Zachery Tims' mother, Madeline Tims, has filed a temporary restraining order against New York City's chief medical examiner office to prevent officials from issuing a press release on the cause of the late Florida pastor's death, according to legal documents made public.
According to a copy of the injunction order filed by Madeline Tims' attorney in Manhattan Supreme Court and published online by Central Florida News 13 (CFN13), the city medical examiner's office was prepared to issue a press release on Tims' death on Friday, Oct. 7.
The temporary restraining order has prevented NYC medical officials "from issuing a press release on Friday, October 7, 2011 at approximately 12 noon" to "publicly [report] the cause and [manner] of the death [of] Pastor Zachary Tims. Jr."
The temporary court order also prevents officials with The Office of Chief Medical Examiner from "making any oral or written statements or comments to the public or responding in any manner to any inquiries from the public concerning the cause and manner of the death Pastor Zachary Tims, Jr.. until further notice..."
Listed as defendants in the case are: The City of New York; The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene of the City of New York; Thomas Fancy, M.D., as Commissioner of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene of The City of New York; The Office of Chief Medical Examiner and Charles S. Hirsch. M.D., as Chief Medical Examiner.
The single defendant in the case is listed as Madeline Yvonne Tims, who is also listed in the injunction as the sole representative of Zachery Tims' estate.
Madeline Tims and her attorney are scheduled to next appear in Manhattan Supreme Court on Nov. 23, which may be the same day the public finds out what exactly caused Zachery Tims' death.
The Florida pastor's ex-wife, Riva Tims, issued a statement Sunday night after reports emerged that she was a co-plaintiff in the case.
Riva Tims felt obliged to publish a clarification on her Facebook profile:
"Dear Facebook Family, I wanted to clear up a matter that has recently come to my attention," she wrote. "There are several news articles claiming that my ex-husband's mother and I are suing the City of New York to keep his cause of death secret. I was not aware that his mother filed suit and I am in no way involved in this matter. I have not filed suit and I don't plan to file suit in the future."
Riva Tims revealed during a special service at her ex-husband's church, New Destiny Christian Center (NDCC), on Aug. 15 that she, Zachery Tims, Madeline Tims, and the formerly married couple's four children had spent time together before the pastor's death.
"Zachery's death may have caught us by surprise, but it has not taken God by surprise," Riva Tims said during the service. "And God saw fit that we would have an opportunity to spend a few days together with him. He was able to fellowship with his sons and his daughters."
Tims, pastor of NDCC in Apopka, Fla., was found dead in his room at the W. Hotel in Times Square on Aug. 12. Sources close to the case have reportedly claimed that a glassine envelope of white powder was found in Tims' right pants pocket, and that investigators were eyeing a possible drug overdose as the cause of death.
The initial autopsy on Tims was inconclusive and investigators were waiting on the results of a toxicology exam to determine the charismatic preacher's cause of death, which they now know.
The Christian Post spoke with the New York Chief Medical Examiner's office Oct. 6 and was informed that only the cause and manner of Tims' death can be made available to the public, according to New York law. Spokeswoman Ellen Borakove told CP that the actual toxicology report can only be seen by next of kin.
If the toxicology results are kept confidential and Tims' family keeps his cause of death from being disclosed indefinitely, it is likely that allegations of a possible drug overdose will forever haunt the Florida minister.