Gold Meritorious Patron
I don't think that this is a legal matter requiring, as you suggest, a legal and formal resignation.Bill, you're right. What I should have said: Once an individual resigns and withdraws their consent to be governed by church rules, the church no longer has any rights to punish them. (Of course no church is allowed to administer punishments that are illegal.)
That is, the church never had a legally based right to punish anyone. It is always and only voluntary on the part of a believer. No Scientologist ever had any legal obligation to submit to any church punishment.