From: Rev. Mary Magdalen

December 29, 2008

Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for all your help so far in fighting to get back and keep my family together. Itís a little over a year since we finally moved back into our house in Georgia, our whole family back together. Itís so wonderful to be together again I canít describe how good it feels, and how thankful we are to have been able to have two holidays together so far without being split up again, even though the court case started back up in September.

Since the first notification of the court case, weíve come a long way. I retained Mr. Brian Goewey to represent me, and got permission from the court to testify by telephone. At the last court appearance, Judge Punch, who had returned to the case, raised the issue of inconvenient forum himself, and told the two lawyers to submit papers about that issue, and he would decide it all in writing. So for the first time in a while we had no pending court cases, just waiting for the judge to decide!

After several weeks, Judge Punch dismissed the case! I was so excited I didnít know what to do, but then my lawyer informed me that itís possible to appeal even the dismissal of a case. Jeff has until January 15 to submit an appeal, so I am counting down the days to find out whether the case is finally dismissed beyond all recall from the County of Orleans.

I havenít spoken to Jeff since the decision, so I donít know what he will do, but I have to assume heís going to try his hardest to appeal, so each day that goes by without a phone call saying thereís an appeal is a good day. I will write again after the deadline passes and let you know whether we won!

Meanwhile, Mr. Mattingly, the original lawyer who won us the right to go home in the summer of 2007, but who canít represent me anymore because I owe him so much, needs to be paid something before the end of the year, or he will get in trouble with his partners. I still owe him $24,000, but he never bothers me about it, and he took off a lot of other charges to get it down that low.

Of course, I have no hopes of raising so much money, but I hope that if everyone who reads this either sends in a little bit, just $10 or so, or else forwards this email to someone who might be willing and able to help, we can make it a good year for Mr. Mattingly after all, so in the future when some other poor artist needs help, heíll once again step up to fight for civil rights, without worrying about a financial penalty.

We already raised $500 for Mr. Mattingly from the Jocko Dome-o fundraiser in Cleveland, which is so awesome! So many amazing artists and good friends came together and made some really cool art. You can read all about it here:

I know the last time I wrote I used a link that wasnít working for everyone, so Iíve included this link that is pretty old but seems to still work (sorry, you have to scroll down almost to the end):

Or if you want to just mail Mr. Mattingly a check, or use a card over the phone, his info is:

Christopher S. Mattingly
42 Delaware Ave
Ste 120 Buffalo, NY 14202-3924
(716) 849-1333 ext 351

Together, weíve already come so far. I could never have made it to where I am today without all of you who have helped me so much already. Thank you once again for all your help and support, and I will write again as soon as I find out the final outcome of this long, long, long case.

Thank you!!

Rachel Bevilacqua (Rev. Magdalen)


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