published Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

June Griffin not allowed to intervene in prayer suit

A federal court judge on Tuesday denied June Griffin’s attempt to intervene in a lawsuit against Hamilton County over prayers held during County Commission meetings.

Though Griffin filed a motion weeks ago seeking to intervene in the case, both parties — plaintiffs Tommy Coleman and Brandon Jones and the county — filed motions arguing she had no standing in the case.

U.S. District Judge Harry S. “Sandy” Mattice handed down an order denying Griffin’s motion.

“While the court has no evidence before it which would cast doubt upon the sincerity of Ms. Griffin’s beliefs, it does note that neither this lawsuit nor the policy at issue regulates her conduct,” the order said. “Ms. Griffin’s interest in this matter appears to be purely ideological.”

Griffin, a resident of Dayton, Tenn., said she owns property in Hamilton County. She regularly has attended County Commission meetings in recent weeks to express her support for the commissioners’ prayers.

Griffin said in her motion that Coleman and Jones are “guilty of legal harassment against the Bible foundations and heritage of this nation.” She wanted them imprisoned under Title 18 of the United States Code.

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