Judge Whittemore grants Luis Garcia discovery of Scientology's murky trusts in fraud lawsuit - 2013-12-12
If you've been following our coverage of Luis and Rocio Garcia's federal fraud lawsuit against the Church of Scientology, you know the suit recently hit a strange snag.
Ten months after the lawsuit was filed in January, Scientology suddenly announced that the Garcias had chosen the wrong venue for their complaint, because several of the defendants — Scientology entities which are trusts — have their trustees in California, where the Garcias live. Under a basic legal concept known as "diversity jurisdiction," those California trustees make a Florida federal court the wrong place for the Garcias to file.
But the Garcias complained that Scientology had sand-bagged them by waiting so long to bring this problem up, and they also complained that Scientology's information about the trusts and trustees was incomplete and confusing. And now, Judge Whittemore has agreed, and is giving the Garcias the right to gather information about Scientology's secretive entities.