Federal judge sides with Scientology on refund issue - 2015-03-16
A federal judge has ruled in favor of the Church of Scientology, saying two former parishioners must go through the church's internal arbitration process to get a refund for more than $1.3 million they donated.
U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore issued a 21-page order Friday stating that plaintiffs Luis and Rocio Garcia are bound by contracts they signed during their 28 years with the church that require them to use the arbitration process to get their money back.
The Garcias' closely watched lawsuit, filed in 2013, alleges the church used fraudulent, deceptive and high-pressure tactics to solicit donations. But now that the order has put their refund demands in church hands, the federal court proceedings are at a standstill.