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CA SUPREME COURT ASKS FOR LAURA D.’S RESPONSE TO SCIENTOLOGY PETITION

Laura DeCrescenzo

Laura DeCrescenzo

[ALSO, BELOW: The EEOC files a civil rights lawsuit against a Miami chiropractor for forcing his employees to take Scientology courses.]

Wow — Dianetics Day 2013 just gets more and more interesting. We just heard from Laura DeCrescenzo, who updated us on the latest going on in her forced-abortion lawsuit.

The Church of Scientology is fighting tooth and nail against a court order that it turn over thousands of documents that were compiled while DeCrescenzo was a “Sea Org” member and undergoing intense confessional interrogations. Scientology has petitioned the California Supreme Court, arguing that being forced to turn over those documents is unconstitutional because it would violate the church’s priest-penitent privilege — even though it’s the penitent (Laura) who is asking for them.

We’ve just learned that the Supreme Court asked Laura’s team for a response to the church’s petition, and we have the document that her attorneys filed.

Previously, a state appeals court had denied the church’s petition without a written order. So at this point, the Supremes appear to be showing a little more interest.

But in his reply, DeCrescenzo’s attorney Raphael Metzger argues that the church’s petition should be denied for several reasons.

— Scientology asserts that the 259 people who compiled or reviewed DeCrescenzo’s files were all “ministers” without providing any information about them. (As our commenters pointed out earlier, it’s highly doubtful that many of them at all had taken the “ministers” course.)

— California priest-penitent law requires that confessional information is not shared with a third person, but Scientology insists that the 259 people who shared her filed kept them “confidential.”

— Another interesting point: “The fact that [DeCrescenzo] signed a confidentiality agrement as a minor does not mean that Respondent cannot waive the privilege over those files as an adult, that the agreement is enforceable against [her], or that the documents in those folders actually fall within the definition of the clergy-penitent privilege.”

In Scientology’s petition, it claimed that California’s priest-penitent law was unconstitutional because it discriminated against Scientology’s practices simply because they were different than the Catholic confessional. But Metzger turns that notion on its head. Actually, he points out, an important case involving the Catholic church in Los Angeles found that when Cardinal Roger Mahoney tried to make the same argument as Scientology — that confessional material that was shared with two officials was proper as long as it was kept confidential — that argument was struck down. So to give Scientology the right to share confessional material would actually be to discriminate against other religions, and not the other way around.

There are other legal arguments in this fascinating document. The church has until May 14 to respond to Metzger’s argument. We’ll let our lawyer types take a look and give us their thoughts…

 

Laura DeCrescenzo Answer to Supreme Court

 
 
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EEOC Files Suit Against Chiropractor Who Forced Employees to Take Scientology Courses

In what has to be one of the best federal press releases ever, the EEOC today revealed that it has filed a lawsuit against Dynamic Medical Services, Inc., a Miami company owned by Dr. Dennis Nobbe, for forcing employees to take Scientology courses. We just love these lines from the press release…

According to the EEOC’s suit, the company required Norma Rodriguez, Maykel Ruz, Rommy Sanchez, Yanileydis Capote and other employees to spend at least half their work days in courses that involved Scientology religious practices, such as screaming at ashtrays or staring at someone for eight hours without moving.

Yes, that’s Scientology all right!

Employees who refused were fired. The EEOC is suing for their back pay and punitive damages. Oh my.

As soon as we can get our hands on the actual complaint, we’ll add it to this post.

And here it is…

 
 

EEOC v Dynamic Med Svces Complaint

 
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Posted by Tony Ortega on May 9, 2013 at 15:00

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