Author Topic: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia  (Read 82027 times)

Offline ethercat

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2010, 18:25 »
Found that one while you were posting.   :D
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Offline Lorelei

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2010, 18:33 »
I've said it before, but I think this is an outrageous abuse of the court system.

They were asking for SPECIAL PRIVILEGES / exceptions to the existing zoning guidelines to be made for them.  It is NOT "religious discrimination" to deny ANY entity special favours.

THEY were the ones bringing religion into the zoning meetings, not the activists or concerned neighbors. It is NOT "religious discrimination" if YOU are the only one making religion an issue at all.

Though this is a peripheral objection, I note, from watching the videos, that the Scientologists' lawyer and their reps did not address many of the concerns brought up by the residents and representatives of same on the council; instead they could not come up with straightforward data / figures (bending them to suit whatever point they wanted to try to win at the time) concerning the size of the property, number of Scientologists in the area, etc. They also spent a lot of time telling the council and neighbors about the expensive reno done to the INSIDE of the building, ignoring the fact that the primary concerns were about the shabby condition of the exterior (which is falling apart, just like most other Sci-owned properties WORLDWIDE), and the parking (also on the exterior) and the traffic flow, and so on. NO ONE CARED about the flippin' wood panels and HDTVs; they were completely and utterly irrelevant to the issues being discussed.

They people are off their rockers, and perhaps should have been more careful to purchase a building that suited their needs in the first place, rather than assuming they could bully the neighbors and city council into bending the zoning rules that EVERYONE ELSE has to follow just for them. Such arrogance. I am appalled.
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Offline SocialTransparency

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2010, 18:34 »
Found that one while you were posting.   :D
Who is Andrea Cantrell Jones?

Offline Ultrapoet

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2010, 18:53 »
This was what I posted in the WWP thread:

Quote
Okay, I read the Complaint. See if I can put together a tl;dr version for ya.

Basically, they're trying to get the zoning retried in Federal Court, on the basis that giving them anything less than what they insist they need for their "religious practice" is discrimination under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). In short, "you have to let us do anything we want, no matter what the impact on the neighborhood might be, because you're a religious bigot if you don't."

They go for several paragraphs on why they need so much space, but spare only one vague paragraph of explanation as to why they bought a building that was too small in the first place, which seems to come to "we didn't think it would be a problem back in 2005."

"Sure, you can use the building, you just can't expand it" doesn't exactly strike me as religious discrimination.

Offline mefree

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2010, 18:59 »
Moar info on RLUIPA:

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_Land_Use_and_Institutionalized_Persons_Act


Some good lings found there.

The AJC states two suits, one in U.S. District Court and one in Fulton County Superior Court:

Scientologists sue over Sandy Springs vote

April Hunt

http://www.ajc.com/news/north-fulton/scientologists-sue-over-sandy-275582.html

Quote
Both suits contend that the city infringed on the church’s religious rights in the City Council's vote Dec. 15 that approved the rezoning of the building at Roswell Road and Glenridge Drive but denied the church’s request to add a fourth floor by enclosing a basement parking garage, saying there wasn’t enough parking.

“Their own staff said if you put a cap on occupancy, which we proposed, the parking is sufficient,” said William Woodson Galloway, the church’s attorney. “There are many, many ways they could have addressed the quote, ‘public safety issue,’ and they didn’t.”

Mayor Eva Galambos and six council members -- including two new members who did not participate in the December vote -- are named in the suits.

Galambos cast the tie-breaking vote on the issue.

“We dealt with parking and traffic, period,” Galambos said Thursday, declining to comment further because of the pending litigation.

Galloway appealed under the federal Religious Land Use and Institutional Persons Act as well as the state constitution.

In four appearances before the City Council, Galloway warned that the additional space was required because of the nature of Scientology worship, which focuses more on individual classroom study than traditional congregational-style churches.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2010, 19:05 by mefree »
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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2010, 19:03 »
how much money are they going to waste on this?

Offline mefree

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2010, 19:10 »
Quote
Who is Andrea Cantrell Jones?

http://www.dillardgallowaylaw.com/Attorneys/Andrea-C-Jones.shtml

Andrea Cantrell Jones is a partner at Dillard and Galloway:
Location:
Atlanta, Georgia
Phone:
(404) 965-3680
(866) 903-1760
Fax:
(404) 965-3670

Ms. Jones practices in the area of zoning and land use litigation, including eminent domain and other real property litigation. She has co-authored articles with G. Douglas Dillard, which have been presented to the Georgia State Bar Institute for Continuing Education, on land use topics, such as administrative hearings, evidentiary and procedural requirements, the Telecommunications Act of 1996, growth management strategies through local regulation and exclusionary zoning. Recently Ms. Jones presented a paper at the 2009 Georgia State Bar Eminent Domain Section Seminar, entitled Assessors Hearings.
Areas of Practice

    * Zoning litigation, zoning appeals, variance/permit appeals
    * Condemnation
    * Boundaryline disputes
    * Other land use disputes
    * Inverse condemnation


http://definitions.uslegal.com/i/inverse-condemnation/
« Last Edit: January 14, 2010, 19:39 by mefree »
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Offline Ultrapoet

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #27 on: January 14, 2010, 19:12 »
Ah, just found the Superior Court case as well.

Quote
In the SUPERIOR COURT
    Fulton County, Georgia
    Case No. 2010CV180058
    
CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY OF GEORGIA INC., A GEORGIA CORPORATION VS. CITY OF SANDY SPRINGS, GEORGIA A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OF THE STATE OF GEORGIA; THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANDY SPRINGS, GEORGIA, EVA GALAMBOS, MAYOR OF THE CITY OF SANDY SPRING, GEORGIA AND JOHN PAULSON, DIANNE FRIES, WILLIA COPPEDGE
    
Filed on 01/14/2010
    Case Type: APPEAL
    Judge: Wendy L. Shoob
    Current Status: Filed

Defendant   
Defendant Attorneys
City Of Sandy Springs   
The City Council Of The City Of Sandy Springs   
Galambos, Eva   
Paulson, John   
Fries, Dianne
S   
Collins, William Coppedge   
Jenkins, Ashley   
Dejulio, Tiberio   
Mcenerny, Karen Meinzen   

Plaintiff   
Plaintiff Attorneys
Church Of Scientology Of Georgia Inc   Dillard, G. Douglas
3500 LENOX ROAD NE
SUITE 760
Atlanta, GA 30326

Events and Orders of the Court
01/14/2010   CASE INITIATION FORM
01/14/2010   PLAINTIFF'S ORIGINAL PETITION

No hearings scheduled yet.  Stay tuned.

Offline mefree

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #28 on: January 14, 2010, 19:38 »
how much money are they going to waste on this?

Good question. Me thinks the cult will attempt to have Sandy Springs foot the bill.

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Offline Alp

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #29 on: January 14, 2010, 20:47 »
Can the public attend hearings for these cases?
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Offline SocialTransparency

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #30 on: January 14, 2010, 21:02 »
Could someone post the "Restricted" part of the law suit. I mean, just the statement that that part is NOT available for public viewing?

Offline wynot

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #31 on: January 14, 2010, 22:38 »
Interesting that they do not want a jury trial.

You can insert your own punch line here:


 ;)

'til next time;
wynot
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Offline SocialTransparency

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #32 on: January 15, 2010, 13:39 »
Sad to see the Sandy Springs Reporter news paper not mentioning the lastest news about their city being sued. :-\

Offline SocialTransparency

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #33 on: January 15, 2010, 14:09 »
Can the public attend hearings for these cases?
Depends on the case. This is all in the very early stages of development. Legal for plaintiff has petitioned both the Federal court and Fulton County superior court. Defendant has X amount of time to respond. Varies depending on the time/date for response.

 Court then deems merit of case. Will or will not go forward. Filing a case does not mean it will be heard. Matter could be settled in judges chambers. Could have a date set for hearing. To many variables @ this time. On that note, here is a media link for the Fulton county superior court.

http://www.fultoncourt.org/sca200807/for-media.html One must fill out RULE#22 form to audio/video record if allowed.


Public link.

http://www.fultoncourt.org/sca200807/

Federal north ga district link

http://www.gand.uscourts.gov/general/
« Last Edit: January 15, 2010, 14:48 by SocialTransparency »

Offline Alp

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #34 on: January 18, 2010, 16:45 »
Thanks for the info, ST. I will be watching this matter closely.

I may not be around much more IRL, but please let me know if there is some research I can be doing. I'll be glad to help if I get the time!
Religion is free. Scientology is neither.

Offline mefree

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #35 on: January 18, 2010, 17:30 »
Sad to see the Sandy Springs Reporter news paper not mentioning the lastest news about their city being sued. :-\

I believe elsewhere, I saw that she would be away and traveling.
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Offline ethercat

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Offline SocialTransparency

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #37 on: January 18, 2010, 19:41 »

 Interesting to see "Church of scientology International" has some vested interest ( Financial ?) in this case.

http://alley.ethercat.com/storage/RLUIPA-CertificateOfInterestedParties.pdf

Offline Lorelei

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #38 on: January 19, 2010, 12:34 »
Of possible interest:

A WWP post collecting three quotes re: the CofS using lawsuits to harass and intimidate (with reference links).

http://forums.whyweprotest.net/279-asia-pacific/assaults-sydney-16th-january-2010-a-59539/26/#post1129977
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Offline ethercat

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #39 on: January 19, 2010, 19:52 »
At the moment, at least until the city makes its move (whatever that will be), I think it's probably best to follow the advice of muldrake when he says:

Quote
While I agree with you that there would be little practical benefit in critics immediately getting involved in this case or trying to influence it, and that attempts to do this would probably backfire, there is a strong critical interest in the outcome of this case. It is fairly common for critics of Scientology to accuse the cult of committing crimes. While this is true, the bulk of the cult's lawbreaking is not of criminal laws, but of more minor, "flying under the radar" administrative offenses, such as ignoring zoning regulations, violating fire codes, and the like. Scientology may be attempting to win a judgment that the bulk of their lawbreaking is protected under federal law, so they can continue doing what they've always done with impunity.

In fact, I am hanging on every word said by tikk and muldrake in that same thread* - tikk is a lawyer, and muldrake is pursuing a legal education, if he hasn't finished and passed the bar already (which I don't know), so I think their educations outweigh anything we can come up with at the moment.  We (legally) uneducated critics could screw this up royally in the early stages if we're not careful - and I know we want Sandy Springs to prevail.

I don't think it hurts to consider possible ways to help, as long as we hold off with actions until the correct path becomes clearer.  I think tikk is probably right when he says:

Quote
I don't think the matter is going to hinge on actual or implied discrimination, but to the extent it becomes pertinent, Scientology will proffer letters to the editor from critics in the GA area which discuss xenu, disconnection, etc. their point being that regardless of what the zoning board says, they hate Scientology. To the extent that the letters can avoid that and focus on Scientology's conduct with regard to issues specifically in play here, it'll help.

I am thankful our previous letters to SS stuck largely with the zoning issues at hand, in a mature and respectful way, instead of screaming "Xenu Xenu Xenu," and "it's a cult! ZOMG!"

* Referring to this thread: http://forums.whyweprotest.net/123-leaks-legal/cult-files-suit-georgia-59732/
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