In our blog series this month looking at the pitfalls of arbitration highlighted in the recent New York Times investigative series, we have seen how arbitration clauses rob American citizens of their day in court. Arbitration can also impose a different rule of law on your disputes – religious law.
The religious component of some arbitration clauses takes the privatization of the American justice system another step in the wrong direction. Examples of these clauses include:
- A family who found they could not sue Teen Challenge for their son’s death because the Christian organization included an arbitration clause that required any arbitration action to be settled by Biblical law.
- A former member of Scientology whose lawsuit against the church for defrauding him of tens of thousands of dollars could not proceed because of an arbitration clause that required his claim be heard by a panel of Scientologists.
- A schoolteacher pursuing a case of wrongful termination whose case was heard in a rented room at city hall and judged by Christian teachings. The case has since gone through four years of appeals costing her all but $8,000 of her eventual settlement.
While the intention to be judged by your own religious teachings may seem admirable, these clauses are not meant to serve justice. They are meant to serve the interests of the entities that imposed them and leave the people who are hurt powerless to do anything about it.
At the Romano Law Group, we are dedicated to helping victims fight for their rights. Please call 561-533-6700 today for your free legal consultation. We serve clients throughout Palm Beach and West Palm Beach, Florida.