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Archdiocese Informed of Court Ruling

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Nov 25, 1998


NEW YORK - The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America was informed late yesterday by the US District Court, Southern District of New York that it had imposed partial limitations on the organization known as GOAL. It was told by the Court that it may not use the misappropriated mailing list for financial solicitation or commercial purposes. GOAL has never denied using the mailing list of the Archdiocese without permission. The Archdiocese regrets the Court did not grant complete protection of the confidentiality of the list, but the Archdiocese feels vindicated that the Court sustained the position of the Archdiocese regarding the following merits of the case (from the ruling):

“First, it would appear that the Archdiocese has a substantial basis for arguing that GOAL misappropriated confidential information. The Archdiocese has worked hard to develop the list and to maintain its confidentiality. At the same time, GOAL has made no effort to deny that it obtained and used the list without the Archdiocese’s permission. Even assuming, however, that GOAL took the list and used it with good intentions and for the benefit of the Archdiocese, the ends do not justify the means.

“Second, even if GOAL would have been able to obtain the list eventually through other means, GOAL still acted improperly if it indeed misappropriated the list. The fact that the information could have been obtained through proper channels did not entitle GOAL to obtain the information more quickly through improper channels.

“Hence, while I am denying the Archdiocese’s motion for a preliminary injunction, I do so not because I believe its claim is ultimately without merit, but because I believe it has failed to demonstrate irreparable harm.”

In lieu of irreparable harm, the Court suggested that the Archdiocese could be entitled to monetary damages. However, the Archdiocese reaffirms that its only interest has been and continues to be the protection and return of its property, and the privacy of its parishioners. The availability of monetary damages was the basis for the denial of the injunction. The Archdiocese continues to explore various avenues to resolve these issues without further litigation. The full text of the Court’s decision may be found at news/courtdecision.html on the Archdiocese Internet site.

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