Two years after filing their appeal, why there's hope for the Garcias against Scientology - 2020-08-01
Luis and Rocio Garcia have waited more than two years for their appeal to be heard in their derailed lawsuit against the Church of Scientology, and after oral arguments on Thursday, there may actually be a glimmer of hope.
According to Law360, which listened in on the telephonic oral arguments held by the court in Atlanta, two judges on the three-judge panel asked questions that make it sound like they are somewhat skeptical about how Tampa Judge James Whittemore handled the Garcia lawsuit and granted Scientology's motion to force the Orange County couple and their claims of being defrauded as big-money donors into "religious arbitration."
One of the disputes in the case, for example, was that Scientology admitted that in its entire 60-plus year history, it had never held a "religious arbitration" before, and the Garcias pointed out that in fact founder L. Ron Hubbard didn't describe rules for such an arbitration. Scientology had to admit that it would be borrowing rules from a different "justice" procedure. And at the arbitration itself, the Garcias complained, they were subject to what seemed to be arbitrary rules that were all stacked against them.