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Judge ruled to have acted properly in case involving Shawano religious group

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ST. PAUL - A federal judge in Minnesota said a bankruptcy judge acted properly in fining a lawyer who filed a court record with anti-Catholic slurs in a case involving a Shawano religious group.

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District Judge Joan Ericksen of Saint Paul said bankruptcy judge Nancy Dreher did not abuse her discretionary powers, when she fined attorney Rebekah Nett five-thousand dollars. Dreher's client, Naomi Issacson, was also fined five-thousand dollars - and Judge Ericksen also upheld that penalty.

At a court hearing in January, Nett said the religious slurs were written by Issacson, head of a subsidiary of the Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology in Shawano. Nett represented Issacson's firm in a bankruptcy case. Judge Erickson said Nett "stuck her head in the sand" by filing a memo from Issacson without checking to see if the statements were factual. Among other things, the statements called Judge Dreher a "black-robed bigot," saying she was part of a Catholic conspiracy to deny justice to Issacson and her company.

The Samanta Roy Institute calls itself an educational group, but some have called it a religious cult led by Avraham Cohen. Issacson is also the institute's CEO.

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