T.D. Jakes refiles stalker lawsuit in Dallas

Posted Friday, Mar. 07, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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Shortly after dropping his lawsuit against a former church member accused of stalking him, the Rev. T.D. Jakes has filed another suit in Dallas County.

Jakes is seeking temporary and permanent injunctions against Karleisha Tarver to keep her from coming within 500 feet of Jakes, his family and staff at his home and at his Potter’s House churches located in Tarrant, Dallas and Collin counties.

Late last month Jakes dropped a similar lawsuit that he had filed against Tarver in Tarrant County civil court after it was determined that Tarver was too mentally unstable to understand the court proceedings. She is currently in the Dallas County jail.

“Defendant is currently incarcerated. If she is released, however, she immediately becomes a danger to the Plaintiffs...” the lawsuit states. “Harm is imminent because Defendant can strike anywhere associated with The Potter's House without notice or warning.”

The suit, filed Tuesday in Dallas County civil district court, also names as plaintiffs Jakes’ wife Serita and security officers John Blackburn, site manager for the Jakes’ residence and executive security officer to Serita Jakes. Other plaintiffs include Curtis Hairston, president of Hairston Global Protective Services, Inc., who provides security for all locations of The Potter's House and Bishop Jakes.

It is not known why Faith Johnson, an Irving-based attorney who represented Jakes in his Tarrant County lawsuit, filed the second lawsuit. She was unavailable for comment Friday.

Tarver, 31, is currently in the Lew Sterrett Justice Center in Dallas on criminal trespassing charges stemming from her arrest when she tried to enter the Potter’s House in Dallas on Jan. 26.

No attorney is listed for her in jail records, and there is no bond amount listed.

Mental state questioned

Last month, Tarver was transferred to the Tarrant County jail after state District Judge Susan McCoy issued a bench warrant so that she would be present at a temporary injunction hearing.

However, Tarver was found not to be mentally competent to understand a court order telling her to stay away from Jakes, his family and staff. During the hearing, she only spoke twice when McCoy questioned her, to say “I can hear” and “blasphemy.”

Terry Grisham, a spokesman for the Tarrant County sheriff’s department, said Tarver was sent back to the Dallas County jail on Thursday.

Tom Hall, an attorney appointed to represent Tarver at her Tarrant County hearing, said there are two serious constitutional questions in Tarver’s case. Hall is not representing Tarver in Dallas County.

Criminal trespassing is a misdemeanor offense, and Tarver has been in jail for a long time without an attorney, he said.

“There are two constitutional issues. Do you punish people who don’t recognize the charges against them, and how long are you going to be incarcerated on a misdemeanor charge if you are impoverished,” he said.

Harassment escalated

Jakes, a nationally recognized televangelist, author and filmmaker, is pastor of the 30,000-member Potter's House in Dallas. He opened The Potter's House of Fort Worth last year at Woodhaven Boulevard and Bridge Street, just north of Interstate 30. He lives on an estate in east Fort Worth.

Court documents described incidents in which Tarver showed up at Jakes' home and at his churches in Fort Worth and Dallas from 2011 to 2014, including trying to hit a security guard with her car.

The court documents indicate that the harassment escalated Jan. 5, when Tarver tried to approach the altar where Jakes was preaching. Church security officers escorted her out.

Elizabeth Campbell, 817-390-7696 Twitter: @fwstliz

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