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IN THE COURT OF APPEAL OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
SECOND APPELLATE DISTRICT
DIVISION FOUR
Civ. No. B 038975
(Super. Ct. No. C420153


CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY OF CALIFORNIA
and MARY SUE HUBBARD,

Appellants,

-against-

GERALD ARMSTRONG

Defendant.


BENT CORYDON,

Appellee.


Appeal from Superior Court of California
County of Los Angeles
Judge Bruce R. Geernaert


DEFENDANT'S REPLY TO APPELLANTS' OPPOSITION
TO PETITION FOR PERMISSION TO FILE
RESPONSE AND FOR TIME


1

 

I apologize for the thickness of this book; especially when appellants'

opposition is but four pages. I am hoping that the complexity of this matter

excuses to some extent my literary burden upon the court.

    Forming the bulk of this reply is my declaration of March 15, 1990,

which, although not prepared specifically to support this reply, provides

many of the facts underlying the issues appellants have raised in their

opposition and makes my position and why I am before this court in this

manner understandable.

Turning to appellants' reasons why my petition should be denied:

 

1. It has become apparent to me that sealing the court file in this case

has come to be an obstruction of justice. I believe I have a right to not

obstruct justice. I do not agree that the sealing of the court file was essential

to the settlement.

The validity of the settlement agreement is in question as shown in

my March 15 declaration. Appellants have used the agreement to obstruct

justice and to attempt to re-write history, including my own history. I

therefore have a strong interest in the outcome of this appeal.

2. I did not fire Michael Flynn, my counsel of record in this case. It is

my understanding that Mr. Flynn and all the lawyers in his law firm and all

the lawyers involved in the litigation against the various Scientology

organizations, hereinafter called "the organization," in the Congas & Bunch

firm, which also represented me in the underlying case, are barred by

agreement with the organization as part of the December 1986 settlement

from further representation of anyone involved in litigation against the

organization.

Since the settlement, moreover, each of these lawyers has expressed

to me in some way an unwillingness to ever become involved again. Mr.

2

 

Flynn, the moving spirit in the pre-settlement litigation, has been emphatic

on this point. The organization and its lawyers' attacks on Mr. Flynn are

legendary; and each of the lawyers who represented me in the underlying

case experienced the organization's abusive use of law and threatening

conduct.

After the settlement I continued to communicate with lawyers from

both Flynn, Sheridan & Tabb and Contos & Bunch as circumstances

demanded. I consider all of these lawyers among my closest and most

trusted friends, and I consider them my lawyers. But for Scientology-related

matters they have not represented me since the settlement.

Legal representation was not an issue, however, until October 1989

when I again became intensely involved with the organization as my

declaration shows. At that time both Mr. Flynn and I advised Larry Heller, a

supervising organization attorney, that Mr. Flynn was not representing me

and that I did not have a lawyer for organization matters (see paragraphs 4

and 5 of my declaration).

Over the next few months Flynn, Sheridan & Tabb and Contos & Bunch

sent me the various post-settlement documents concerning me which they

had received in their offices. On January 18, 1990 I received appellants'

opening brief in their appeal No. B 025920 in Division Three. At that point I

began to research my rights and responsibilities in that appeal. On January

30 I received appellants' reply brief and response to cross-appeal in this

appeal before this court. I have also now received appellants' opening brief,

but have not received Bent Corydon's respondent's brief, although I expect to

receive it in the next few days.

On February 28 my petition for permission to file a respondent's brief

was filed in the appeal in Division Three, and on March 1 my petition was

3

 

filed in this appeal. The Division 3 Court granted my petition on March 9

and gave me 60 days from that date to file a response.

At this time I am unable to pay an attorney to help with my

immediate organization-related legal matters: the Division Three appeal, this

appeal, and an action to clarify the settlement terms. I have an attorney

who represents me in other matters, who is already educated in my history

and the facts and issues in the appeals and settlement, and who will help me

if I can come up with a $20,000 retainer. I cannot imagine a presently

uneducated lawyer doing the work for less so I have not wasted time looking

for cheaper legal help. I cannot in any event at the present time afford that

either. It is for this reason I am proceeding pro se. If I can raise an

adequate retainer I will have an attorney of record in this appeal.

Regarding the document entitled "Response of Gerald Armstrong to

Opposition Filed By Real Party in Interest, Bent Corydon," which was filed in

this appeal on December 28, 1988, I had thought that whatever Mr. Flynn

was going to file was going to be his statement of his position. He had asked

me if I would file something for the organization and I had said no (see my

declaration, paragraphs 40-42 ). I believe Mr. Flynn was acting to protect me

and William Franks, another client of Mr. Flynn and participant in the

settlement, since the organization had threatened to sue us at that time if we

did not file a document supporting their position.

The preparation of legal documents, even to achieve the obviously un-

lawyer-like product I have placed before this court, is not a simple nor quick

task for me. And I have a full-time life in addition to document preparation.

60 days from the date of granting of my petition for the filing of a

responsive document is a reasonable request.

4

 

3. The reasons I should be relieved from the restrictions of the

settlement I have stated in my declaration: a. the organization has itself

acted to invalidate the settlement agreement; b. the organization has used

the agreement to obstruct justice and violate individuals' civil rights; and

c. the restrictions are themselves against public policy.

The reasons I should be specifically excused from any waiver of my

right to file a response in this appeal are: a. I was not aware of any such

right at the time of the settlement; b. I have an interest in the outcome of

this appeal; c. I have evidence which is relevant to this appeal; and d. I

would be assisting this court and serving justice by responding.

CONCLUSION

    Defendant's petition should be granted.

Respectfully submitted,
[signed]
Gerald Armstrong
6838 Charing Cross Road
Berkeley, CA 94705
(415)849-0929

Dated: March 2 3, 1990

5

 

PROOF OF SERVICE

STATE OF CALIFORNIA

COUNTY OF ALAMEDA
)
) ss.
)

 

 

 

I am employed in the County of Alameda, State of California. I am

over the age of eighteen (18) years and not a party to the within action. My

business address is 6838 Charing Cross Road, Berkeley, CA 94705.

On March 24, 1990 I caused to be served the foregoing document

described as DEFENDANT'S REPLY TO APPELLANTS' OPPOSITION TO

PETITION FOR PERMISSION TO FILE RESPONSE AND FOR TIME TO FILE on

interested parties in this action by placing a true copy thereof enclosed in a

sealed envelope with postage thereon fully prepaid in the United States mail

at Oakland, California, addressed to the persons and addresses specified on

the service list attached.

Executed on MARCH 24, 1990 at Oakland, California.

[signed]
Bambi Sparks Phippeny

 

SERVICE LIST

ERIC M. LIEBERMAN, ESQ.
RABINOWITZ, BOUDIN, STANDARD,
KRINSKY & LIEBERMAN, P.C.
740 Broadway - Fifth Floor
New York, New York 10003-9518

MICHAEL LEE HERTZBERG, ESQ.
740 Broadway - Fifth Floor
New York, New York 10003-9518

BOWLES & MOXON
6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 2000
Hollywood, California 90028

TOBY L. PLEVIN, ESQ,
6380 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1600
Los Angeles, California 90048

PAUL MORANTZ, ESQ.
P.O. Box 511
Pacific Palisades, California 90272

MICHAEL J. FLYNN, ESQ.
FLYNN, SHERIDAN & TABB
One Boston Place, 2 6th Floor
Boston, Massachusetts 02108

JULIA DRAGOJEVIC, ESQ.
CONTOS & BUNCH
5855 Topanga Canyon Blvd., #400
Woodland Hills, California 91367

CLERK OF THE SUPERIOR COURT
111 North Hill Street
Los Angeles, California 90012

   

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