Author Topic: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia  (Read 98821 times)

Offline mefree

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #200 on: February 25, 2012, 08:51 »
I hate to be cynical but my thought is that this lawsuit has nothing to do with religion. From the city's standpoint, the issue has to do with parking; from the church's standpoint, it is about bullying someone that dare defy it.

My take, as well. Reading through many of the court documents posted on this forum and other sites, one begins to observe a trend of arrogance, attitude and denial when thwarted by legal opponents and the courts. Of course, this includes much whining when they don't get their way - pages and pages of it.   

More docs to come soon in a different case.
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Offline mefree

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #201 on: February 25, 2012, 09:00 »
There are currently 3 large cases working their way through the courts here: this RLUIPA case, Waterford Park vs. CoS of Ga., and Desmond vs. Narconon.  One relatively small one, Hanchett vs. Narconon.  There also are or have recently been individual cases against some of the members: CitiFinancial Services, Inc. vs. Deborah Danos, Discover Bank vs. Douglas D. Mackay (case #11M02909, if the link doesn't work), some garnishments, and a Homeowner's Association foreclosure for Mary Rieser.  And those are just the ones I know about off the top of my head.

Don't forget about this one!
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Offline skydog

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #202 on: February 25, 2012, 13:26 »
 ooo}

Offline mefree

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #203 on: February 29, 2012, 07:01 »
Neighborhoods concerned about Scientology mediation - Reporter Newspapers
29 February 2012, 12:09 am
By Dan Whisenhunt on February 29, 2012.

The Sandy Springs City Council can’t talk about the latest developments in an ongoing lawsuit filed against it by the Church of Scientology. But the city’s residents are talking, and they don’t like where things are headed.

At its Feb. 21 meeting City Attorney Wendell Willard said the lawsuit, filed in federal court, is headed to court-ordered mediation. The City Council in 2009 approved the church’s application to open at 5395 Roswell Road, but did not allow the church to expand space at the building because of limited parking, sparking a lawsuit that alleged the city violated the church’s religious freedom.

Hundreds of residents in the city’s neighborhoods opposed the 2009 zoning application, and that sentiment hasn’t faded with time. At the High Point Civic Association’s Feb. 28 meeting, the association’s outgoing zoning Chairwoman Jane Kelley conducted an informal poll of members....

Video: http://youtu.be/V2R8CTXsHcE

....City resident Robin Beechey, who has been a vocal opponent of the church’s application, said the council will face pressure from the public to stick to its guns. The council in 2009 split 3-3 on the zoning application, with Galambos casting the tie-breaking vote.

“I just want to put down a marker to indicate that there are many hundreds of local citizens who will be watching carefully to ensure that an unsatisfactory compromise does not emerge,” he told the City Council on Feb. 21.

more at http://www.reporternewspapers.net/2012/02/29/neighborhoods-concerned-about-scientology-mediation/
« Last Edit: February 29, 2012, 07:17 by mefree »
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Offline mefree

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #204 on: February 29, 2012, 07:16 »
Go, Sandy Springs citizens!
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Offline ethercat

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #205 on: February 29, 2012, 18:41 »
I have to hand it to the citizens for their involvement in their community - something seen too seldom.   C{{O}}2

It was nice to see some familiar Sandy Springs names again.  I like those people.

My comment:
Quote
ethercat
February 29, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Anyone who says that scientology is no worse than any other religion (Robert Turner and Hire_A_Veteran, I’m looking at you two) doesn’t know enough about scientology.

But the issue is not the “religious” teachings of scientology; the issue is whether the owner of the building at 5395 Roswell Rd. should be allowed to enclose the underground parking garage, thus reducing the already too small number of parking spaces.

The building has been left to deteriorate for 6 years. While the Church of Scientology apparently has the money to try to bully the City of Sandy Springs in Federal Court to get their way, they aren’t inclined to use any of their money to maintain the building they own and could use now, if they were willing to compromise on 3 floors instead of insisting on 4.

One might wonder exactly who is footing the bill for the RLUIPA lawsuit, and why, since the declining structural integrity of the building seems to matter naught.

Obviously, I'm still thinking of our recent discussion here.   ;)
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Offline mefree

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #206 on: March 03, 2012, 07:17 »
Additional docket entries for 3/2/2012:
Quote
MINUTE ORDER. Whereas page 92 of the Court's 92 Order of February 10, 2012, contains a scrivener's error, the first paragraph on page 92 is corrected to read as follows:

"Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment with respect to Count II (equal terms), Counts III, and Counts XI - XIII is GRANTED. Because triable issues of fact remain as to Counts I, II (nondiscrimination claim), IV, and Counts V - IX, Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment as to these counts is DENIED."

Entered by Judge Amy Totenberg on 3/2/2012. (acm) (Entered: 03/02/2012)
03/02/2012        

MINUTE ORDER GRANTING the Parties' 97 Joint Motion for Extension of Time to Submit Pretrial Order. The date for submission of the pretrial order is extended to April 16, 2012, in order to allow the mediation to occur prior to filing a pretrial order. Entered by Judge Amy Totenberg on 3/2/2012. (acm) (Entered: 03/02/2012)

Documents to follow.
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Offline ethercat

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #207 on: March 06, 2012, 23:55 »
Documents to follow.

Here they are:

http://alley.ethercat.com/storage/RLUIPA/2012-02-22_NoticeOfLOA.pdf
http://alley.ethercat.com/storage/RLUIPA/2012-02-22_NoticeOfSubstitutionOfCounsel.pdf
http://alley.ethercat.com/storage/RLUIPA/2012-02-23_NoticeOfLOA.pdf
http://alley.ethercat.com/storage/RLUIPA/2012-03-01_JointMotionToExtendTime-1.pdf
http://alley.ethercat.com/storage/RLUIPA/2012-03-01_JointMotionToExtendTime-2.pdf
http://alley.ethercat.com/storage/RLUIPA/2012-03-01_NoticeOfAppearanceOfCounsel.pdf

Of interest is that apparently the law firm of Dillard and Galloway is no longer.  The two have split, and the Scientologists are now represented by Andrea Cantrell Jones and Lauren M. Hansford of The Galloway Law Group, LLC.  No idea what the story behind this development is, but I sure would like to know if this case had anything to do with it.
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Offline skydog

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #208 on: March 07, 2012, 09:15 »
It looks like the same lawyers are both still representing the church. The law offices are apparently on different floors of the same address-Mr. Dillard taking up residence on a lower floor with a different firm; Cantrel-Jones staying with Mr. Galloway. There is no reason why two law firms should not be financially compensated for wasting time-especially when the Co$ is footing the bill. Law firms break up all the time so, who knows . . .?

Offline mefree

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #209 on: March 10, 2012, 23:29 »
03/09/2012|100 ORDER granting 98 Joint Motion to Close Mediation to the Public. The Court EXTENDS the deadline for the parties' submission of their proposed consolidated pretrial order to April 30, 2012. Signed by Judge Amy Totenberg on 03/09/2012. (Entered: 03/09/2012)

03/08/2012|99 Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Amy Totenberg: Telephone Conference held on 3/8/2012. The Court held a telephone conference with counsel re the 98 Joint Motion to Close Mediation; written order to follow. The proposed consolidated pretrial order is due April 30, 2012. (Entered: 03/08/2012)

03/07/2012|98 Joint MOTION Joint Motion to Close Mediation to the Public and Consent Order by City of Sandy Springs, Georgia. (Henderson, Laurel) (Entered: 03/07/2012)
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Offline ethercat

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #210 on: March 10, 2012, 23:43 »
03/09/2012|100 ORDER granting 98 Joint Motion to Close Mediation to the Public. The Court EXTENDS the deadline for the parties' submission of their proposed consolidated pretrial order to April 30, 2012. Signed by Judge Amy Totenberg on 03/09/2012. (Entered: 03/09/2012)

03/08/2012|99 Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Amy Totenberg: Telephone Conference held on 3/8/2012. The Court held a telephone conference with counsel re the 98 Joint Motion to Close Mediation; written order to follow. The proposed consolidated pretrial order is due April 30, 2012. (Entered: 03/08/2012)

03/07/2012|98 Joint MOTION Joint Motion to Close Mediation to the Public and Consent Order by City of Sandy Springs, Georgia. (Henderson, Laurel) (Entered: 03/07/2012)

I guess they didn't want anyone to watch...  I wonder how the Sandy Springs residents feel about it...
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Offline ethercat

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #211 on: March 17, 2012, 15:37 »
03/09/2012|100 ORDER granting 98 Joint Motion to Close Mediation to the Public. The Court EXTENDS the deadline for the parties' submission of their proposed consolidated pretrial order to April 30, 2012. Signed by Judge Amy Totenberg on 03/09/2012. (Entered: 03/09/2012)

03/08/2012|99 Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Amy Totenberg: Telephone Conference held on 3/8/2012. The Court held a telephone conference with counsel re the 98 Joint Motion to Close Mediation; written order to follow. The proposed consolidated pretrial order is due April 30, 2012. (Entered: 03/08/2012)

03/07/2012|98 Joint MOTION Joint Motion to Close Mediation to the Public and Consent Order by City of Sandy Springs, Georgia. (Henderson, Laurel) (Entered: 03/07/2012)

Here are the filings for this part of the docket:

http://alley.ethercat.com/storage/RLUIPA/2012-03-07_JointMotiontoCloseMediationtoPublic.pdf
http://alley.ethercat.com/storage/RLUIPA/2012-03-08_MinuteEntry.pdf
http://alley.ethercat.com/storage/RLUIPA/2012-03-09_OrderGrantingMotiontoCloseMediation.pdf

It seems they had a dilemma -

  • The Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules promulgated by the Supreme Court of Georgia provide that “any statement made during a court-annexed or court-referred mediation . . . is confidential, not subject to disclosure . . .”
  • Only the full Mayor and Council have authority to evaluate offers of settlement and to make a binding decision for the City; a representative does not have this authority.  As a result, attendance by the full Mayor and Council at the mediation is necessary to facilitate a two-sided dialogue with the potential to resolve the dispute...
  • The Georgia Open Meetings Act requires that any meeting consisting of a quorum of the Mayor and Council must be open.

And apparently, the parties do not feel comfortable discussing any potential settlement where outsiders (i.e., the Council's constituents) can listen in.

So...  They are going to have a closed mediation with the Mayor and City Council on March 26. 

Then...  They will have a properly noticed open public meeting where the City Council of Sandy Springs will review and vote on any proposed settlement.

And...  The court has ordered the deadline for the parties’ submission of their proposed consolidated pretrial order to April 30, 2012.

No idea if any public input will be allowed at the public meeting (if there is a proposed settlement), or if, based on that input (if it occurs), there can be any change between a proposed settlement (if there is one) from the closed meeting and the open meeting - or if it's all only about going through the motions. 

Also, no idea where the closed mediation or the open meeting will take place.  I guess if the meeting must be noticed (residents given notice), the place of the open meeting will be made public before it happens.

I am opinionated (as usual) but I'll let our panel of legal analysts comment before I go into rant mode.  That is, assuming we still have our panel of legal analysts.   ;)
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Offline skydog

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #212 on: March 20, 2012, 06:59 »
It sounds to me that if the mediators are able to broker an agreement, it will have to be voted upon by the city council. It makes sense to close the mediation to the public as it will allow each party to speak without fear of the media taking certain things out of context. A hearing to discuss and vote on the settlement protects the public. No need to rant just yet.

Offline mefree

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #213 on: March 20, 2012, 20:53 »
It sounds to me that if the mediators are able to broker an agreement, it will have to be voted upon by the city council. It makes sense to close the mediation to the public as it will allow each party to speak without fear of the media taking certain things out of context. A hearing to discuss and vote on the settlement protects the public. No need to rant just yet.

Good to know. Thanks for your comments.
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Offline mefree

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #214 on: April 03, 2012, 20:46 »
Case 1:10-cv-00082-AT Document 101 Filed 03/30/12

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
ATLANTA DIVISION
CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY OF GEORGIA, INC., a Georgia Corporation,
Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF SANDY SPRINGS, GEORGIA, et. al Defendants.
CONSENT ORDER

CIVIL ACTION FILE NO.: 1:10-cv-0082-AT

By Amended Order of February 10, 2012, the Parties were ordered to mediation no later than April 2, 2012. On March 26, 2012 the Parties mediated the parking dispute on which remaining claims are based before the Hon. Stanley Burch.

While it appears that no agreement was finalized in mediation, the Parties have agreed to consideration of a revised parking arrangement on the Subject Property which will require 30 to 45 days of review time by City staff. Should a revised parking arrangement be acceptable to the City, Plaintiff seeks modification of existing zoning conditions which would further require public notice at least 15 days in advance of a new public hearing. Absent such notice and public hearing, the existing conditions of zoning may not modified.

The Court has established a deadline of April 30 for submission of a Proposed Consolidated Pre-Trial Order in this case.

Extension of that deadline will permit the Parties to continue to explore potential settlement by completing review of a revised parking plan, meeting to clarify any remaining issues, and, if successful, noticing and holding the required public hearing and vote.

Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the deadline for submission of a Proposed Consolidated Pre-Trial Order in the above style case is hereby extended until June 15, 2012 to facilitate the continuation of settlement efforts and adoption of any changed conditions to zoning necessitated to resolve this matter.

So Ordered, this 30th day of March, 2012.
Hon. Amy Totenberg, Judge
US District Court, Nortern District of Georgia

Full document to follow.
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Offline Mary_McConnell

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #215 on: April 04, 2012, 12:47 »
Thanks, mefree. I read something about this in the news the other day but this is more specific. Look forward to the doc.
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Offline SocialTransparency

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #216 on: April 15, 2012, 19:49 »
 Within the next day or so the city attorney for Sandy Springs GA will have a package containing the Desmond vs NarCONon of Ga case. As Maria and Don Delgado housed NarCONon clients within the city limits of Sandy Springs I thought the city attorney should be made aware of this fact.

 Best to know what your new members of the community have been up to! The pictures of Mary Rieser and Maria Delgado @ the Sept 09 zoning meeting speak volumes!

Offline Mary_McConnell

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #217 on: April 15, 2012, 23:22 »
 C{{O}}2
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Offline ethercat

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #218 on: April 16, 2012, 13:19 »
Case 1:10-cv-00082-AT Document 101 Filed 03/30/12

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
ATLANTA DIVISION
CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY OF GEORGIA, INC., a Georgia Corporation,
Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF SANDY SPRINGS, GEORGIA, et. al Defendants.
CONSENT ORDER

CIVIL ACTION FILE NO.: 1:10-cv-0082-AT

...snip...

Full document to follow.



Here's a link to the order:
http://alley.ethercat.com/storage/RLUIPA/2012-03-30_ConsentOrder.pdf
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Offline mefree

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Re: RLUIPA Law Suit Filed by Church of Scientology of Georgia
« Reply #219 on: April 16, 2012, 17:21 »
 :-thanks-:
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