Associated Press, Apr. 24, 2003
MIKE ROBINSON, Associated Press
CHICAGO -A federal judge ruled a group headed by a jailed white supremacist should be fined $1,000 a day until it stops calling itself the World Church of the Creator.
U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow said Thursday the group failed to comply with an order to stop using the name and was in contempt of court.
Attorneys expressed doubt that Matthew Hale’s organization has much money to pay but said that individual members could be held responsible.
Hale, 31, was sued by the Oregon-based group TE-TE-MA Truth Foundation, which claimed that it held a trademark on the name.
Lefkow initially ruled in favor of Hale but the decision was reversed on appeal. Lefkow then ordered Hale and his organization to stop using the name, and when he did not comply, she set a contempt-of-court hearing.
As Hale arrived for that hearing on Jan. 8, he was arrested and charged with soliciting an associate to murder Lefkow. He has pleaded innocent and is being held pending trial.
Lefkow decided last month to continue to preside over the trademark case.
Hale’s group openly preaches white supremacy. One of its members, Benjamin Smith, went on a rampage over the Fourth of July weekend in 1999, killing two and wounding nine before killing himself as police closed in.