Nat’l. Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the U.S.A. Under the Hereditary Guardianship, Inc. v. Nat’l. Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the U.S.A., Inc., ___ F.Supp.2d ___, 2008 WL 1839078 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 23, 2008) (St. Eve, J.).
Judge St. Eve denied defendant the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States’ (the "NSA") motion to hold non-parties Franklin D. Schlatter, Joel B. Marangella, the Provisional National Baha’i Council ("PNBC"), the Second International Baha’I Council (d/b/a Baha’is Under the Provisions of the Covenant)("SIBC"), and the Baha’i Publishers Under the Provisions of the Covenant ("BPUPC")(collectively the "Alleged Contemnors") in contempt for violating the 1966 permanent injunction against plaintiff The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States Under the Hereditary Guardianship, Inc.’s (the "NSA-UHG" or "UHG") use of the NSA’s trademarks. Shortly after the injunction was entered, the NSA-UHG dissolved. NSA argued that its former officers, Schlatter and Marangella, remained bound by the injunction. But the Court held that officers or agents of an entity that are not personally named in an injunction are only bound while acting for the named entity or a subsequent entity formed to avoid the injunction. Schlatter’s and Marangella’s alleged contempt, therefore, is dependent on their new entity PNBC’s status.
The Court held that PNBC was not in privity with NSA-UHG. NSA-UHG followed the directives of its spiritual leader, Mason Remey. PNBC, however, followed the directives of its spiritual leader Marangella, not Remey. Furthermore, Marangella specifically instructed PNBC and its members not to violate the injunction. PNBC, Schlatter and Marangella, therefore, were not in privity with NSA-UHG and not bound by the injunction.
Similarly, non-parties Jensen, SIBC and BPGPC were not in privity with NSA-UGH, even though they admitted to being successors-in-interest to Remey. Jensen disassociated themselves from the NSA-UGH and Remey several years before the injunction was issued.