Monique Rathbun waives a response: Will the TX Supreme Court take up Scientology's appeal? - 2016-03-18

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F347.png Monique Rathbun waives a response: Will the TX Supreme Court take up Scientology's appeal? March 18, 2016, Tony Ortega, Underground Bunker

Monique Rathbun has waived her right to respond to the Church of Scientology's petition to the Texas Supreme Court just a couple of days before the initial deadline for her to respond had arrived.

On February 19, the Church of Scientology International and four of its co-defendants in Monique's harassment lawsuit filed a petition, asking the state high court to review an appellate decision that upheld the trial court's denial of Scientology's"anti-SLAPP" motion. Scientology argues that Monique's lawsuit should be dismissed because it infringes on the church's free speech rights. What Monique calls harassment — years of Scientology operatives following her and her husband, former Scientology official Mark "Marty" Rathbun; daily demonstrations outside their south Texas home; and even making visits to her family members and co-workers with creepy suggestions about Marty — was really just the church sticking up for itself in ways that should be protected by the First Amendment.

Comal County Judge Dib Waldrip disagreed, saying that Scientology was a business just trying to protect its turf against Marty Rathbun, who had been delivering Scientology auditing independently. (Monique was never a member of the church.) The Texas Third Court of Appeals, after taking more than a year, upheld Waldrip's decision. But in its petition to the state supreme court, Scientology says that the appellate court erred on some of the facts of the case, and that the state's appellate courts are in disagreement in general about Texas's anti-SLAPP statute, the Texas Citizens Participation Act (TCPA), which is relatively new.


{{cite news | author = Tony Ortega | title = Monique Rathbun waives a response: Will the TX Supreme Court take up Scientology's appeal? | url = https://tonyortega.org/2016/03/18/monique-rathbun-waives-a-response-will-the-tx-supreme-court-take-up-scientologys-appeal/ | work = Underground Bunker | date = March 18, 2016 | accessdate = August 21, 2017 }}