Facebook Twitter

COURT DENIES REHEARING IN LAWSUIT OVER TEMPLE LIGHTING

SHARE COURT DENIES REHEARING IN LAWSUIT OVER TEMPLE LIGHTING

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a request from St. George, Utah, for a rehearing of an August ruling that an attorney had standing to sue over subsidized lighting at the city's LDS Temple.

The appeals court had ruled on Aug. 2 that a Utah federal judge erred in invalidating the 1985 lawsuit filed by Philip Foremaster, a St. George attorney who said he had standing as a utility ratepayer to file the suit.But attorneys for St. George said Foremaster didn't have a utility account in his name when he filed the suit, thus he had no standing to file it.

Foremaster had challenged the legality of the city's paying for the exterior lighting of the temple, owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a practice followed from 1942 to 1986. In later years, the subsidy had amounted to about $180 a month.

Foremaster also objected to the city's since-retired logo, which depicted the temple, a cluster of grapes, a golf course, a setting sun and a mountain.

The 11-member panel of judges unanimously declined to hear the matter again in a recent ruling.

City Attorney Ted Shumway said he sought a rehearing because the panel's decision was wrong.

But Foremaster was pleased. "I think it's excellent," he said.

The case will now return to U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City for a hearing to determine attorney's fees to be awarded to Foremaster's attorneys.