I collected what I felt were some interesting and relevant commentary on Debbie's case:
Schockenawd on V V blog comments wrote:
In order for them to get a summary judgment, they will have to submit evidence to convince the court the nondisclosure agreement was valid and binding, and that what Cook did violated it. For observers, a motion for summary judgment would mean the same kinds of things we were hearing yesterday and today -- and more!
And for that reason, I highly doubt we'll see a motion for summary judgment. But, what would we expect to hear Scientology's lawyer say at the end of a hearing which he essentially ended by saying, Emily Litella style, "Nevermind" - ? He had to say something that wouldn't evoke the picture of a dog running away with its tail between its legs. So, rather than say, "we give up," he said the equivalent of, "We'll be back." We'll see.
Grathuln SP Times comments wrote:
The church of scientology claim Debbie was expelled in 2007, this is inconsistent with evidence that will be presented; she left ostencibly due to ill health but remained in good standing until Jan 2012.
The email contained only questions of faith directed to other members of the church of scientology. The discussion of religion is fundimental to the 1st amendment.
The email was an ecclesiastical matter that is not for the courts and it is not for the courts to decide if Debbie's email violated a NDA; this may have been a different matter had Debbie publicized her email but she didn't and as a result their is no evidence she did.
The testimony of Debbie Cook in the hearing goes to the primary defence that any such agreement was made under duress.
There is no evidence of Debbie Cook publicly speaking against the church of scientology or its management; the church of scientology won't be able to prove the claim as to why they needed to NDA. http://www.tampabay.com/news/scientolog ... er/1214868
In response to grathuln:
Just a clarification to a couple of questions you posed... publication for the purposes of law can be an email sent to a single person. As to the 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech and exercise of religion, that protection is implicated only where the government violates those rights. The COS is not a government entity - not yet, anyway. Regardless, any NDA Ms. Cook signed may be void because of duress. There is no grounds for granting summary judgment to the Church on this one. For the record, I am a church member. And, what is going on with church management is hidden from church members until and unless someone with courage, like Debbie Cook, Hy Levy, Mike Rinder, et al, speak out against it. The technology is not flawed. But, if even one iota of what is being said by these former staffers is accurate, heads need to roll from the top down. Just sayin...
The contradictory positions CoS takes in current ongoing cases are really going to work against them imo:
Headley cases: CoS lawyers argue that the case context is bound up in "church scripture" and therefore cannot be argued in court without violating CoS constitutional rights.
Schippers case: CoS uses same argument used in Headley case.
Debbie Cook case: Here CoS argues the opposite: this is purely a contractual
issue and has nothing to do with scripture.
Headleys signed staff contracts
. These contracts say nothing about agreeing to forced labor, held against one's will in guarded confinement, forced separation from spouses, coerced abortions or being run off the road by guards.
In Schippers case, every time you "donate" to scientology for "services", you sign a "contract" that outlines basic facts about those donations. Unless the contract Schippers signed read "I waive all rights to a refund", sorry CoS. There is policy on refunds. That policy is understood to apply to these contracts for services one signs when donating.
When it works to their advantage "it's all about religion" and nothing to do with contracts.
When it works to their advantage "it's all about contracts" and nothing to do with religion.
This is the issue of "estoppel" that has been mentioned. There are many different forms of estoppel and I'm not completely sure which one applies, possibly "conflict estoppel":
“[An] inconsistent position, attitude or course of conduct may not be adopted to loss or injury of another” Brand v. Farmer’s Mut. Protective Assoc of Texas, Tex. App 95 S.W.2d 994, 997. For example, as between two or more claimants, a party that takes multiple and inconsistent legal positions is estopped to assert its positions against another consistent and certain claim, i.e. preferential treatment for certain over uncertain claims.
I would really like to know how CoS lawyers distinguish between what is a "religious contract" in scientology versus what is a "legal contract".