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Sometimes I wonder what attraction a nanny-state society holds for people who think for themselves ... and then I'm reminded that some people don't think things through at all, and want a big mommy to make everyone give you do-overs:
A 55-year-old man is suing a local church because it won't give back a $126,000 donation he gave during a deep depression five years ago. ... After five months of antidepressants and counseling, Mager said he asked for the money back. But leaders at the Cloquet Gospel Tabernacle church said no. They had already used the money for new family ministry space. ... Mager's change of heart is confounding to church leaders because the letter he sent with the cashier's check seemed so genuine, Doebler said.
"He felt some remorse for some past actions and he wanted to make it right with God,'' Doebler said, recounting the letter. "At the time, we were taking it on good faith that this is what he wanted. It was hard to know what we were dealing with since it was anonymous.''
Mager gives a church $126,000 -- anonymously, so there's no question of duress or undue influence -- and then five months later changes his mind and demands the money back. Why? He says he suffered from depression and couldn't be held responsible for his actions. The church is somehow supposed to know this despite the anonymous submission and not spend the money for five months on the offhand chance that the donor would be tacky enough to ask for it back months later. Of course the church refuses, saying that the money had already been spent, and of course Mager runs to a lawyer to sue them.
Nice guy, Mager.
This is exactly the kind of dispute that should have taken no more than an hour in court to dismiss. The function of the tort system should not be to protect people from their own stupidity, nor to make charitable organizations vulnerable to refund requests based on the whim of the donor. Instead, Mager has tied up valuable court time and has wasted the church's resources (not to mention his own) on legal fees, resources that I am sure are scarce enough as it is.
Note to the plaintiff: grow up and take some responsibility for your actions. I'm sorry you suffer from depression, but next time, get help before you start writing checks. It's not the church's fault you sent them $126,000 anonymously -- it's yours. Your action, your fault, your responsibility. Stop wasting court time and taxpayer resources.Sphere It View blog reactions
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Tracked on January 20, 2004 3:10 PM
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