The temporary restraining order that prevents Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige from surveilling Monique Rathbun has been extended to September 12, when a two-day hearing has been scheduled which could see dramatic testimony about electronic snooping, sexual taunting, and other alleged harassment by the church.
Monique is married to Mark “Marty” Rathbun, who was once the second-highest ranking executive in the church until his defection in 2004. Since 2009, he’s operated a blog critical of Scientology leader David Miscavige, and as a result, the Rathbuns have been the subject of years of surveillance and intimidation by the church, much of it documented at this website.
On August 16, Monique filed suit against Miscavige, two top Scientology entities — the Religious Technology Center and the Church of Scientology International — as well as Dallas private investigator Monty Drake, and a man named Steven Gregory Sloat.
Monique is suing them on grounds of intentional infliction of emotional distress, tortious interference of her employment contract, and invasion of privacy, alleging years of invasive and harmful harassment, even though she has never been a member of the church. Her complaint indicates that she’ll be asking for damages in excess of a million dollars.
Her lawyer, Ray Jeffrey, tells us that only a single attorney, from the office of Davis, Cedillo and Mendoza, appeared for the defense, and was there representing the Church of Scientology International. The other defendants didn’t show up at all.
“The defendants are maneuvering around, as usual,” Jeffrey says. “CSI was the only defendant who appeared. That lawyer said his understanding was that RTC and Miscavige will file special appearances to say that Texas courts have no jurisdiction over them.”
Comal County District Judge Dib Waldrip today rearranged his docket so the hearing could happen only two weeks from Thursday.
“On his own motion, Judge Waldrip moved his docket around to accommodate us. He set the hearing for September 12 and 13, and we’re very happy for that,” Jeffrey says.
“In the meantime we’re going to try to get depositions of David Miscavige and representatives of CSI and RTC,” he adds. “Of course that will be met with great resistance.”
And on September 12?
“We’ll have a full-blown evidence hearing concerning Monique’s right to have the temporary restraining order extended into a temporary injunction that will last until the conclusion of the case,” Jeffrey says.
Jeffrey also points out that the attorney for CSI told him that the church would not be representing defendants Drake and Sloat. “Whether that’s true or not, we’ll find out at some point,” he says.
Naturally, we’re having flashbacks to the last time Ray Jeffrey represented a client in a temporary injunction hearing in a Texas courtroom with Scientology on the other side of the table. It happened on February 9, 2012 in San Antonio, and testimony by former church executive Debbie Cook — the defendant in that case — turned out to be spectacular and was covered widely by the press. The next day, the church threw in the towel and gave up trying to get its own temporary injunction and then settled the lawsuit it had brought only a few weeks later.
Expect more fireworks two weeks from Thursday.
Karen de la Carriere Files Knowledge Reports on Everyone!
Another entertaining slice of Scientology life from Karen de la Carriere, J. Swift, and the Angry Gay Pope.
Posted by Tony Ortega on August 27, 2013 at 15:15
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