Petition for Dissolution of Peoples Temple (Text)

Charles R. Garry
Garry, Dreyfus, McTernan, Brotsky, Herndon & Pesonen, Inc.
1256 Market Street at Civic Center
San Francisco, California 94102
Tel: 864-3131

Attorneys for Petitioner

In the Superior Court of the State of California
In and for the City and County of San Francisco

People’s Temple of the Disciples of Christ, Petitioner
The Attorney General of California, Respondent

Petition for court decree upon winding up and dissolution
Corp. Code, Sec. 9801


Petitioner is a California corporation formed under section 9000-9802 of the California Corporations Code, with its principal places of business in San Francisco. The articles of incorporation, with amendments, are attached as Exhibit A, and incorporated herein by this reference.


This petition is filed to obtain a court decree directing the disposition of its assets.


On December 4, 1978, the corporation voluntarily elected to wind up and dissolve, and to petition this Court for a decree, as authorized by Article IX(d) of the Articles of Incorporation.


This voluntary election to wind up and dissolve was made by the unanimous vote of the surviving Directors in San Francisco.


The election to wind up and dissolve was made in light of the tragedies that occurred in Jonestown, Guyana. It is practically and morally impossible for the corporation to continue its existence. It is the desire of the corporation to devote its assets to recompense the families of the victims of the events in Guyana and to pay claims against the corporation that may be established to the satisfaction of the court.


The corporation holds various assets, a complete inventory of which shall be deposited with the Court as soon as possible.


The corporation has been served with summons in several pending lawsuits, to wit:

  • Katsaris v. People’s Temple, et al., No. 39911, Superior Court, Mendocino County
  • Cobb v. People’s Temple, et al, No. 739 907, Superior Court, City & County of San Francisco
  • Medlock v. People’s Temple, et al, No. C243 292, Superior Court, Los Angeles County

The corporation is also named plaintiff in:

  • People’s Temple, et al v. StoenNo. 740 531, Superior Court, City & County of San Francisco


The corporation petitions to Court to take possession of all the corporation’s assets, and to direct or equitable and legal distribution in accordance with the law. Until such time as the Court takes possession, the present Board of Directors will continue to receive and disperse funds, keeping an account of the same, including payment for burial expenses, in the sum of approximately one million dollars ($1,000,000.00).


The Attorney General of California is named as Respondent as a required party in a proceeding authorized by section 9801 of the California Corporations Code.

Wherefore, petitioner prays for:

  1. An order decreeing that the People’s Temple of the Disciples of Christ is dissolved.
  2. An order by which the Court takes possession of the corporation’s assets.
  3. An order decreeing that all those with monetary or other claims against the corporation be afforded some length of time in which to file their claims against the corporation.
  4. An order directing the distribution of the corporation’s assets to the claimants, and otherwise as the Court may order.
  5. An order directing the corporation and its attorney of record how to proceed in those legal proceedings in which the corporation is named defendant or plaintiff.
  6. Such other relief as the court may deem proper.


Dated: December 4, 1978

Charles R. Garry
Garry, Dreyfus, McTernan, Brotsky, Herndon & Pesonen, Inc.

By Charles R. Garry
Attorneys for Petitioner