Plaintiff files motion to compel in man's case against church

Christina Stueve Hodges Sep. 16, 2012, 3:43pm


Plaintiff's attorney John Bitzer filed a motion to compel in a man's lawsuit against a pastor who allegedly accused him of sexually assaulting a minor.

Bitzer's motion filed Sept. 6 says the defendants have not complied with discovery and asks for an order compelling compliance.

James Sherrell III filed a lawsuit last year in Madison County against Calixto Ulloa, Cuauhtemoc Avila and Iglesia Bautista Agape Church in Madison County Circuit Court.

The Illinois Baptist State Association was also named as a defendant, but on June 29, Circuit Judge Ann Callis granted its motion for summary judgment.

The Baptist Association sought summary judgment in May stating it has no power to hire, fire or discipline pastors or other employees of affiliated churches. At the time of the incident in the complaint, Ulloa's church was autonomous and wholly locally governed, it claimed.

According to the plaintiff's motion to compel, the plaintiff served interrogatories and a request for production on the defendants on May 30. On Aug. 21, in compliance with Supreme Court rule, the plaintiff alerted the defendants' attorney that discovery was overdue.

Callis on June 29 set an Oct. 24 case management conference.

Bitzer is of the Bitzer Law Firm in Collinsville.

David Berwin of Evans & Dixon in St. Louis represents the defense.

Madison County case number 11-L-281.

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