Discussion in 'Media' started by BlackRob, Jan 23, 2013.
I know right!?!?
There's a related post in another thread, here:
The Garcias won’t go down without a fight: Filing appeal of Scientology’s ‘arbitration’ farce
By Tony Ortega, August 17, 2018
The Garcias aren’t letting well enough alone. More than five years after they first filed a lawsuit against the Church of Scientology, and after three years wrestling against a ruling by Tampa federal Judge James Whittemore that forced them into Scientology’s internal arbitration, Luis and Rocio Garcia have filed a notice that they are appealing Whittemore’s latest ruling that they would have to live with the results of that arbitration.
Continued at https://tonyortega.org/2018/08/17/t...ing-appeal-of-scientologys-arbitration-farce/
Scientology denied: Eleventh Circuit brushes aside church attempt to stop Garcia appeal
By Tony Ortega, The Underground Bunker, March 7, 2019
What’s this? Some good news in the Luis and Rocio Garcia lawsuit against Scientology? You don’t say.
It might be a relatively small development, but at this point the Garcias will probably take whatever they can get. This week, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta denied Scientology’s attempt to derail the Garcias’ appeal of their disappointing result in a Florida US district court, and their appeal will continue on.
In January 2013, the Garcias initially filed their lawsuit against several Scientology entities, claiming that they had been defrauded by a church that lied to them in order to convince them to make more than a million dollars in donations over their years as members. But Scientology’s attorneys convinced US district court judge James Whittemore that because the Garcias had signed contracts obliging them to take all grievances to Scientology’s internal arbitration, he couldn’t interfere without violating Scientology’s First Amendment religious rights.
Whittemore made that decision even though Scientology admitted it had never, in its 60-year history, ever held an internal arbitration procedure, and its top former executives testified that the contract and the arbitration were shams set up to keep members from getting refunds. Despite that testimony, Whittemore remained firm and the Garcias went through with the arbitration, which they complained was a kangaroo court.
They’re appealing that result now, hoping the Eleventh Circuit will agree that Judge Whittemore erred when he decided the Garcia lawsuit could not proceed. And now, Scientology’s motion to kill that appeal has been denied. It’s one small victory in what has already been a long, long road for a couple who say they were lied to and harassed by the Church of Scientology.
Scientology’s bogus ‘arbitration’: The Garcia appeal brief is here, and it’s a beauty
By Tony Ortega, The Underground Bunker, April 4, 2019
We love a good appeal brief. If you read a lot of legal documents like we do, you get used to a lot of turgid stuff that, while highly important to a case, is a slog to get through.
But appeal briefs are great because they are written to persuade a higher court that a lower court has screwed up. And in order to do that, an appeal brief usually includes a beautifully written summation of how the case evolved. And the appeal brief submitted by Luis and Rocio Garcia that we got our hands on last night is no exception.
Many of you have been with us for the six years since we first started reporting on the Garcia lawsuit and its allegations that a wealthy Orange County, California couple were fleeced by the Church of Scientology. And you know the case had some crazy twists and turns as Scientology tried its usual outrageous tricks, like trying to disqualify the other side’s attorneys.
But ultimately, what shocked the hell out of us about this case was that even after the Garcias proved that Scientology had never held an “internal arbitration” in its 60-year history, and even after the Garcias entered testimony by former top executives Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder who said under oath that the arbitration agreement the Garcias had signed was a sham designed to keep people from getting their money back, and even after the Church of Scientology admitted that it had no procedures in place to hold an arbitration — even then Judge James D. Whittemore decided the Garcias would have to submit their grievances to internal arbitration, and he shut their lawsuit down.
His reasoning? He claimed that in order to decide whether Scientology’s refund rules were bogus, he would have to infringe on the church’s religious rights. The First Amendment, he said, prevented him from hearing the lawsuit in his court, even though what the Garcias were alleging was essentially criminal behavior on the part of Scientology.
For the next three years we hung on as the case painfully moved toward a foregone conclusion, when the Garcias finally did go through with the arbitration, which turned out to be an utter joke.
Now, the brief written by the Garcia’s appellate attorney, Philip M. Burlington, summarizes all of that history in a very readable and illuminating narrative, and argues that Judge Whittemore screwed up when he let the church run roughshod over him. We think it’s entertaining as hell, and we look forward to your own thoughts about it.
Here’s the document:
Continued at https://tonyortega.org/2019/04/04/s...garcia-appeal-brief-is-here-and-its-a-beauty/
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