A judge has dismissed a lawsuit by television evangelist Gene Scott's Wescott Christian Center, which sought refund of a $6.5-million deposit it made for the downtown "Jesus Saves" church.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Miriam Vogel said the Wescott suit against the Church of the Open Door was without any legal cause and described it as "an effort to tie up a very valuable piece of property."
Wescott attorney Arthur Groman said he will appeal. His client contends that the contract to buy the building for $23 million was rescinded in 1986 after a Church of the Open Door member filed a lawsuit claiming there was a trust on the property preventing it from being used for anything other than religious purposes.
A judge later dismissed the church member's suit, saying there was no evidence of such a trust.
Church of the Open Door attorneys claim Wescott forfeited its deposit when it defaulted on the contract by failing to pay the remaining $17.5 million of the purchase price.