Garcias back in court in fraud lawsuit after Scientology makes arbitration impossible

CommunicatorIC

@IndieScieNews on Twitter
Garcias back in court in federal fraud lawsuit after Scientology makes arbitration impossible, they say.

Tony Ortega: Garcias back in court in federal fraud lawsuit after Scientology makes arbitration impossible, they say.

http://tonyortega.org/2016/04/14/ga...tology-makes-arbitration-impossible-they-say/

* * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

Luis and Rocio Garcia filed a new motion in their lawsuit yesterday, asking federal district Judge James D. Whittemore to lift the stay in their case and allow them to get on with suing the Church of Scientology. We have the document for you and its set of exhibits.

Last August, the Garcias lost an appeal in the case and then had to face the music: If they were going to get their money back from Scientology, they would have to submit themselves to Scientology’s internal arbitration procedures.

The Garcias first filed their federal fraud lawsuit in January 2013, alleging that the church had deceived them in order to obtain donations, including $340,000 towards the construction of the Flag Building in Clearwater, Florida, also known as the Super Power Building. The Garcias had been longtime Scientologists and frequent donors, and Scientology argued that they had signed multiple contracts which required them to submit disputes to the organization’s internal arbitration system. The Garcias argued, however, that the contracts were a sham. There were no internal arbitration rules, they said, and an arbitration had never been performed in the history of the church — all of which the church admitted in court was true.

Nevertheless, Judge Whittemore sided with Scientology, and put a stay on the lawsuit until the Garcias submitted themselves to the arbitration scheme. Which, we point out again, didn’t actually exist.

Now, nearly a year after Whittemore made that decision, the Garcias have come back to his courtroom in a new filing, describing the frustration they experienced as they attempted to work with Scientology’s “International Justice Chief,” Mike Ellis, to choose a panel of arbitrators and found themselves stymied at every turn.

* * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
 

CommunicatorIC

@IndieScieNews on Twitter
Former Scientologists tell federal judge: Church thwarted process to get money back

Former Scientologists tell federal judge: Church thwarted process to get money back.

Tampa Bay Times: Former Scientologists tell federal judge: Church thwarted process to get money back

http://www.tampabay.com/news/scient...-judge-church-thwarted-process-to-get/2273290

* * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

Former Scientologists tell federal judge: Church thwarted process to get money back

Thomas C. Tobin, Times Staff Writer

Thursday, April 14, 2016 4:46pm

TAMPA — In an attempt to resolve their $1.3 million fraud case against the Church of Scientology, a federal judge last year required Luis and Rocio Garcia to submit to the church's internal arbitration process.

That is easier said than done, the couple says in a new motion that accuses Scientology of obstructing the process for months. It also argues that the church, by throwing up barriers, has effectively waived the right to have the matter arbitrated and asks U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore to get on with their lawsuit.

The Garcias, who live in California, are seeking the return of $1.3 million in donations they made to various Scientology causes during their 28 years in the church — most notably a sum of more than $420,000 that went to the church's massive "Flag Building" in downtown Clearwater.

The couple alleges that church workers deceived and pressured them into making the donations. But their case has been made more difficult by the fact that they signed some 40 documents agreeing to go through Scientology's "religious arbitration" process if they ever had a dispute over the money.

Under that process, the church selects one arbitrator, the Garcias select another one, and those two arbitrators select a third person. All three arbitrators must be Scientologists in good standing.

But the Garcias say that finding a Scientologist in good standing to represent them on the panel has been every bit the challenge they predicted it would be when they urged Whittemore last year not to make them go through church arbitration.

* * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
 

Gib

Crusader
Re: Former Scientologists tell federal judge: Church thwarted process to get money ba

Former Scientologists tell federal judge: Church thwarted process to get money back.

Tampa Bay Times: Former Scientologists tell federal judge: Church thwarted process to get money back

http://www.tampabay.com/news/scient...-judge-church-thwarted-process-to-get/2273290

* * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

Former Scientologists tell federal judge: Church thwarted process to get money back

Thomas C. Tobin, Times Staff Writer

Thursday, April 14, 2016 4:46pm

TAMPA — In an attempt to resolve their $1.3 million fraud case against the Church of Scientology, a federal judge last year required Luis and Rocio Garcia to submit to the church's internal arbitration process.

That is easier said than done, the couple says in a new motion that accuses Scientology of obstructing the process for months. It also argues that the church, by throwing up barriers, has effectively waived the right to have the matter arbitrated and asks U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore to get on with their lawsuit.

The Garcias, who live in California, are seeking the return of $1.3 million in donations they made to various Scientology causes during their 28 years in the church — most notably a sum of more than $420,000 that went to the church's massive "Flag Building" in downtown Clearwater.

The couple alleges that church workers deceived and pressured them into making the donations. But their case has been made more difficult by the fact that they signed some 40 documents agreeing to go through Scientology's "religious arbitration" process if they ever had a dispute over the money.

Under that process, the church selects one arbitrator, the Garcias select another one, and those two arbitrators select a third person. All three arbitrators must be Scientologists in good standing.

But the Garcias say that finding a Scientologist in good standing to represent them on the panel has been every bit the challenge they predicted it would be when they urged Whittemore last year not to make them go through church arbitration.

* * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *

OMG. I thought this case was dead in the water. It now appears to me the Judge covered his ass saying lets let scientology do their arbitration. Garcia team did do the arbitration procedure.

Turns out to be another hellvahoax.

Go Garcia Team.
 
Re: Former Scientologists tell federal judge: Church thwarted process to get money ba

OMG. I thought this case was dead in the water. It now appears to me the Judge covered his ass saying lets let scientology do their arbitration. Garcia team did do the arbitration procedure.

Turns out to be another hellvahoax.

Go Garcia Team.
I guess he saw it was rigged, and wanted proof that was so. How will the Churches attorneys respond? How will they spin this so the Garcia's, who are no longer Scientologists, are guilty of failing to follow church policy? How will their efforts to locate a fair arbitrator, trample on Scientology's religiosity? Are you ready for a meal of juicy tortured logic?

Mimsey
 

Thrak

Gold Meritorious Patron
Re: Garcias back in court in fraud lawsuit after Scientology makes arbitration imposs

Amongst other things the cherch obviously doesn't want to show how few are left in good standing.
 

Jump

Operating teatime
Re: Garcias back in court in fraud lawsuit after Scientology makes arbitration imposs

Amongst other things the cherch obviously doesn't want to show how few are left in good standing.

I'll be on the lookout for the date of the hearing, it is going to be good :thumbsup:
 

ThetanExterior

Gold Meritorious Patron
Re: Garcias back in court in fraud lawsuit after Scientology makes arbitration imposs

If you read the court document it says that 43 of the 45 names the Garcias have submitted were taken from an official Church of Scientology website which says "meet 16,000 Scientologists on-line".

Yet these are the names being rejected by the International Justice Chief as "not in good standing". You just couldn't make it up.:roflmao:
 

HelluvaHoax!

Platinum Meritorious Sponsor with bells on
Re: Garcias back in court in fraud lawsuit after Scientology makes arbitration imposs

...

Have I mentioned recently that Scientology is an avaricious, manipulative, lying, sociopathically cruel cult?

They're still running the same black ops as always, the very same things that Hubbard did to Paulette Cooper and that got Mary Sue Hubbard sent to federal prison.

They will stop at absolutely NOTHING to beat their "SP" enemies.

It's not pleasant to say it, but the only thing these folks understand or respond to is force--lawsuits, criminal prosecution, savage public relations attacks, et al.

Scientologists actually NEED suppression (vs. them) to stop them from destroying innocent lives and families.

I don't mind a bit if Scientology staff beats and imprisons and psychologically tortures each other. Because they deserve it.

Not very politically correct, am I? LOL. Well, somebody has to say it.
 

Jump

Operating teatime
Re: Garcias back in court in fraud lawsuit after Scientology makes arbitration imposs

...

Have I mentioned recently that Scientology is an avaricious, manipulative, lying, sociopathically cruel cult?

They're still running the same black ops as always, the very same things that Hubbard did to Paulette Cooper and that got Mary Sue Hubbard sent to federal prison.

They will stop at absolutely NOTHING to beat their "SP" enemies.

It's not pleasant to say it, but the only thing these folks understand or respond to is force--lawsuits, criminal prosecution, savage public relations attacks, et al.

Scientologists actually NEED suppression (vs. them) to stop them from destroying innocent lives and families.

I don't mind a bit if Scientology staff beats and imprisons and psychologically tortures each other. Because they deserve it.

Not very politically correct, am I? LOL. Well, somebody has to say it.

I agree that these days 'caveat emptor' (let the buyer beware) applies to any cult because there is google.

However there are people who have been in for so long and they are so damaged, they are robotic shells.

Also children born into scio families that are shielded from information or wary of being separated that need a little more compassion.
 

Some Random Guy

Patron with Honors
Re: Garcias back in court in fraud lawsuit after Scientology makes arbitration imposs

It is a game the church loves to play, make it difficult for the complainant to communicate and get results. Something about making a comm line so painful that the other party will rather not communicate.

I would be prepared to wager that an out of court settlement is getting closer for the Garcias. The church will settle on the front steps of the court house, moments before the case is scheduled to be heard as this is church standard operating procedures. Then there will be no court precedent, no details of the settlement and no process for other disaffected scientologists to follow.
 

Enthetan

Master of Disaster
Re: Former Scientologists tell federal judge: Church thwarted process to get money ba

Under that process, the church selects one arbitrator, the Garcias select another one, and those two arbitrators select a third person. All three arbitrators must be Scientologists in good standing.
* * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *

What other organization, as part of an arbitration process, demands that the complainant's choice for arbitrator must be a "member in good standing" of the defendant's organization?

The International Bar Association guidelines on arbitration state


Part I: General Standards Regarding Impartiality,
Independence and Disclosure


(1) General Principle
Every arbitrator shall be impartial and
independent
of the parties at the time of accepting
an appointment to serve and shall remain so
until the final award has been rendered or the
proceedings have otherwise finally terminated.​

The judge should immediately have struck down the requirement of the arbitrator having to be a "Scientologist in good standing", and immediately ruled that the arbitrator not be allowed to have any sort of current or past connection to Scientology
 

Jump

Operating teatime
Re: Former Scientologists tell federal judge: Church thwarted process to get money ba

What other organization, as part of an arbitration process, demands that the complainant's choice for arbitrator must be a "member in good standing" of the defendant's organization?

The International Bar Association guidelines on arbitration state


Part I: General Standards Regarding Impartiality,
Independence and Disclosure


(1) General Principle
Every arbitrator shall be impartial and
independent
of the parties at the time of accepting
an appointment to serve and shall remain so
until the final award has been rendered or the
proceedings have otherwise finally terminated.​

The judge should immediately have struck down the requirement of the arbitrator having to be a "Scientologist in good standing", and immediately ruled that the arbitrator not be allowed to have any sort of current or past connection to Scientology


Would that be arguing against church rules and bring on a constitutional argument? You know they love those, it saved them in the Hedley case.
 

ThetanExterior

Gold Meritorious Patron
Re: Garcias back in court in fraud lawsuit after Scientology makes arbitration imposs

It is a game the church loves to play, make it difficult for the complainant to communicate and get results. Something about making a comm line so painful that the other party will rather not communicate.

I would be prepared to wager that an out of court settlement is getting closer for the Garcias. The church will settle on the front steps of the court house, moments before the case is scheduled to be heard as this is church standard operating procedures. Then there will be no court precedent, no details of the settlement and no process for other disaffected scientologists to follow.

That's right.

I waited for about a year to get back money I had on account at my local org. Eventually I decided to stop being "reasonable" and took them to the Small Claims Court.

I got my money the day before the court case was due.

My beloved Goldenrod arrived soon after.:yes:
 
Re: Former Scientologists tell federal judge: Church thwarted process to get money ba

Would that be arguing against church rules and bring on a constitutional argument? You know they love those, it saved them in the Hedley case.
I think that is exactly why he let them go get the arbitration - to avoid the religious amendment. Either that, or he got sick of listening to them bicker, and hoped by telling them to get an arbitration, he could avoid further involvement with the whole mess

What are the judges options at this point?

A) tell the Garcia's to go back and get the arbitration?
B) issue a notice to comply to the church, with a dead line to do the arbitration?
C) ask the church lawyers for a response explaining why he shouldn't agree that they have waived the right of arbitration?
D) agree with the Garcia's that the church has waived it's right?
E) tell both parties, they need to use an independent arbitratrator?
F) call the IJC into court to question him?
G) can you think of another?

I think whatever he decides, he is going to try and dodge the religious amendment so his ruling stands the test of an appeal.

Mimsey
 

Free to shine

Shiny & Free
Re: Garcias back in court in fraud lawsuit after Scientology makes arbitration imposs

From Tony Ortega, with docs.:

Scientology responds to Garcia accusations;

In its response, the church is pretty open about what an Orwellian situation the Garcias are in here. Because the Garcias have been declared suppressive (Scientology’s version of excommunication), they aren’t supposed to be approaching current church members about accepting a position as their arbitrator. And if they do, those church members know the rules and won’t respond to them. But the church refuses to turn over a master list of members to choose from, and asks the Garcias to trust Mike Ellis to communicate with current members on their behalf.

This is all described by Scientology as if it were the most normal thing in the world, of course.

http://tonyortega.org/2016/05/18/sc...rginia-congressional-candidate-visits-an-org/
 
Re: Garcias back in court in fraud lawsuit after Scientology makes arbitration imposs

Tony O has an update about the Luis Garcia case, specifically the judge posted two unsolicited letters from people who have requested arbitrations, and their lack of response by the church.

The contracts we sign to do services are "unconscionable" :
An unconscionable contract is one that is so one-sided that it is unfair to one party and therefore unenforceable under law. It is a type of contract that leaves one party with no real, meaningful choice, usually due to major differences in bargaining power between the parties.

It is my hope that the church, by failing to live up to it's own contracts, the judge rules the contracts are therefor invalid, opening the door for the rest of us to get out money back.

Mimsey

http://tonyortega.org/2016/07/20/th...-that-scientology-is-snowing-a-federal-court/
 

Ogsonofgroo

Crusader
Re: Garcias back in court in fraud lawsuit after Scientology makes arbitration imposs

Tony O has an update about the Luis Garcia case, specifically the judge posted two unsolicited letters from people who have requested arbitrations, and their lack of response by the church.

The contracts we sign to do services are "unconscionable" :

It is my hope that the church, by failing to live up to it's own contracts, the judge rules the contracts are therefor invalid, opening the door for the rest of us to get out money back.

Mimsey

http://tonyortega.org/2016/07/20/th...-that-scientology-is-snowing-a-federal-court/

What 'church'? You mean a cult passing itself off as something meaningful in life?
Throw on that neck-piece 'reverend', time to go con some people (ala LRon 'De Grate'). Lolol cult of LRon and their numerous contracts, even the fucking Taliban are better at that then CoS, "I am believer!" lalalalakctyachbarmofos! :eyeroll:

sheesh. (no offense whatever meant to you Mimsey, I know yer still getting yer head around a lot of this crap)
 
Re: Garcias back in court in fraud lawsuit after Scientology makes arbitration imposs

What 'church'? You mean a cult passing itself off as something meaningful in life?
Throw on that neck-piece 'reverend', time to go con some people (ala LRon 'De Grate'). Lolol cult of LRon and their numerous contracts, even the fucking Taliban are better at that then CoS, "I am believer!" lalalalakctyachbarmofos! :eyeroll:

sheesh. (no offense whatever meant to you Mimsey, I know yer still getting yer head around a lot of this crap)
What? Though it is a criminal cultic organization, fraudulently preying on good hearted, if naïve people, under the mantle of religion, the basic tenants of religion are present, such as the concept man is a spiritual being, god (8 th dynamic) is infinite bla bla, and thus I persist in calling it a church. I don't bother with cherch since it really means some thing else:
cherch

word describing a good situation

I just nailed my girlfriend!

Really? Cherch!!!

#cherch #awesome #bangin' #bitchin #house

if ya don' like it - ces't la vi.

Mimsey
 

Gib

Crusader
Re: Garcias back in court in fraud lawsuit after Scientology makes arbitration imposs

Tony O has an update about the Luis Garcia case, specifically the judge posted two unsolicited letters from people who have requested arbitrations, and their lack of response by the church.

The contracts we sign to do services are "unconscionable" :

It is my hope that the church, by failing to live up to it's own contracts, the judge rules the contracts are therefor invalid, opening the door for the rest of us to get out money back.

Mimsey

http://tonyortega.org/2016/07/20/th...-that-scientology-is-snowing-a-federal-court/

It would be great if the Judge now got a flood of more of those types of letters. :thumbsup:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jagJeaLXRRQ
 

Free to shine

Shiny & Free
Re: Garcias back in court in fraud lawsuit after Scientology makes arbitration imposs

Interesting conversation from the Bunker about the letters:

TX Lawyer • 13 hours ago

It's not terribly common for members of the public to write letters to the judge in a civil suit, but it's also not unheard of. Placing these letters on the public docket is just best practice by the judge, as it prevents anyone (i.e., Scientology) from arguing that he was secretly influenced by unsworn testimony or an ex parte communication. Now everybody in the case gets to see the same things the judge saw, and they can argue whatever they want about them. I'd say these are more notable for the content than their appearance on the ECF docket.
http://tonyortega.org/2016/07/20/th...s-snowing-a-federal-court/#comment-2793187024

Gerard Plourde TX Lawyer • 12 hours ago

Thanks TX Lawyer. Your explanation solves the potential ethical conundrum the letters pose. But the existence of the letters may help to explain the delay in the decision. The judge is now confronted with the possibility that he heard perjured testimony and that the attorneys for Scientology may have knowingly put on that false testimony, violating their duty of candor onward the tribunal. It's not every day that a court is faced with such audacity.


Lynnea66 Gerard Plourde • 8 hours ago

Actually, the Judge likely would not use these letters as a basis for decision in the case. They are not properly submitted evidence in the case and the use of them could be a basis for appeal since Co$ could argue they were unable to verify or "confront their accuser." As TX Lawyer stated, putting them in the file keeps the judge's hands clean and the record transparent.

Gerard Plourde Lynnea66 • 8 hours ago

I agree that he cannot allow the letters' content to form any portion of the basis for his decision. The issues raised concerning the possibility of perjury by witnesses and potential ethical violations by counsel are, however, independent of the litigation before him and may require referral to the U.S. Attorney and to the Disciplinary Board of Florida and whatever other jurisdictions counsel for Scientology may practice in.
 
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