The Garcias won't go down without a fight: Filing appeal of Scientology's 'arbitration' farce - 2018-08-17
The Garcias aren't letting well enough alone. More than five years after they first filed a lawsuit against the Church of Scientology, and after three years wrestling against a ruling by Tampa federal Judge James Whittemore that forced them into Scientology's internal arbitration, Luis and Rocio Garcia have filed a notice that they are appealing Whittemore's latest ruling that they would have to live with the results of that arbitration.
We have to admit we were taken somewhat by surprise by this news. The Garcias have already been fighting against an uncooperative court for years, and Whittemore's latest ruling was a punch to the gut. Appealing it was not an automatic decision — the Garcias can look forward to a year or more of additional court filings and broadsides from Scientology without a guarantee that the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals will see things differently than Whittemore did.
From the beginning of their legal odyssey, the Garcias argued that they were lied to and defrauded by Scientology when the church hit them up for more than a million dollars of donations over their years as members. They were convinced, for example, to "pay for" an expensive cross on top of the Flag Building in Clearwater, but then learned that other couples had been hit up to pay for the same thing.