Update On The Lawsuit Against the Metropolis of San Francisco and Fr. Michael Rymer

Date Published: 01/02/2008
Publication: Pokrov

On November 16, 2007, the National Herald reported that the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOA) was about to agree to an out-of-court settlement in the civil suit against the former Archimandrite Michael Rymer. However, that announcement appears to have been premature.

Pokrov went to the electronic information center for the Superior Court of San Francisco (the link can be found by going to our page on Archimandrite Michael). Using the name search query, we looked for “Rymer,” and thus were able to access information on the case against the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco and former priest. Pokrov learned that not only has the action not yet been resolved, but also that two very significant pre-trial motions have been decided since November 16.

In the first matter, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco lost its motion for summary judgment on November 27, 2007. A request for summary judgment is a pre-trial motion where the moving party attempts to show the court that there are no material issues of fact to be determined at trial, but only legal issues that can be decided by the judge. If the judge had agreed, then the Metropolis of San Francisco would have won its case.

In addition, on December 31, 2007, the court granted the plaintiff’s motion for leave to amend his complaint to allege that he is entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are monies awarded by a court in excess of the plaintiff’s actual damages, and are intended to punish the defendant for outrageous conduct. The amended complaint, asking for punitive damages, was filed later that day.