NSA applies for a rehearing

{josquote}The Circuit Court is not obliged to grant a re-hearing.{/josquote}

The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahais of the United States has applied for a rehearing, by the full bench of the 7th Circuit Court, of a decision against it in a long-running case in which the NSA seeks the enforcement of a 1966 Federal Court order preventing a Bahai splinter group, the Bahais under the Hereditary Guardianship (BUHG), from using the name and trademark of the Bahais. The present application for a rehearing concerns a group called “The Orthodox Bahai Faith,” in which Franklin Schlatter and Joel Marangella have authority. The two were also main actors in the BUHG. The legal issue is whether the existing injunction applies to the new organisation. The Circuit Court had previously said that it did not, based on doctrinal differences between the old and new organisation.

The injunction arose from a case bought by the Bahais under the Hereditary Guardianship in the 1960′s, claiming ownership of the assets of the mainstream Bahai community, on the basis that the BUHG represented the true Faith. Despite their name, the guardianship in the BUHG is not literally hereditary: the claimant at the time of the original case had no family relationship to Shoghi Effendi, the recently deceased Guardian of the Bahai Faith. The doctrine of the non-literal “hereditary” transmission of the office of Guardian opened the BUHG to numerous claimants to the office, leading to a multiplication of small factions. The NSA’s preceding case, which it lost, covered several of the these groups, while the application for a rehearing concerns only the Orthodox Bahai Faith and its governing body, the Provisional National Baha’i Council (PNBC).

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