Author Topic: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia  (Read 98829 times)

Offline Mary_McConnell

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #140 on: March 11, 2011, 02:27 »
Yes, what Skydog said. In doing all that research last year or so on the bankruptcy cases where Scientology and front groups were involved or required to pay back the trustee of a case, I saw quite a few reassignments, none nefarious or documented as an issue.

From what I can tell, the actual Fed court hearings in a given case are few  compared to the paperwork filings, which are many. Usually motions or requests. Seems that these judges have a large roster of cases going on at any time and since each case has scheduled hearing way ahead of time while the paperwork is shuffled back and forth to the clerk for the judge to consider and add new hearings to, calendar time can conflict with other cases and vacation times. Hence, changing judges is common in that arena from what I saw.
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Offline mefree

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #141 on: March 11, 2011, 08:04 »
Quote
Seems that these judges have a large roster of cases going on at any time and since each case has scheduled hearing way ahead of time while the paperwork is shuffled back and forth to the clerk for the judge to consider and add new hearings to, calendar time can conflict with other cases and vacation times. Hence, changing judges is common in that arena from what I saw.

That seems reasonable. TY
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Offline ethercat

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #142 on: March 13, 2011, 12:33 »
Thank you both, skydog and Mary, for clarifying.
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Offline mefree

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #143 on: May 21, 2011, 21:25 »
Not much in the way of updates on this case other than attorney LOA dates.

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Offline ethercat

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #144 on: August 06, 2011, 09:19 »
According to this article: http://hunterwalker.tumblr.com/post/4959126086, the "church" of scientology has purchased approximately 484 square feet of real estate for each member.

Quote
In 2007, Scientology claimed to have 10 million followers around the world with 3.5 million here in the U.S. However, according to a major national religious survey, the group had just 25,000 American members in 2008 down from 55,000 in 2001. If that figure is accurate, it means the group had purchased at least 484 square feet of real estate for each believer as of 2010.

This is congruent with what the local "church" in Atlanta has purchased: 44,000 sq. ft. / 100 active members = 440 sq. ft. per member.
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Offline Mary_McConnell

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #145 on: August 15, 2011, 22:30 »
Hunter Walker wrote that after writing this good article for the Daily, lol
Xenu Demands Churches
http://www.thedaily.com/page/2011/04/25/042511-gossip-scientology-1-2/
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Offline ethercat

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #146 on: October 05, 2011, 19:14 »
There has been a ruling in this case that the City properly administered its parking ordinance.  At first, I thought this meant the City won the case, but an article in the AJC clarified that there is still a matter to be decided - whether the City violated the "Church" of the holy lawsuit Scientology's free exercise of their "religion".  Here's hoping the judge will rule in favor of the City on that as well.

http://www.reporternewspapers.net/2011/10/05/sandy-springs-prevails-in-scientology-lawsuit/
http://www.ajc.com/news/north-fulton/judge-backs-city-in-1195105.html
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Offline mefree

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #147 on: October 05, 2011, 20:17 »
Good catch! Thanks for the update.
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Offline Mary_McConnell

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #148 on: October 05, 2011, 21:00 »
Yeah, this is terrific news! I also thought from the first article that they won the whole case but from the Atlanta Constitutional article, it was clear that there is yet another hurdle. I suspecyt, based upon the first ruling, that the second complaint will be ruled in favor of Sandy Springs.

Hey EC, Sorry I called you about the good news before I saw that you had commented an hour earlier on the first article, lol
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Offline Mary_McConnell

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #149 on: October 05, 2011, 21:03 »
BTW, the church deserved to be shot down. They went and bought $ 5 million dollar building without  doing advance evaluation of their needs. Tough luck, lol!
I am a volunteer advocate for victims of the Narconon scam. I am a former scientologist. I post anonymously. Mary McConnell is my long time nom de plume. Feel free to contact me for assistance in righting the wrongs.

Offline ethercat

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #150 on: October 05, 2011, 21:34 »
No problem about the call, Mary.  I guess the locals are just doing what little Davy screams for - according to the depositions, it was after they bought the building that "CSI" decided that buildings HAD to be over 40,000 sq. ft.  Of course, they didn't even need the 32,000 when they bought it, and I imagine they need it even less now.

They did deserve to be shot down, however, just because of the way they've let the building deteriorate over the years.  It's in absolutely terrible shape now, with squirrels running in and out of the roof, lol.
http://forum.reachingforthetippingpoint.net/index.php/topic,6449.msg17808.html#msg17808
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Offline mefree

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #151 on: October 05, 2011, 23:16 »
They did deserve to be shot down, however, just because of the way they've let the building deteriorate over the years.  It's in absolutely terrible shape now, with squirrels running in and out of the roof, lol.
http://forum.reachingforthetippingpoint.net/index.php/topic,6449.msg17808.html#msg17808

This is what I truly do not understand. The building has been basically left to rot. Are they stretched too thin physically and financially to maintain this costly building? What a complete waste of their money.

Quote
BTW, the church deserved to be shot down. They went and bought $ 5 million dollar building without  doing advance evaluation of their needs. Tough luck, lol!

Mary - I don't disagree, but what a shame these folks poured their personal funds and probably many loans into this catastrophe. All for DM's stupid Idle Org program.  8o8O8o8

Rant over!
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Offline Sarcasm Pirate

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #152 on: October 05, 2011, 23:42 »
Tiny steps of progress are always exciting no matter how inconsequential they may seem! :D Awesome news.

Offline wynot

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #153 on: October 06, 2011, 08:55 »
Super-duper news! I can't imagine the court will not find in favor of the City of Sandy Springs on the 'religious discrimination' part of the suit, can you?

One more tap of the stonemason's hammer!

'til next time;
wynot
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Offline mefree

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #154 on: October 06, 2011, 17:30 »
From the federal case docket:

Quote
ORDER DENYING Plaintiff's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment; DENYING Defendants' Motion to Strike portions of the Deposition of Nancy Leathers and portions of the Affidavit of Deborah Danos; and GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART Defendants' 43 Motion for Summary Judgment. Defendant's motion for summary judgment is GRANTED as to Counts II, III, Count IX, and Counts XI-XIII; the motion is DENIED as to Counts I and Counts V-VIII. The Parties are DIRECTED to submit briefing, not to exceed 15 pages, on whether Plaintiff's claims are ripe no later than 10/21/2011. Signed by Judge Amy Totenberg on 9/30/2011. (acm) (Entered: 10/03/2011)
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Offline ethercat

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #155 on: October 07, 2011, 08:37 »
The following email from Sandy Springs Councilman Chip Collins was forwarded to me.  Even though the case is not completely over, it indicates the city is upbeat about the ruling. 

Many thanks to all of the people who worked together to raise awareness in the Sandy Springs community.  Occasionally, our work is rewarded.   L-O-:

Quote
From: Collins, William "Chip"
To: Collins, William "Chip"
Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2011 5:28 PM
Subject: USDC ruling on Church of Scientology v. City of Sandy Springs lawsuit

Friends:

For those of you who follow zoning issues in our city, you might be interested in a recent ruling in the Scientology case against Sandy Springs arising out of the 2009 zoning application for their property on Roswell Road at Glenridge.  Because the litigation is ongoing, I'll limit my comments to the City's official statement on the ruling, copied below:



U.S. District Court Judge Amy Totenberg has ruled that the City of Sandy Springs properly administered its Parking Ordinance in considering a zoning application filed by the Church of Scientology. In the ruling filed September 30, 2011, Judge Totenberg noted that the City of Sandy Springs acted in an objective manner in enforcing its Parking Ordinance.

“We are pleased that the Judge recognized that the City’s staff acted in accordance to City ordinance procedures and chose to dismiss that claim against the City,” said Sandy Springs City Attorney Wendell K. Willard.

The Church of Scientology filed an application to convert a 32,053 square foot office building into an estimated 44,000 square foot Church. The City approved the use of the property for a church, but limited the size of the building to the existing space based on a lack of sufficient on-site parking.  The Church of Scientology filed the federal lawsuit in January claiming that the City discriminated against the religious organization.

Judge Totenberg held over for trial the Church’s assertion that the City violated the Church’s free exercise rights on the basis that she could not, on summary judgment, make a fact determination as to the validity of the Church’s position that it needed the full 44,000 square feet to adequately meet its religious obligations.



Chip Collins
Sandy Springs City Council, District 3

I imagine the trial will contain many of the same assertions from the "church" about the space requirements that we heard in the zoning meetings.  Based on the info from the docket that Free posted, I guess we will know more around the end of the month.

If anyone would like to see the zoning meetings, you can find a list of them here: http://forum.reachingforthetippingpoint.net/index.php/topic,198.msg938.html#msg938

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Offline mefree

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #156 on: October 08, 2011, 00:34 »
Scientology Raided, Smacked Down in Court, and Accused of Killing Trees -- a Thursday Roundup
By Tony Ortega Thu., Oct. 6 2011 at 1:03 PM

Story #2: Expansion plans smacked down


Despite its dwindling numbers, Scientology can't seem to cure its real estate fever.

In Sandy Springs, Georgia, however, that urge to expand has been put in check. A judge there denied Scientology's request to add an extra floor to its church there.

Scientology, naturally, is crying about its freedom of religion being violated, but at least somewhere -- in a suburb of Atlanta, at least -- some government officials aren't bending over for an organization that never saw a local rule it didn't intend to break.

Thursday's Stats: Upstat or Downstat? This seems a pretty clear downstat situation for the church. Stories about them fighting the city to expand a building will only get the locals reading into what Scientology is all about, and that never ends well.

more at http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/10/scientology_rai_1.php
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Offline mefree

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #157 on: October 08, 2011, 00:42 »
Judge rules for Ga. city in church size dispute - Washington Examiner

http://washingtonexaminer.com/news/2011/10/judge-rules-ga-city-church-size-dispute
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Offline SocialTransparency

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #158 on: October 08, 2011, 10:44 »
 From day one the city of Sandy Springs presented itself in a proper fashion in regard to its well established parking ordinances. This is actually very big news! The judge in this case weighed the merits of the cities parking ordinances and ruled accordingly. Per this ruling I would imagine any further RLUIPA discussion from a legal perspective is moot.

Offline ethercat

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #159 on: October 08, 2011, 21:30 »
Pleasure to see you around again, ST.

From day one the city of Sandy Springs presented itself in a proper fashion in regard to its well established parking ordinances. This is actually very big news! The judge in this case weighed the merits of the cities parking ordinances and ruled accordingly. Per this ruling I would imagine any further RLUIPA discussion from a legal perspective is moot.

Yes, people were disappointed when Sandy Springs did not outright deny CoS the ability to operate a church from the building, but they played their cards exactly as they should have to avoid the appearance of religious discrimination.  While the neighbors could be as biased against the "church" as they wanted to be, the City of SS had to operate in an upstanding manner because it would be them who would be held responsible for the outcome. 

I believe this is big news not only for the local opponents of the "church" but for the RLUIPA law as well.  All of the legal opinions I've heard about the RLUIPA law agree that it is a badly written law, and only one part of it has been tested in the courts as I understand it - the Institutionalized Persons part - the Land Use portion has not been tested, until now.

I wonder if the judge rules for the City at the trial, will the CoS appeal it?  Can they appeal it, and if so, would a higher court hear it?

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