SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- On Thursday, the Santa Clara County Superior Court ruled a South Bay church pastor threatened with jail time for holding in-person services will remain free for now.
Robert Tyler, an attorney for Calvary Chapel in San Jose, made the announcement on the court steps just after 5 p.m. following the contempt hearing.
Santa Clara County sued Calvary Chapel Pastor Mike McClure and his church to stop it from hosting indoor services without face masks amid a worsening COVID-19 pandemic.
"The county has expressly said that they're only looking for monetary sanctions," Tyler says. "Not looking to put Pastor McClure or Pastor Carson Atherley in jail, thank God. "
Dozens of members from the South Bay congregation turned out to the courthouse to support their pastor.
The church still faces more than $1 million in administrative fines for a slew of violations including hosting indoor services without masks for months.
According to county officials, so far no fines have been paid.
The case will be back in court on Jan. 28 for closing arguments.
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