Small Town May Have Big Legal Bill in Wiccan Suit

August 14, 2005

Source: The State

Wire Service: AP

On August 14, 2005 the Associated Press reported, "The tiny town of Great Falls may have to pay a hefty legal bill after losing a battle over whether the town should stop using Jesus Christ's name in prayers before council meetings. The U.S. Supreme Court refused in June to hear the town's appeal of a lower court ruling over the prayers. Now Wiccan priestess Darla Wynne wants the town to pay her more than $65,000 legal bills. A judge should rule on the matter by next month. The money isn't covered by insurance, and it's unclear where the town would get the cash. The money is about 7 percent of the town's annual $870,000 budget... Wynne's lawyer, Herbert Buhl of Columbia, said lawyers had incurred only about $18,000 in expenses before the town decided to appeal. 'We spent two years in extra litigation while they went to the U.S. Supreme Court, and I think the case was clear from the beginning,' Buhl said... Wynne sued the town in 2001, saying that the town violated the separation between church and state by using the name Jesus Christ in prayers because it promoted one religion over the other."