Ken Dandar gets another day in court after his $1 million Scientology judgment

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One of our legal helpers noticed that Florida attorney Ken Dandar — who was recently hit by Scientology with a $1 million state court judgment in a bizarre legal case — has a hearing set in his federal lawsuit which he’s hoping will put the kibosh on the state court result. Confusing? You bet.

TX Lawyer • an hour ago

Judge Hernandez wants to know whether she has the authority to hear this case, given that it's already been decided in the Florida state courts. Basically, the issue seems to be whether Dandar has raised an exception to the rule that federal courts don't get to second-guess state courts. IIRC, Dandar is alleging that the state courts are in bed with Scientology, which may be enough to get him past the abstention doctrine. It's a close call, in my completely uninformed estimation.

Purple Rain

He's a very brave man to do this. You would think that judges will want to protect their own where possible. It's like it's just him against the world at the moment, in a situation which is so obviously unjust from a layman's perspective. I think most people would be shocked if they knew.


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Tampa Bay Times: Scientology foe gets little comfort from federal judge

TAMPA — The long fight between Tampa lawyer Ken Dandar and the Church of Scientology didn't end Monday, but a federal judge offered scant support to Dandar as he tries to escape more than $1 million in sanctions by a state judge.

The church argues that Dandar violated a decade-old agreement never to sue Scientology again. Dandar said he never agreed to that and the church is illegally trying to restrict his practice, violating his civil rights.

U.S. District Court Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington appeared reluctant to interfere in the state judicial process.

"Even if I think that decision was incorrect, it's not my place to do anything about it," Covington said during a 70-minute hearing.
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Tony Ortega now has a story up on this.

We told you earlier that Ken Dandar was getting another day in federal court after he’d been saddled with a $1 million judgment by a state court judge. Yesterday, Joe Childs and Charlie Frago of the Tampa Bay Times were on hand as Dandar once again tried to convince U.S. District Court Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington that she should intervene with the state court and the huge judgment it asked Dandar to pay the Church of Scientology. (Earlier, Covington had decided she had no standing to interfere with the state court decision, but an appeals court said she did have standing, and now the case is back before her.)

According to Childs and Frago, however, Covington didn’t sound very enthusiastic about derailing the state court’s action. “Even if I think that decision was incorrect, it’s not my place to do anything about it,” she said at one point during the hearing.

Well, that doesn’t sound very promising for Dandar. When Covington issues her decision, we’ll let you know what it is.


Diamond Invictus SP
There's an update to this story this morning on Tony's blog. A hopeful update. :yes:

"...Federal District Judge Virginia Covington has denied Dandar’s request for injunctive relief against the state court on the basis that his civil rights are being violated.

However, Dandar himself tells us that he’s still hopeful. Covington may have denied his requests of injunctive relief, but she didn’t grant Scientology’s motion to dismiss his request for damages. She merely stayed that request until the state case is completed.

“She denied their motion to dismiss. That’s huge. She recognizes the federal rights in this case, but she’s reluctant to interfere with the state courts,” Dandar told us yesterday by telephone.

And Dandar tells us there’s another reason why he’s still hopeful. Previously, he had asked the Florida Supreme Court for a “writ of prohibition” — one of our legal experts tells us it would enable the higher court to stop what the local court is doing. Initially, the state Supreme Court assigned Dandar’s request to an appellate court, which denied it.

But now, Dandar tells us, the state Supreme Court itself is suddenly showing interest in his request, which our legal expert confirmed.
“As of Friday, the Florida Supreme Court issued a demand to the Church of Scientology to file a response to the writ of prohibition by June 4,” Dandar tells us. “That raises my hopes that someone is paying attention up there.”

As for Covington’s order, Dandar tells us he’ll be filing a request for the judge to reconsider her decision. Covington is clear that she won’t stop the state courts with an injunction, but Dandar explains that it’s Scientology he wants her to enjoin. If she still disagrees with him, Dandar says he’ll appeal her decision.

“I don’t give up until there’s no place else to go. I’m not going to go away,” he says.

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Rene Descartes

Gold Meritorious Patron
I'd like to get attorneys' takes on the concept that the CoS is baitching about that an attorney is one of the parties to the suit.

And also on the wording "will never sue". I am under the impression that with the new lawsuit Dander was not suing the COS but he was representing a client that was suing the church.

In the world of PR attempts at stretching words and concepts to such a level of this insanity is just further painting a picture of an organziation that people would want nothing to do with.


Kind of like a foot bullet aimed at the foot while one is sitting on top of their own feet and pointing the pistol sideways so that it hits some cheek as well as the foot.

There has to be a special kind of term for that kind of footbullet.