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ANDREW H. WILSON, SBN 63209
SHAUNA T. RAJKOWSKI, SBN 148239
WILSON CAMPILONGO LLP
475 Gate S Road
Sausalito, CA 94965
Telephone: (415) 289-7100
Facsimile: (415) 289-7110

Attorneys for Plaintiff
CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY INTERNATIONAL

 

 

 

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

FOR THE COUNTY OF MARIN

 

CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY
INTERNATIONAL, a California
nonprofit religious corporation;

    Plaintiff,

vs.

GERALD ARMSTRONG, et al.

    Defendants.


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CASE NO. 152229

ORDER OF CONTEMPT

 

Date: January 17, 2001
Time: 9:30 a.m.
Dept: 6

 

 

 

    Contempt proceedings against Defendant GERALD ARMSTRONG

("ARMSTRONG") came on regularly for hearing by the Court, the Honorable Vernon F.

Smith, Superior Court Judge, presiding, on January 17, 2001, pursuant to this Court's

ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE CONTEMPT issued on December 3, 2000. Petitioner

CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY INTERNATIONAL appeared by its counsel, Andrew H.

Wilson of Wilson Campilongo LLP. Defendant ARMSTRONG made no appearance;

 

 

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    however, acting on his own behalf, he did file a lengthy opposition and a sworn

declaration dated January 9, 2001.

    Having considered the record and the papers submitted by the parties, and having

entertained the argument of counsel who appeared, and being fully informed, and GOOD

CAUSE APPEARING THEREFOR, the Court makes the following findings:

    1. On October 17, 1995, this Court entered an Order of Permanent Injunction

against ARMSTRONG (the "Order") after granting motions for summary adjudication of

issues brought by Plaintiff. (Attached hereto as Exhibit A [1] .) The Order was later

incorporated into a judgment entered against ARMSTRONG on May 2, 1996 (the

"Judgment", attached hereto as Exhibit B [2].). The Order prohibits ARMSTRONG from

voluntarily assisting any persons litigating claims adverse to the " Beneficiaries" named in

the valid and binding contract upon which Plaintiff's claims were based and prohibits

ARMSTRONG from creating or publishing "works" discussing any of those

Beneficiaries. One of the Beneficiaries is the petitioner CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY

INTERNATIONAL.

    2. The Order was valid when entered and remains fully enforceable. Although

ARMSTRONG filed a Notice of Appeal from the underlying judgment, that Notice of

Appeal is irrelevant to the proceedings. ARMSTRONG'S appeal was dismissed on

December 23, 1997 on the ground of the so-called "fugitive disentitlement doctrine,"

based upon the fact that ARMSTRONG, having already been adjudged in contempt of the

Order and the subject of a bench warrant, had fled the jurisdiction and relocated to

Canada.(A true and correct copy of the Court of Appeal's dismissal of Armstrong's

appeal is attached hereto as Exhibit C [3]). [strikethrough initialed by Judge.]

    3. ARMSTRONG had notice and knowledge of the Order. ARMSTRONG's

counsel appeared at the hearing pertaining to the Order and received the Notice of Entry.

(Attached hereto as Exhibit D [4] is a copy of the first 2 pages of the Reporter's Transcript of

the proceedings of October 6, 1995). ARMSTRONG also received a Notice of Ruling

dated October 18, 1995 which was served on his counsel. (A copy of the Notice of Ruling

 

 
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is attached hereto as Exhibit E [5] .) ARMSTRONG's actual knowledge of the Order is also

shown by the statements made concerning the Judgment in paragraphs 1-4 and 15 of his

January 9, 2001 declaration and his references to the Notice of Appeal of the Judgment.

    4. ARMSTRONG had the ability to comply with the Order. The Order is

specific and unambiguous. It prohibits ARMSTRONG from voluntarily assisting any

person arbitrating or litigating adversely to the Beneficiaries and also prohibits

ARMSTRONG from facilitating in any manner or participating in the creation,

publication, broadcast, writing, electronic recording or reproduction of works discussing

those Beneficiaries. There has been no suggestion, and certainly no showing by

ARMSTRONG, that he is incapable of complying with the Order.

    5. ARMSTRONG repeatedly, willfully and intentionally disobeyed the Order:

    (a) On June 5, 1997, the Court found ARMSTRONG in contempt for

violations of the Order, sentencing him to 2 days in jail and a fine of $1,000. (Attached

hereto as Exhibit F [6] .) A bench warrant was subsequently issued for Armstrong's arrest.

(A copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit G [7] .)

    (b) ARMSTRONG continued to violate the Order, and on February 20,

1998, he was again found in contempt. The Court sentenced him to an additional 26 days

in jail and a fine of $2,600. (Attached hereto as Exhibit H [8] .) On May 15, 1998, a second

bench warrant was issued. (Attached hereto as Exhibit I [9] .) Armstrong has not served

either sentence and has left the State of California.

    (c)Petitioner has shown that: (1) During the period of February 20, 1998 to

July 10, 2000, ARMSTRONG made a total of 131 postings on the Internet, each of which

violated one or more provisions of the Injunction; (2) ARMSTRONG traveled to

Clearwater, Florida and on December 5, 1999 spoke in direct violation of the Order

before a public gathering sponsored by an organization known as the Lisa McPherson

Trust; and (3) ARMSTRONG traveled to Tampa, Florida and on December 10, 1999

gave an interview on radio station WNF-AM, during which he again violated the terms

of the Order.

 

 

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    (d) ARMSTRONG did not deny these violations. In his January 9, 2001

declaration under penalty of perjury, ARMSTRONG stated, "I have violated

Scientology's Injunction thousands of times since former Marin County

Superior Court Judge (Gary Thomas) signed it in October, 1995."

    IT IS HEREBY ADJUDGED, ORDERED AND DECREED that Defendant

GERALD ARMSTRONG is guilty of Contempt of Court for his intentional and willful

failures to obey the Order as described above. As set forth above, the Order is valid and

enforceable; ARMSTRONG had notice and knowledge of the Order, had the ability to

comply with the Order and repeatedly and admittedly willfully disobeyed the Order. The

Court notes that there are two outstanding Bench Warrants which resulted from two

previous contempt convictions which also arose out of ARMSTRONG's violations of the

Order. The Court will not impose a specific punishment at this time. However, this

Court retains jurisdiction and at such time as ARMSTRONG is apprehended, he is to be

brought before this Court for the consideration of additional sanctions for the aforesaid

acts of contempt after hearing from both sides.

 

 

DATED: July 12 2001 [stamped] VERNON F. SMITH
JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT

 

 

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[1] Exhibit A
Order of Injunction

[2] Exhibit B
Judgment

[3] Exhibit C
Court of Appeal's dismissal of Armstrong's Appeal

[4] Exhibit D
first 2 pages of the Reporter's Transcript of the proceedings of October 6, 199

[5] Exhibit E
Notice of Ruling

[6] Exhibit F
Order of Contempt 06-05- 1997

[7] Exhibit G
Bench Warrant 08-06-1997

[8] Exhibit H
Order of Contempt 02-20- 1998

[9] Exhibit I
Bench Warrant 05-15-1998

 

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