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Burchett v. Narconon: Complaint

Burchett v. Narconon: Complaint

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Published by Tony Ortega
Claudia and Sarah Burchett file a federal fraud lawsuit against Scientology's drug rehab network with the help of Las Vegas attorney Ryan Hamilton
Claudia and Sarah Burchett file a federal fraud lawsuit against Scientology's drug rehab network with the help of Las Vegas attorney Ryan Hamilton

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Published by: Tony Ortega on Jul 18, 2014
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07/23/2014

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Ryan A. Hamilton CA BAR NO. 291349 HAMILTON LAW 5125 S. Durango Dr., Ste. C Las Vegas, NV 89113 (702) 818-1818 (702) 974-1139 (fax) ryan@hamiltonlawlasvegas.com
 Attorney for the plaintiffs, Claudia and Sarah Burchett 
 
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
CLAUDIA BURCHETT, an Ohio Citizen; and SARAH BURCHETT, an Ohio Citizen, Plaintiffs, vs.  NARCONON FRESH START d/b/a SUNSHINE SUMMIT LODGE; ASSOCIATION FOR BETTER LIVING AND EDUCATION INTERNATIONAL;  NARCONON INTERNATIONAL and DOES 1-100, ROE Corporations I
 – 
 X, inclusive, Defendants. Case No.
COMPLAINT AND JURY DEMAND
Plaintiffs Claudia Burchett and Sarah Burchett
(“Plaintiff 
s
”)
, by and through counsel, Ryan Hamilton of Hamilton Law, LLC, allege the following:
I. PARTIES
1.
 
Plaintiffs Claudia Burchett and Sarah Burchett are residents of and for the purposes of determining federal diversity jurisdiction citizens of Ohio.
'14CV1678 RBBBEN
Case 3:14-cv-01678-BEN-RBB Document 1 Filed 07/16/14 Page 1 of 17
 
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2.
 
Defendant Narconon
Fresh Start (hereafter “
Fresh Start
”)
, is, and at all times relevant to this Complaint was, a corporation incorporated under the laws of, and with its principal place of  business in, the State of California. Defendant has been at all relevant times transacting business in Warner Springs, San Diego County, California. Fresh Start may be served with process through its registered agent, Mark Kirwin, 4480 Market St., Ste. 804, Ventura, CA 93003. 3.
 
Defendant Narconon International is a California corporation with its headquarters in Los Angeles, California. 4.
 
As set forth in more detail below, Narconon International exercises control over the time, manner,
and method of Fresh Start’s operations.
 5.
 
 Narconon International was doing business in the State of Nevada by and through its agent and subsidiary/licensee Defendant Narconon Fresh Start. Narconon International may be served with process through its registered agent, Sherman D. Lenske, 6400 Canoga Ave., Suite 315, Woodland Hills, CA 91367. 6.
 
Fresh Start and Narconon International are subsidiaries of the Association for Better
Living and Education (“ABLE”). ABLE oversees the drug rehabilitation, education, and criminal
 justice activities of the Church of Scientology including, but not limited to, Fresh Start and  Narconon International. 7.
 
Defendant ABLE is a corporation registered in the State of California with its headquarters in Los Angeles, California. 8.
 
ABLE controls the time, manner, and method of Narconon International
’s and Fresh Start’s bus
inesses by actively managing their daily operations, including conducting inspections of  Narconon centers and creating, licensing, and approving their marketing materials. 9.
 
ABLE transacts business in the State of California by and through its agents, Narconon International and Narconon Fresh Start. ABLE may be served with process through its registered agent, Sherman D. Lenske, 6400 Canoga Ave., Suite 315, Woodland Hills, CA 91367.
Case 3:14-cv-01678-BEN-RBB Document 1 Filed 07/16/14 Page 2 of 17
 
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10.
 
Plaintiff is unaware of the true names and capacities, whether individual, corporate, associate, or otherwise, of Defendant DOES 1-100, inclusive, and, therefore, sues these Defendants by fictitious names. Plaintiff will seek leave of this Court to amend this Complaint when the identities of these Defendants are ascertained.
II. JURISDICTION AND VENUE
11. This Court has subject jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. The amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.00, and there is complete diversity between the parties. 12. Venue is proper in this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(a) because a substantial portion of the events and omissions giving rise to this lawsuit occurred in this District, and the Court has  personal jurisdiction over each of the parties as alleged throughout this Complaint.
III. FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS
13. On or about December 7, 2012, Claudia was searching the Internet for a drug rehabilitation facility for her daughter, Sarah. Claudia found a website
called “drugrehabs.org” or words to that
effect. This website purported to provide help in finding an appropriate drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility. 14.
Claudia called an “800” number listed on the website, 1
-855-378-4734. She spoke with a
representative named “Ryan.” Ryan indicated that he
 was a drug and alcohol counselor and wanted to get information from Claudia so he could recommend the most appropriate rehab facility. 15.
After listening to Claudia explain her daughter’s situation, Ryan told Claudia that her
daughter had a Category 3 drug addiction. Further, Ryan told Claudia that her daughter needed a long-term comprehensive program lasting at least 90 days. Ryan explained that the treatment
Case 3:14-cv-01678-BEN-RBB Document 1 Filed 07/16/14 Page 3 of 17

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