There is new and very important information regarding the Turley Suit / Gurukuli abuse claims. The bankruptcy court has established JUNE 30, 2003, as the last day that those who believe they have claim must file their Proof of Claim Forms. It is important to note that Proof of Claims forms must be RECEIVED by both the California and West Virginia Bankruptcy Courts by JUNE 30, 2003, and not simply mailed on that date. Any claims received by the courts after June 30, 2003, will be disallowed, and the claimants may be forever barred from receiving compensation. These rules are set by the bankruptcy court, so please carefully read the Legal Notice at the end of this article in order meet all the requirements.
In an effort to find and contact all who may have claims, including any students who may have been abused in Krishna gurukulas in the 1970's and 1980's, the Legal Notice is being posted on websites such as this one. Additionally, on April 30, 2003, the Legal Notice was published in various international newspapers. These Legal Notices are part of the Chapter 11 Reorganization Plan that will be submitted to Federal Bankruptcy Courts in West Virginia and California by the eleven Krishna temples that filed for Chapter 11 in March, 2002.
As many of you may know, in June, 2000, the Dallas law firm of Windle Turley filed a $400 million lawsuit on behalf of 91 plaintiffs in the US. Federal Court in Dallas, Texas. The defendants included the eleven temples that have filed for Chapter 11, as well as a number of individuals. That suit was dismissed by the federal court in September, 2001, but was re-filed in Texas state court in October, 2001.
The millions of dollars sought in that lawsuit could close many of Krishna’s temples, and consequently punish innocent devotees and congregational members who had nothing to do with the allegations. By filing Chapter 11, the eleven temples hope to balance the legitimate needs of any of the gurukulis and youth that may have been abused, without depriving devotees, families and members of their place of worship.
One of the primary purposes of the Chapter 11 is to determine the extent of the claims against the Temples, including abuse claims, and to provide compensation for youths that may have been abused, but who chose not to sue the organizations. The Chapter 11 plan the eleven temples will submit to the court will provide for payments to any young person who may have suffered abuse -- whether or not they participated in the Texas lawsuit.
Another goal of the Chapter 11 is to provide a cost effective method of determining legitimate claims, so that more money can be used for distribution to those claimants, rather than on an expensive and drawn-out lawsuit and appeals. Thus, the temples are working on reorganization plans to present to the bankruptcy court that will provide meaningful compensation for anyone found to have a valid claim. The judge will then make the final decision to determine the capacity of these temples to pay based on the Court's analysis of the ISKCON temples' assets. It is anticipated that this process will provide the fairest solution for all.
However, since time is limited in which to be included as a claimant, all who believe they are eligible to make a claim must immediately do the following:
(a) Download a copies of the Proofs of Claim in PDF format here by clicking here: PDF for West Virginia; and PDF for California
(b)Go to the website www.HareKrishnaClaims.com
(c) Write to to HareKrishna@rdwlawcorp.com and request the forms.
(d) Write to the office of the bankruptcy attorneys to the attention of: Yves Derac, Robinson, Diamant & Wolkowitz, APC, 1888 Century Park East, Suite 1500, Los Angeles, 90067.