Bishop Charles E. Blake, pastor of West Angeles Church of God in Christ (COGIC), one of the largest congregations in America, was awarded yet another victory in his fight against the defamatory acts of Minister Earl Carter, a former preacher within the COGIC denomination. At a March 8 hearing in Orlando, Florida, Carter was held in contempt of court, remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal and sent to jail.
This case began on Dec. 11, 2015, when Blake filed a defamation lawsuit alleging that Carter created Youtube videos with the intent to, among other things, damage his internationally-respected reputation. Over the span of two years, Carter uploaded scores of videos attacking Blake.
In November 2016, Blake won his defamation lawsuit against Carter. In response to that victory, Blake’s attorney, Ulysses Henderson, said, “We anticipate that the federal court in Orlando will shortly be issuing a final and formal permanent injunction that will require the take-down of all of Earl Carter’s defamatory internet videos, and will perpetually prevent Mr. Carter from repeating any of the outrageously false, utterly baseless and despicable claims he has made about Bishop Blake.” As anticipated, soon thereafter, Judge Dalton of the Orlando court issued a permanent injunction against Carter.
Despite losing the lawsuit, being ordered to remove the offending videos and to cease all malicious comments regarding Blake, Carter continued to upload defamatory videos and boast of his intention to defy the court order. In fact, in the videos, Carter called Judge Dalton disparaging names and accused Dalton of violating his First Amendment rights in ordering the permanent injunction.
At the March 8 hearing, Dalton found Carter was in contempt of court. In the order appointing a Federal Defender, dated March 8, 2017, the court wrote, “After hearing argument from both parties, the Undersigned held Defendant in civil contempt based on the following findings by clear and convincing evidence: (1) that Defendant had violated a valid and lawful Order; (2) that such Order was clear and unambiguous; and (3) that Defendant had the ability to comply with the Order. Noting that monetary penalties would not suffice, the court remanded Defendant to the custody of the United States Marshal Service, until he removed the offending videos from online platforms set forth in the Permanent Injunction.”
Carter remained in jail until the videos were removed. However, Carter’s legal woes are far from over. Carter now faces the possibility of a criminal prosecution due to his continual and flagrant prior acts of contempt throughout this case.
Contempt has been defined by the Florida Supreme Court as “Any act which is calculated to embarrass, hinder or obstruct the court in the administration of justice, or which is calculated to lessen its authority or its dignity.” Unlike civil contempt of court, criminal contempt of court is a crime punishable by the possibility of incarceration.
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SOURCE: Charisma News/ Try Williams Consulting Group