Motion to prevent document destruction denied in Merryfield civil suit

By | March 3, 2011

GREEN BAY – Judge Nancy Krueger, on March 3, denied the “Motion to Prevent Document Destruction” which was filed in Outagamie Circuit Court on Nov. 15, 2010 by attorneys for Troy and Todd Merryfield.

Attorneys for the Diocese of Green Bay had filed a brief in opposition to the plaintiffs’ motion on Nov. 23, 2010.

Deacon Tim Reilly, diocesan director of administration, indicated that the diocese is pleased with this decision because no documents pertaining to this lawsuit were destroyed since the lawsuit was filed on Jan. 3, 2008. The fact that no documents were destroyed is consistent with the diocesan records retention policy, implemented in August 2006.

The diocese has reported every credible allegation of sexual abuse against a minor by a member of the clergy to the appropriate district attorney of the county in which the alleged incident occurred. The diocese cooperated completely with law enforcement authorities in every one of those cases.

The diocese remains committed to reaching out to victims and survivors of clergy abuse. Bishop David Ricken has continually stated that he is willing to meet with victims/survivors, listen to their story and help them in their journey. Likewise, diocesan policies for keeping children safe are and will continue to be rigorous. The policies include:

  • Mandated background checks and abuse prevention training of all staff and volunteers in our parishes, schools and diocesan offices (approximately 21,000 people)
  • Barring from ministry any clergy who have a credible allegation of abuse of a minor against them
  • Mandatory reporting of all credible allegations of abuse to local law enforcement authorities. This has ensured that due process within the legal system takes place. Each year, the diocese demonstrates its compliance with its policies, with national standards, and with adherence to state law.

More information is available on the diocese’s web site ( under the section titled “Protecting Our Children.”

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