Judge rules against deposition for Joyce Meyer in wrongful death suit

In a victory for Joyce Meyer and the employees of her ministry, including her husband Danny, Monroe County Circuit Judge Dennis Doyle ruled on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2010, that the evangelist and her employees cannot be compelled to give any information in a deposition for a wrongful death lawsuit filed by attorneys for Sheri Coleman’s family.

Sheri Coleman and her two sons were murdered in the spring of 2009 by Christopher Coleman, husband of Sheri and father of her two sons.  Christopher Coleman was employed by Joyce Meyer’s security detail.  The wrongful death suit was filed because attorneys for Sheri Coleman’s family argue that Joyce Meyer and her employees had knowledge of Christopher Coleman’s wrongdoings but did not act on that knowledge which could have prevented the deaths of Sheri and her two sons.

Judge Doyle ruled that according to the law, since the deposing of Meyer and her employees would occur more than six months after they were “named as respondents in discovery in the civil case,” they could not be compelled to give a deposition.  However, Meyer and her employees may have to testify in an evidentiary hearing to be held on Feb. 26.  The judge over the evidentiary hearing has the freedom to limit the type of questioning asked by the attorneys, unlike in a deposition where the questions are allowed to cover a vast scope of subjects.

After the decision was handed down by Judge Doyle, attorneys for Sheri Coleman’s family asked the judge to certify his ruling but the judge turned down their request.  The attorneys–Enrico Mirabelli of Chicago (Sheri Coleman’s cousin) and Jack Carey of Belleville, IL–were hoping that the judge would certify the ruling to give a higher court his permission to review it.  The appeal could still be filed, but without certification from Judge Doyle, the Appeals Court could turn down the request for review.

Joyce Meyer’s attorneys have insisted all along that they cooperated with authorities in the investigation of Christopher Coleman and have denied the accusations against them made in documents submitted to the courts in the wrongful death civil suit.

Source: Beth Hunsdorfer, “No deposition for Joyce Meyer in wrongful-death suit against Coleman,” Belleville News-Democrat, Feb. 10, 2010.

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