Appeal Notes
Other 9/11/2018 Mayle v. Chicago Park District ("Emotional Support Hog") US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois 1:18-cv-06211 Dismissed (failure) [39][40] Affirmed (failure) Pro se TST Member; Appeal Case# 0:19-cv-03208
Other 4/24/2018 Mayle v. The State of Illinois ("Bigamy II") US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois 1:18-cv-02924 Dismissed (failure) [41] Affirmed (failure) Pro se TST Member; Appeal Case# 0:19-cv-01691
Other 5/5/2017 Mayle v. The Congress of the United States of America ("In God We Trust") US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois 1:17-cv-03417 Dismissed (failure) [42] Affirmed (failure) [43] Pro se TST Member; Appeal Case# 17-3221
Other 4/10/2017 Mayle v. Orr, et al ("Bigamy I") US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois 1:17-cv-00449 Dismissed (failure) [44][45] Pro se TST Member; intended appeal failed due to Plaintiff msising filing deadline
Invocations 1/9/2017 Hunt v. Kenai Peninsula Borough United States District Court - District of Alaska 3:17-cv-00007 Returned to State Superior Court (neutral) ACLU representing a TST member
Invocations 12/14/2016 Hunt, Lance vs. Kenai Peninsula Borough AP Third Judicial District Superior Court - Anchorage 3AN-16-10652CI Summary Judgment for Plaintiffs (success) [46] ACLU representing a TST member
Public Monuments 5/4/2016 Kondrat'yev et al v. City of Pensacola et al Northern District of Florida (Pensacola) 3:16-cv-00195 Summary Judgment for Plaintiffs (Success) [47] Affirmed (success) [48] Reversed (failure) [49] Freedom From Religion Foundation representing a TST member, between first appeal and second appeal, U.S. Supreme Court decided American Legion v. American Humanist Association leading to 11th Circuit Court to reverse decision.
Public Monuments 3/24/2015 Freedom from Religion Foundation, Inc. et al v. Franklin County, Indiana[50] US District Court for the Southern District of Indiana 1:2015cv00484 Settled Out of Court (success) [51][52][53] ACLU representing United Federation of Churches LLC

Additionally, there are an unknown number of other cases The Satanic Temple or its affiliate entities may have been involved in either in the capacity of submitting amicus briefs, as with St. Michael's Media, Inc. v. The Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, or other legal complaints that are not lawsuits.[54][55]

For example, in communication with the state of Arkansas for Cave v. Thurston, The Satanic Temple revealed that TST had raised three administrative complaints to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination:[56]

  1. The Satanic Temple v. Window World of Boston LLC (18BPA02782)
  2. The Satanic Temple v. Twitter (18BPA00827)
  3. The Satanic Temple v. Facebook (case number unknown)

However, TST had only publicly revealed the complaint against Twitter as part of a fundraising effort, which also involved disclosing that attorney Marc Randazza was representing the Temple in the complaint, over the objections of many local chapters. [57]

References

  1. Newsweek.com, Orgies, Harassment, Fraud: Satanic Temple Rocked by Accusations, Lawsuit by Julia Duin, Oct. 29, 2021
  2. Medium.com/@queersatanic, Footnotes to Newsweek’s “Orgies, Harassment, Fraud: Satanic Temple Rocked by Accusations, Lawsuit” by @QueerSatanic, Nov. 4, 2021
  3. Name possibly inaccurate, comes from Complaint. Case number also appears as evidence in unrelated case complaining about Travis County District Court speed.
  4. CourtListener.com, Aug. 6th, 2021, Plaintiffs The Satanic Temple, Inc and Ann Doe withdrew their claims asserted under Count 2 as to the Equal Protection Clause. They also noted no objection to the dismissal of their claims under Count 4 as to the Texas Religious Freedom and Restoration Act for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Counts 2 and 4 were DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. Without objection, Texas HHSC was DISMISSED from this action because the TRFRA was the only claim asserted against it.
  5. CourtListener.com, Dec. 20, 2021, This matter is STAYED pending ruling by the United States Supreme Court in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, No 19-1392.
  6. CourtListener.com, Defendant’s motion for sanctions in Satanic Temple II, No. 21-cv-0336, (Dkt. 17), is GRANTED.
  7. 7.0 7.1 0:21-cv-03079, Case filed: Sept. 16, 2021, Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals
  8. UniversalHub.com, Satanists allowed to continue to press claim that the way the City Council picks clergy for invocations is unconstitutional, July 21, 2021
  9. 0:21-cv-00336 - Case Filed: Feb 04, 2021
  10. 04CV-20-2100 - Case Filed: Sep. 27, 2020; Terminated: Feb 26, 2021 via voluntary dismissal (without prejudice)
  11. Dallas Observer, "Satanists Posted a Dallas Billboard Advocating for Reproductive Rights: 'Abortions Save Lives!'" Dec. 22, 2020, In September, TST sued Lamar Advertising Co. for religious discrimination because it had refused to post the religious organization’s designs. The advertising giant denies the temple’s initial allegations, according to a TST press release. Although Goodwin can’t comment on the active lawsuit, she said TST ultimately struck a deal with billboard company Clear Channel Outdoor.
  12. Court of Appeals Docket #20-15338, District Court# 2:18-cv-00621-DGC U.S. District Court for Arizona, Phoenix
  13. Video of Oral Arguments to 20-15338 The Satanic Temple, Inc. v. City of Scottsdale
  14. Appeals Court Upholds Ruling Blocking Satanist Invocation in Scottsdale (AZ), by Hemant Mehta for Friendly Atheist
  15. United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decision upholding lower court ruling
  16. StarTribune.com, Satanic Temple lawsuit against Belle Plaine will move forward, despite court dismissal of most of its claims; 1 of 10 counts still remains in the Scott County battle over church and state, Aug. 4, 2020
  17. CourtListener.com, ORDER. IT IS HEREBY ORDERED: 1. Defendant's motion for summary judgment as to Plaintiff's promissory-estoppel claim in Satanic Temple I, No. 19-cv-1122 81 is GRANTED. 2. Plaintiff's motion to strike in Satanic Temple I, No. 19-cv- 1122 100 is DENIED. 3. The magistrate judge's January 26, 2021 Order in Satanic Temple I, No. 19-cv-1122 79 is AFFIRMED. 4. Defendant's motion to dismiss the complaint in Satanic Temple II, No. 21-cv-0336 10 is GRANTED. 5. Plaintiff 039;s motion to strike in Satanic Temple II, No. 21-cv-0336 29 is DENIED. 6. Defendant's motion for sanctions in Satanic Temple II, No. 21-cv-0336 17 is GRANTED. Within fourteen days after the date of this Order, Defendant shall file a mot ion and supporting evidence as to the attorneys' fees Defendant incurred responding to the complaint and seeking sanctions in Satanic Temple II, No. 21-cv-0336. (Written Opinion) Signed by Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright on 9/15/2021. Associated Cases: 0:19-cv-01122-WMW-JFD, 0:21-cv-00336-WMW-JFD (RJE)
  18. Courthousenews.com, By misappropriating TST Baphomet with Children (which is a registered copyright and famous mark of TST) to publish this false and defamatory depiction of TST, Defendants have engaged in three classes of wrong: copyright infringement (Claim 1) trademark violation (Claim 2), and injury to business reputation (Claim 3).
  19. 19.0 19.1 Netflix Makes ‘Amicable’ Deal With the Devil Over Sabrina, Bloomberg.com, Nov. 23, 2018, An attorney for the Temple, Bruce H. Lederman, told Bloomberg Law Netflix agreed within 10 days of the Temple’s suit to give the it (sic) copyright credit for the statute on all episodes that have been filmed.
  20. PacerMonitor.com, United Federation of Churches LLC v. Netflix, Inc. et al
  21. "The Satanic Temple" was not named in the lawsuit as a plaintiff, but "Judy Doe" used the same attorney, W. James MacNaughton, who represented "Mary Doe" at a similar case in Missouri's State Supreme Court and the failed federal case for "Mary Doe"
  22. CaseMind.org, Motion to Dismiss: Granted Defendant. This matter seeking declarative and injunctive relief comes before the Court on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint for failure to state a claim, [Doc. No. 17]. Plaintiffs seek (1) declaratory judgment that certain Missouri Statutes are void and (2) injunctive relief against Defendants' enforcement of the statutes. For the reasons below, Defendants' motion to dismiss will be granted.
  23. Federal appeals court axes Satanic Temple abortion lawsuit, AP, June 9, 2020. The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a lawsuit Tuesday filed by a member of the Satanic Temple against a Missouri abortion law. ... An anonymous woman, Judy Doe, sued, arguing the law violates her religious freedom as a Satanic Temple member. The Satanic Temple doesn’t believe in a literal Satan but sees the biblical Satan as a metaphor for rebellion against tyranny. A federal district judge last year ruled against Doe, and the appeals court agreed.
  24. No. 19-1578, A Missouri law requires Judy Doe to certify that she has had a chance to review certain information before having an abortion. This requirement, she alleges, violates her Satanist beliefs. The district court dismissed both of her First Amendment claims, and we affirm. (PDF)
  25. 19-1578, filed 3/20/2019
  26. No. 20-385, Petitioner Judy Doe (“Petitioner”) moves, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §455(a), for the disqualification of the Hon. Amy Coney Barrett from consideration of the Petition for Certiorari, Case No. 20-385 (the “Petition”) due to her publicly expressed religious beliefs that a human being comes into existence at conception, abortion is murder and Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973) (“Roe”) was a “barbaric” decision that should “be put to an end.” (PDF)
  27. "Supreme Court Refuses to Disqualify Justice Barrett from The Satanic Temple's Abortion Case", Press release, Nov. 12, 2020
  28. 20-385, "Certiorari Denied" (PDF)
  29. SupremeCourt.gov, Motion by Petitioner for the Disqualification of The Hon. Amy Coney Barrett
  30. PRNewswire.com, Supreme Court Refuses to Disqualify Justice Barrett from The Satanic Temple's Abortion Case
  31. CourtListener.com, ORDER AND JUDGMENT: Judgment is entered in favor of Defendants on all of Plaintiffs' claims. Signed by Senior Judge David G Campbell on 2/05/2020. (REK) (Entered: 02/06/2020)
  32. Scottsdale wins court battle against Satanists over right to give invocation; Satanists appeal, Arizona Republic, Feb. 29, 2020. A U.S. District Court judge ruled this month that Scottsdale did not discriminate against the Satanic Temple when the city blocked a member of the group from giving an invocation before a City Council meeting in 2016. Judge David Campbell ruled the Satanic Temple did not prove the city had denied its request because of its religious beliefs. (AP summary)
  33. 16-3387, 08/28/2018 Open Document JUDGMENT FILED - The judgment of the Originating Court is AFFIRMED in accordance with the opinion. ROGER L. WOLLMAN, MICHAEL J. MELLOY and RAYMOND W. GRUENDER Hrg Sep 2017 [4698520] [16-3387] (AMT) [Entered: 08/28/2018 07:49 AM], US Eighth Circuit of Appeals
  34. 34.0 34.1 The Missouri Supreme Court dismissed on Wednesday a case brought by a woman who said the state’s abortion restrictions violated her religious beliefs. ... The case dates to 2015, when Doe’s attorneys argued her case in front of the Cole County Circuit Court. Circuit Judge Jon Beetem dismissed the case. Missouri's high court tosses case alleging abortion law violated Satanic Temple member's rights, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Feb 13. 2019
  35. WD80387, Because we believe that this case raises real and substantial constitutional claims, it is within the Missouri Supreme Court’s exclusive jurisdiction under Article V, section 3 of the Missouri Constitution, and we hereby order its transfer (PDF)
  36. Planned Parenthood, Satanic Temple score initial wins in abortion fight, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Oct. 3, 2017
  37. SC96751, Mary Doe appeals the circuit court’s judgment dismissing with prejudice her second amended petition seeking to enjoin the enforcement of the portion of the Missouri Informed Consent Law... This Court affirms denial of Ms. Doe’s request for injunctive relief. The informed consent law does not adopt any religious tenet, as Ms. Doe claimed. ...Moreover, the informed consent law neither requires a pregnant woman to read the booklet in question nor requires her to have or pay for an ultrasound. It simply provides her with that opportunity. .. The circuit court did not err in dismissing Ms. Doe’s petition for failure to state a claim. (PDF)
  38. OSCN.net, Footnote 8. One such request was from the Satanic Temple, who requested "a monument to Baphomet, which is a form of Satan, to be placed on the Capitol grounds." Record on Accelerated Appeal Ex. 4 (Deposition of Trait Thompson at 30). On December 19, 2013, the Commission minutes reflect Commission Chair, Trait Thompson, moved to put a moratorium on monument requests:
  39. CourtListener.com, Order Granting Motion to Dismiss/Lack of Jurisdiction
  40. ChicagoTribune.com, July 10, 2019, Chicago man continues legal fight to bring his ‘emotional support’ pig to parks
  41. CourtListener.com, Order Granting Motion to Dismiss/Lack of Jurisdiction
  42. ChicagoTribune.com, June 5, 2018; Chicago man, self-described satanist, loses latest battle to remove 'In God We Trust' from U.S. money
  43. Justia.com, The Seventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal of his complaint, rejecting claims under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Equal Protection Clause, and the Free Speech, Free Exercise, and Establishment Clauses.
  44. Leagle.com, Dismissal order
  45. Courtlistener.com, Motion for extension to file notice of appeal denied
  46. PeninsulaClarion.com, Satanic Temple invocation prompts protest, walkouts at assembly meeting, June 18, 2019>
  47. CourtListener.com, ORDER. Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment (doc. 31 ) is GRANTED. Defendants' motion for summary judgment (doc. 30 ) is DENIED. Bayview Cross violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court and circuit precedent, and it must be removed within thirty (30) days. The City is ordered to pay damages to the plaintiffs in the amount of $1.00; and parties are directed to follow the local rules of this court with regard to attorney fees to which plaintiffs may be entitled. Signed by SENIOR JUDGE ROGER VINSON on 06/19/2017. (MB) (Entered: 06/19/2017)
  48. Casetext.com, No. 17-13025, Sep. 7, 2018. The City of Pensacola, Florida appeals a district court decision ordering it to remove a 34-foot Latin cross from a public park on the ground that the City’s maintenance of the cross violates the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. Having concluded that we are bound by existing Circuit precedent, we find ourselves constrained to affirm.
  49. Justia.com, Case: 17-13025, Feb. 19,2020. Having reconsidered the case in light of American Legion, we conclude, as the Supreme Court did there, that “the Cross does not offend the Constitution.” See id. at 2090. For the foregoing reasons, we hold (1) that we remain bound by this Court’s decision in Rabun to conclude that plaintiffs have Article III standing to challenge Pensacola’s maintenance of the Bayview Park cross, but (2) that when American Legion—rather than Rabun (and through it, Lemon)—is applied, the cross’s presence on city property does not violate the Establishment Clause. REVERSED.Case: 17-13025 Date Filed: 02/19/2020
  50. United Federation of Churches LLC d/b/a The Satanic Temple was a plaintiff on the case, however, both it and the Freedom from Religion Foundation were represented by Gavin Minor Rose with the ACLU of Indiana
  51. IndyStar, "Satanic Temple lawsuit over Nativity scene dismissed", Dec. 31, 2015. As part of the settlement, the county agreed to let nonresidents apply for a permit, but they must have a local contact
  52. Thomas More Society, Settlement Agreement and Mutual Release of Claims
  53. Eagle 99.3 FM, "Lawsuit Settlement In Place For Satanic Display At Courthouse" Dec. 18, 2015. According to the settlement, Franklin County has agreed to amend its ordinance concerning displays at the courthouse within 30 days. The amended ordinance for the courthouse display permitting process will accept the designation of a local contact in lieu of requiring that sponsorship be wholly by citizens of Franklin County. Essentially, The Satanic Temple could put up its goat-head display at the courthouse if it finds a resident of Franklin County or any adjacent Indiana county (Dearborn, Ripley, Rush, Decatur, Fayette, or Union counties) willing to serve as that local contact. The contact must be a person who lives or works in Franklin County and assumes responsibility for the display.
  54. (CourtListener.com, 1:21-cv-02337, St. Michael's Media, Inc. v. The Mayor and City Council of Baltimore
  55. No. 21-2158, Amicus brief for The Satanic Temple, Inc. In support of St. Michael’s Media, Inc. Arguing for affirmance (PDF)
  56. CourtListener.com, Cave v. Thurston, Exhibit 12 - Satanic Temple Responses to Def.'s First Requests April 10, 2020
  57. Flipcause.com, The Satanic Temple vs. Twitter. Support The Satanic Temple's fight against religious discrimination. ($5,649 Raised of $50,000)