BROOKLYN (CN) – The Salvation Army wants a Kings County judge to vanquish The Salvation Army of America, a splinter group that allegedly “disbanded” without formally dissolving in 1889.
According to the trademark complaint, The Salvation Army of America was incorporated in March 1885 by its founder, Thomas E. Moore, who had “‘seceded’ from The Salvation Army.” After running his splinter group for 4 years, Moore was evicted from his headquarters for nonpayment of rent, and “The Salvation Army of America movement was disbanded and disintegrated,” the complaint states.
But Moore never formerly dissolved the splinter group.
“Publicly available records of the New York Department of State, Division of Corporations, State Records & Uniform Commercial Code, currently identify The Salvation Army of America as an ‘active’ corporation,” according to the complaint.
In 2010, a Salvation Army lawyer sent a letter to the Charities Bureau of the Office of the New York State Attorney General, stating: “The Salvation Army had recently become aware of the continued existence of The Salvation Army of America in connection with a lawsuit filed in Supreme Court, Kings County, against The Salvation Army that also named The Salvation Army of America as a defendant,” according to the complaint.
The Salvation Army says it told the attorney general’s office that supporters had mistakenly sent donations to the splinter group.
The attorney general’s office replied that it “determined not to seek a dissolution of The Salvation Army of America because it concluded that there was no substantive basis warranting the allocation of its resources to this matter since The Salvation Army of America had no charitable assets in need of distribution and was not currently conducting unlawful activities that needed to be restrained,” the complaint states.
The Salvation Army wants the court to force Secretary of the New York Department of State Cesar A. Perales to issue an injunction against the splinter group, or change its name to the “Thomas E. Moore Corporation.”
The Salvation Army is represented by Jared Facher with Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft.