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Lessons from the Houston Church Subpoena Saga

Why it happened—and what pastors and leaders should know about their rights.

Lessons from the Houston Church Subpoena Saga

Update (October 29, 2014): Sister site ChristianityToday.com reports Houston's mayor has rescinded the five subpoenas after meeting on Tuesday with religious leaders.

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Update (October 24, 2014): Since this interview first published on October 17, 2014, new details have surfaced. Attorney Frank Sommerville provided us this update:

“The city's premise (with rejecting the petition) seems questionable. The city attorney now claims that the petition was invalid because it did not contain the required number of valid signatures. To be valid, the petition must contain at least 17,000 valid signatures. Out of the 55,000 submitted signatures, the city attorney voided 38,000 signatures because he claimed that they were (1) printed instead of written in cursive, and/or (2) illegible. This caused the petition to be invalid. This is after the city secretary reviewed ...

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Matthew Branaugh is editor of content and business development for Church Law & Tax at Christianity Today. He earned his juris doctor (JD) with honors from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

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  • October 17, 2014

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