Tony Ortega’s Blog
I’m not a lawyer and the subject of today’s article is sufficiently esoteric that it seems to be tripping even a couple of the lawyers who read Tony’s blog.
Today’s article focused on the response of the Garcia’s legal team to the motion to dismiss on “diversity jurisdiction” grounds that the cult filed recently in the Garcias’ suit in Federal Court in Florida alleging fraud in the Super Power donation campaign. Almost a year into the case, the cult’s legal team dropped a bombshell, asserting that the case did not belong in Federal court because several of the cult corporate entities are trusts whose trustees are California residents. The concept of diversity jurisdiction explained by Scott last week is apparently complex and arcane, and the cult appears to have created and sprung a trap that may have some chance of success either in the trial court or on appeal, because the trial court may have to do something that breaks an apparently ironclad procedural rule to keep the cult from profiting by chicanery, risking a messy appeal, or they have to dismiss the case so it is re-filed either in Florida or California. That could be a problem if re-filed in Florida since the cult has seemed to have done well with Tampa-area judges in the past, such as in attorney Ken Dandar’s being barred from suing Scientology again.
According to Scott Pilutik’s legal analysis, this was a sharp move by the cult because the Court apparent has no choice but to dismiss the case if subject matter jurisdiction is involved. In other words, good lawyering apparently may not be able to fix the issue.
The response from Ted Babbitt, the Garcias’ lawyer, appears to be alleging fraud: the cult has claimed that the directors are California based, without actually identifying them. In other words, he’s pointing out that the cult is not offering any proof to back up its case, so fraud may be involved. It sounds like he’s pointing out that the cult’s credibility after the motion to disqualify plaintiff’s counsel might be worth taking into account by the judge in looking at how to remedy this situation.
- Jeff Hawkins talks about life hiding behind the curtains on lockdown inside buildings at Int Base when protesters were outside the fences. So much for the most “theta” beings in the Scientology universe to “confront and shatter”” suppression. And these protests were long before Anonymous cranked up the numbers by a couple orders of magnitude.
- Semper Phi, who was doing training at Flag in the Anonymous 2008 protests gives her version of being on lockdown.
- DamOTclese2 also reminisces from his perspective as a protestor during the same era.
- Sunny Sands asked Roz Cohn to record her one-woman show about Scientology described in yesterday’s Underground Bunker article and post it; Roz e-mailed her back and said she was planning on it.
- Jmh details a phishing attack attempting to steal passwords for the people working to take down cult ads on Craigslist.
- Gerald Plourde raises the interesting notion that the delaying tactic of the motion on diversity jurisdiction may just be a tactic to stall the Garcia suit until Miscavige gets through the big events. I’m not sure there’s any way to determine whether this is true, but it is very interesting to think about; it will be worth noting if the cult withdraws the jurisdiction motion once the events are complete. It’ll also be interesting to see what happens if the cult starts to do some sloppy lawyering after laying what appears to be a remarkably clever trap.
- Nice comment by StillOnYourSide about another theory of a potential path for Babbitt to win the diversity jurisdiction argument for the Garcias.
- Grundoon did a nice bit of research on the historic neighborhood in LA where Hubbard lived for a time and where early cult facilities were located.
Mike Rinder’s Blog
- Brief post only encouraging people to vote for Leah on “Dancing with the Stars” and encouraging them to e-mail Clearwater city officials to encourage them not to grant the cult an exception for the late filing of the street closure permits for the events in two weeks.
Marty Rathbun’s Blog
- Marty has been on radio silence since October 30. This is an unusually long period of time for him. I did not check the comments to see if he is away or something.
“Scientology” on Google News
- Scientology has purchased a historic building in Buenos Aires for a new Idle Morgue. The deal, announced Monday, was for US$1.5 million, and restoration is expected to take 12-18 months.