Friday, August 16, 2013

Results of August 15 Court Hearing - Judge Rothenberg's Court Order

After a whole day Court Hearing concerning the Kashrus motions in the Psak Din court case, here is the Court Order that represents the Judge's decision, until the Hearing next week on August 21:

It reads as follows:
  1. All restraining notices with respect to the July 11, 2013 Order shall be withdrawn forthwith, with proof of service of notice of withdrawal to be filed with the Court.
  2. The TRO [Temporary Restraining Order] granted August 1, 2013 is hereby modified by deletion of the requirement that checks be countersigned.  All other reliefs are continued.
  3. The VHCH, Inc. may pay expenses only in the ordinary course of business pending the hearing to be held on August 21, 2013.


To understand the significance of this, a brief review is in order.  
  1. This Court Case has been dragging on for several years.  It is about confirming the Psak Din of the Rosenberg Beis Din Zabla in the Courts, so that the Court can enforce the decisions of the Beis Din.
  2. When the original motion to confirm the Psak Din was made, the request to enforce the psak that Kashrus is administratively under the Vaad HaKohol was specified as part of the case.  This would mean that Rabbi Osdoba would have to transfer control of Kashrus to the Vaad HaKohol, and that the other Rabbonim, Rabbi Schwei and Rabbi Braun, would be involved in the kosher supervision.
  3. Rabbi Osdoba's lawyers have fought to prevent the transfer of Kashrus and the recording of the Psak Din in the Courts.
  4. The Judge has, since June of 2012, ordered that everyone go back to Beis Din to clarify what the Psak Din says about the Vaad HaKashrus and related matters.
  5. After much delay, apparently by the Rabbi Osdoba side, the Vaad HaKohol formed a new Vaad HaKashrus that was accepted by the majority of the Beis Din (it was accepted by Rabbi Schwei and Rabbi Braun).  This new Vaad HaKashrus was presented to the Court with a request that the Court give them control of the CHK. 
  6. On July 11, 2013, Judge Rothenberg odered that:

[T]he Osdoba respondents shall deposit forthwith, with the Court all reserve and/or monies received or held by Va'ad Hakashrus entities and/or their [unreadable] (Vaad Hakashrus of Crown Heights, Corp.,  Vaad Hakashrus of Crown Heights, Inc.,  Vaad Hakashrus Crown Heights, Inc.,  and Vaad Hakashrus of Crown Heights, pending further orders of this Court.
         A Court date was set for August 21st to hear Rabbi Osdoba's lawyers objections to the new Vaad HaKashrus.

 7.   On August 1st, another Judge removed the requirement that the money be deposited with the Court, but required a countersignature on all checks from a member of the new Vaad HaKashrus.  (It should be noted that it came out at the August 15 Court Hearing, that the old Vaad HaKashrus did not comply with this order.)

8.  On August 5th, the new Vaad HaKashrus sent out letters (Restraining Orders) to the suppliers and merchants that use the CHK hechsher, and told them not to pay the old Vaad HaKashrus, and that the new Vaad Hakashrus was in charge.

9.  On August 12th, Rabbi Osdoba's lawyers made a Motion of Contempt of Court and demanded a punishment of a fine, or imprisonment, of the members of the new Vaad HaKashrus for sending out the August 5th letters/restraining orders.  (See below for the Motion of Contempt.)


So the Judge's August 15th order was to:
  1. Order the new Vaad HaKashrus to send out letters to the suppliers and merchants retracting their Restraining Orders.
  2. Remove the requirement that the new Vaad HaKashrus has to co-sign checks with the old Vaad Hakashrus.
  3. Maintain the requirement that the old Vaad Hakashrus cannot do anything more than pay expenses of the ordinary business, and cannot transfer money, hold themselves to be the Directors of the Vaad HaKashrus, etc.
  4. That on August 21st, the Court Hearing to determine the validity of the new Vaad HaKashrus. will be held.
Note that Judge Rothenberg did not grant the Motion of Contempt of Court.

Here is the Motion of Contempt of Court against the new Vaad HaKashrus: