Koumentakos Case Officially Closed

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Date Published: 05/13/2010
Publication: Pokrov.org

The lawsuit filed by Kristine Koumentakos and her husband against Father Raymond Velencia officially ended last week.

Earlier, the Maryland court had ruled that counts 1-20 of the complaint, which stated causes of action against the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) and other church entities, were barred on first amendment grounds. Those counts alleged damages from the disclosure of information obtained in confession and/or confidential counseling. The court did not make any findings of fact with respect to those allegations, and the plaintiffs retained their right to appeal the first amendment decision.

The remaining counts of the complaint, alleging employment discrimination based on pregnancy and retaliation, survived the 2009 hearing. Court records show that those issues were resolved by settlement on March 23, 2010.

More than a month later, on April 30, 2010, the plaintiffs and the defendants filed a joint motion to seal the documents in the case. On May 4, 2010, the court ordered the case sealed.

The settlement agreement apparently protected the OCA from any appeal of the decision dismissing counts 1-20 of the lawsuit as well. The court ordered judgment on those claims retroactive to April 23, 2009, which had the effect of eliminating any possibility of appeal.