Case 8:12-cv-02477-VMC-EAJ Document 24

Filed 11/22/12 Page 1 of 28 PageID 337

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA TAMPA DIVISION KENNAN G. DANDAR, and DANDAR & DANDAR, P.A., Plaintiffs, v. Case No: 8:12-cv-2477-T-33EAS CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY FLAG SERVICE ORGANIZATION, INC., F. WALLACE “WALLY” POPE, JR., JOHNSON POPE BOKOR RUPPEL & BURNS L.L.P., and DAVID MISCAVIGE, Defendants. ___________________________________/ FIRST AMENDED VERIFIED COMPLAINT FOR EMERGENCY PRELIMINARY AND PERMANENT INJUNCTIVE RELIEF, DECLARATORY JUDGMENT, DAMAGES, AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL Plaintiffs, KENNAN G. DANDAR and DANDAR & DANDAR, P.A., sue Defendants, CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY FLAG SERVICE ORGANIZATION, INC., F. WALLACE “WALLY” POPE, JR., JOHNSON, POPE, BOKOR, RUPPEL, & BURNS, L.L.P., and DAVID MISCAVIGE, and allege: INTRODUCTION Pursuant to Rule 15, Fed. R. Civ. P., [within 21 days of service on Defendants, November 6, 2012], and Local Rule 4.01, of the Middle District of Florida, the Plaintiffs file their First Amended Complaint as a matter of course. This is an action for emergency preliminary injunction, permanent injunction, declaratory judgment, and damages under the Constitution and laws of the

Page 1 of 28

Case 8:12-cv-02477-VMC-EAJ Document 24

Filed 11/22/12 Page 2 of 28 PageID 338

United States pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1981, § 1983, § 1985, and § 1986, as amended, alleging that the Defendants, acting under color of state law, violated and are seeking to violate the Plaintiffs fundamental rights secured by the Bill of Rights, i.e., the First, Fourth Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution to be free from state action procured by Defendants to deprive Plaintiffs of their liberty and property interests, free speech interests, and denial of substantive and procedural due process, by coercive and retaliatory governmental court orders to Plaintiffs, ignoring state law and Plaintiffs’ constitutional rights. In particular, Plaintiffs seek damages, but first, preliminary injunctive relief to prohibit the Defendants from going forward on November 26, 2012 at a secret, closed to the public hearing in Clearwater, Florida to obtain a money judgment in excess of one million dollars, or enjoin the execution of any judgment entered, which will destroy the Plaintiffs, interrupt their representation of their clients, and cause utter financial ruin, as a result of Plaintiffs obeying a court order issued by the Middle District of Florida, in Estate of Kyle Brennan v. Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, Inc., Case #8:09-cv-00264-SDMEAJ. Defendants seek to punish the Plaintiffs for filing a federal case in the Middle District without prior state court notice or order that such filing was prohibited, based on a settlement agreement not signed by Plaintiffs as parties; when such prohibition is violative of Florida public policy on lawyer practice restrictions; involuntary practice restrictions which violate the Plaintiffs’ liberty and property interests, free speech interest, and procedural and substantive due process of law under the U.S. Constitution. JURISDICTION AND VENUE 1. This Court has federal question jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1331; §1343; and

42 U.S.C.A. §1981, et seq.

Page 2 of 28

Case 8:12-cv-02477-VMC-EAJ Document 24

Filed 11/22/12 Page 3 of 28 PageID 339

2.

Venue is proper in this court because Plaintiff’s office is in Hillsborough County,

Florida, Defendants’ offices are in Pinellas County, Florida, and Plaintiffs’ claims arose out of conduct occurring in Pinellas and Hillsborough County, Florida. THE PARTIES 3. At all times material herein, Plaintiff Kennan G. Dandar, is a resident of Pinellas

County, Florida, and a member in good standing with the Florida Bar, practicing law through his Florida law firm, Plaintiff, Dandar & Dandar, P.A., located in Tampa, Florida, where he is a partner with his brother, Thomas J. Dandar. (Plaintiffs hereinafter referred to as “Dandar”). The law firm is the sole means of livelihood for the partners. 4. Defendant, Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, Inc.; (“Scientology”),

is a Florida corporation doing business in Pinellas County, Florida, and Defendant, David Miscavige, within his position of the entities comprising the Church of Scientology, is the worldwide supreme leader over all Scientology entities, such as the Religious Technology Center and Defendant, Scientology, regardless of the corporate structure. Defendant, Miscavige, not only micro-managed the events leading to, and causing the death of Lisa McPherson in 1995, but also micro-managed the criminal defense on behalf of the Defendant, Scientology, on charges brought by the State of Florida, and micro-managed the civil defense in the civil wrongful death case brought by the Estate of Lisa McPherson, where Dandar was the Estate’s counsel. 5. Defendants, F. Wallace “Wally” Pope, Jr., is a member of the Florida Bar; subject to

the Rules regulating the Florida Bar, and a senior partner of Defendant, Johnson, Pope Bokor, Ruppel & Burns, L.L.P., located in Clearwater, Pinellas County, Florida, (Johnson Pope). Miscavige

Page 3 of 28

Case 8:12-cv-02477-VMC-EAJ Document 24

Filed 11/22/12 Page 4 of 28 PageID 340

retained Pope and his firm, Johnson Pope, due to their political influence in Clearwater, Florida and Pinellas County. 6. At all times material herein, Defendant, Pope through his law firm, Defendant,

Johnson Pope, was and continues to be the attorney for Defendants, Scientology and Miscavige. UNDERLYING FACTS 7. In 1997, Dandar was retained by Fannie McPherson, the mother of Lisa McPherson,

to open the Estate of Lisa McPherson. Dandar then filed a wrongful death action against the Defendant, Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, Inc. (“Scientology”) in the Florida Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court in and for Hillsborough County (“ McPherson ”), which, in 2000, was transferred to Pinellas County. 8. Clearwater, Florida is Scientology’s “Mecca” of spiritual perfection, a place where

it makes substantial money. It has always had an image problem in Clearwater and Miscavige was intent on improving relations with the political powerhouses within the city and county. The death of Lisa McPherson was a tremendous public relations nightmare to Miscavige and all of Scientology, both locally and around the world, evidence that the Scientology “tech” did not work or could be dangerous to health if misapplied, with McPherson’s death evidencing overwhelming signs of intentional criminal conduct. Miscavige was therefore more intent on making the civil and criminal cases “go away,” after having the General Counsel for Scientology destroy the last three days of “caretaker notes” showing staff pleading to have McPherson returned urgently to the local hospital. THE “GO AWAY” CONSPIRACY 9. In order to make the McPherson case go away, Miscavige retained Johnson Pope and

Pope due to their political connections in Clearwater and Pinellas County. Then Miscavige and

Page 4 of 28

Case 8:12-cv-02477-VMC-EAJ Document 24

Filed 11/22/12 Page 5 of 28 PageID 341

Scientology retained a political consultant, Mary Repper, to set up meetings with politicians, judges, and Scientology celebrities. This was all done to improve the image of Scientology and paint the Estate of Lisa McPherson, i.e., the McPherson family members and its counsel, Dandar, as being nothing but money hungry individuals. Miscavige personally contacted and visited on many occasions the Medical Examiner’s attorney to convince him to convince the Medical Examiner, Joan Wood, M.D., that Lisa McPherson did not die as a result of being held at Scientology’s Ft. Harrison Hotel. He accomplished this by threatening to sue the Medical Examiner and by lavishing gifts on the Medical Examiner’s attorney. As a result, the Medical Examiner changed her opinion on the cause of death from severe dehydration to “undetermined,” but only after Miscavige signed a Release not to sue the Medical Examiner. As a result of changing her opinion, the Medical examiner lost her job and the criminal case was dismissed. Miscavige also offered the state attorney prosecuting the case against Scientology hundreds of thousands of dollars, which was rejected. However, the McPherson civil case would not go away, since the Estate had retained world class pathologists who opined that the cause of death of Lisa McPherson was homicide. 10. resources. The McPherson civil case required the Estate to have available substantial financial In furtherance of the conspiracy to make the McPherson civil case go away, the

Defendants also conspired filed a collateral lawsuit in Clearwater against Dandar and the Personal Representative, with the goal of obtaining a multi-million dollar judgment against Dandar and the Estate so that the civil case would not go forward by destroying the financial resources of the Estate’s counsel. Defendants used that collateral case as a vehicle to attempt to obtain financial information on Dandar to see how well he was financed to bring the McPherson case to conclusion. Dandar refused to divulge this information and so the Clearwater judge permitted the Defendants

Page 5 of 28

Case 8:12-cv-02477-VMC-EAJ Document 24

Filed 11/22/12 Page 6 of 28 PageID 342

to demand from the jury millions of dollars in punitive damages. As part of the conspiracy to prevent the McPherson civil case from going to trial, after having failed to have the McPherson civil case dismissed, Miscavige ordered Scientology counsel to file multiple motions to disqualify Dandar in both the wrongful death case of Lisa McPherson, and in the collateral frivolous case brought by the Defendants in Clearwater. Defendants also filed a federal suit in Tyler, Texas against the McPherson estate, knowing that the Texas federal court had no personal jurisdiction. Defendants ultimately did not prevail in the Texas federal case due to lack of jurisdiction, which was subsequently determined upon appeal following a jury trial. The jury in the collateral Clearwater case also found in favor of Dandar. 11. The Defendants, in furtherance of the conspiracy, sued Robert Minton, the financial

backer of the McPherson civil case, and then extorted him by finding his hidden assets in Europe and then threatened him that they would report his unpaid taxes to the IRS and other governmental entities, both here and abroad, including England and Nigeria. In furtherance of the conspiracy, Defendants had Minton demand that Dandar dismiss the McPherson wrongful death case by having Minton call Dandar from the Paul, Hastings New York law office of Samuel “Sandy” D. Rosen, cocounsel in the McPherson civil cases, on Good Friday 2002. Dandar and the Estate refused this extortion attempt. Then, Defendants had Minton fly to Clearwater and meet with Defendants in the Defendant law firm’s office in Clearwater to concoct additional strategies to have the McPherson case dismissed or Dandar removed as its counsel in the civil death case. The Defendants suborned perjured testimony from Robert Minton in the wrongful death case and the Clearwater case to try to get the civil death case dismissed or Dandar removed. During this same period of time, Scientology sought to have Senior Judge Robert E. Beach appointed to preside over the case by filing motions

Page 6 of 28

Case 8:12-cv-02477-VMC-EAJ Document 24

Filed 11/22/12 Page 7 of 28 PageID 343

to disqualify the presiding judge, the Honorable Susan Schaeffer. In furtherance of a joint enterprise/conspiracy between Defendants and Judge Beach, while Scientology sought to disqualify Judge Schaeffer, Judge Beach campaigned to become the presiding judge in the McPherson civil case. Scientology sought out the Chief Judge to have Judge Schaeffer removed from McPherson, but the request was denied. During the multitude of hearings spanning the entire summer of 2002, Judge Schaeffer found that Scientology suborned perjury of Robert Minton affecting Scientology’s counterclaim, which caused Judge Schaeffer to recuse herself from the case. The Chief Judge of the Sixth Circuit then assigned Judge Beach to the McPherson case and entered an Administrative Order creating Section 78 specifically for cases assigned to senior judges, and transferred McPherson to Section 78. Dandar had repeatedly tried to set McPherson for trial, but Judge Beach refused to do so in furtherance of the objectives of Defendants. 12. Flustered by his personal failure to have Dandar disqualified and more flustered by

the fact that Scientology attorneys, Defendant attorneys, failed to obtain a multi-million dollar verdict and judgment against Dandar in the collateral Clearwater case, failed to obtain a final judgment due to lack of jurisdiction in the Texas case, and Defendants’ failure to have the Personal Representative, Dell Liebreich, removed from the Estate in a multitude of adversary proceedings filed before the Probate Court in Clearwater, Miscavige and the Defendants, as part of the conspiracy, then conspired to impede, hinder, obstruct, or defeat the due course of justice, with the intent to deny the Plaintiffs the equal protection of the laws, interfering with Plaintiffs’ rights guaranteed under the Bill of Rights, namely the First Amendment: liberty, property, the right of association, and procedural and substantive due process, all to further the Defendants’ goal of having

Page 7 of 28

Case 8:12-cv-02477-VMC-EAJ Document 24

Filed 11/22/12 Page 8 of 28 PageID 344

the McPherson civil case “go away,” by Miscavige ordering and paying another Scientology counsel to meet ex parte with the presiding judge, Judge Robert Beach, in the McPherson death case. 13. In furtherance of the conspiracy, since Scientology never had any legal grounds to

dismiss the McPherson civil case or disqualify its counsel, Dandar, Scientology’s counsel, after meeting many times with Judge Beach ex parte to gather sympathy for Scientology in the wrongful death case, defamed Dandar in his business reputation and goodwill, and convinced Judge Beach to contrive a defective and illegal procedure, not sanctioned by Florida law, to make the McPherson case go away by simply removing Dandar as counsel for the Estate in the wrongful death case. Attorney Lee Fugate repeatedly reported his results of his ex parte meetings to Defendants at the law firm’s office in Clearwater, Florida. Apprised of the ex parte meetings and the plan to remove Dandar, Pope did not object, but earnestly encouraged the ex parte meetings with Miscavige in the presence of Marty Rathbun, who held the next to the highest position in all of Scientology. Judge Beach, a state actor, joined in this plan and agreed to remove Dandar as counsel from the McPherson case without any legal authority but only in furtherance of the conspiracy to violate Dandar’s rights and make the case go away in retaliation for Dandar continuing to exercise his rights as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. Judge Beach was persuaded to demote Dandar as lead counsel or remove him completely so that Scientology and Miscavige could strong arm the Estate’s new substitute counsel, who was not a wrongful death trial lawyer, to accept a low and quick settlement, which Dandar and the Estate had repeatedly rejected, and fulfill Miscavige’s goal of making the case “go away.” Now the Defendants had a guaranteed plan to make the McPherson case go away by using the governmental power of the presiding judge and all Defendants were of course wilful participants in

Page 8 of 28

Case 8:12-cv-02477-VMC-EAJ Document 24

Filed 11/22/12 Page 9 of 28 PageID 345

this plan, knowing that interfering with the attorney-client relationship would violate Dandar’s liberty and property interests, and other rights he had as guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. 14. At all times material herein, Defendants, Pope and his law firm Johnson Pope, had

the power to prevent Miscavige and Scientology from going forward with this conspiracy to violate Dandar’s rights, but intentionally chose not to do so, due to the large sums of money being paid to Pope and Johnson Pope by Defendant, Scientology, under orders of Miscavige. 15. Acting under orders from Miscavige and in furtherance of the conspiracy, Pope and

his co-counsel, Sandy Rosen, then stood before Judge Beach at a hearing informing Judge Beach in open court that the McPherson case would never settle if Dandar remained counsel for the Estate. Acting on cue, Judge Beach agreed that Dandar was an obstacle to settlement, something Dandar had never heard in his entire career which began in 1979. In furtherance of the conspiracy Judge Beach had with Defendants to use the judge’s governmental power to deprive Dandar of his rights under the Bill of Rights and in retaliation against Dandar for exercising his liberty and property rights in is profession, and in violation of Dandar’s right to properly perform his duties in his livelihood by advising his client on an appropriate amount to settle, which was not acceptable to Defendants, Judge Beach then ordered Dandar removed as counsel for the McPherson Estate, and then and there, appointed Dandar’s counsel from the Clearwater collateral case, Luke Lirot, to be lead counsel for the McPherson Estate in the death case, without the consent of Dell Liebreich, the Personal Representative of the Estate of Lisa McPherson. Beach ordered Dandar never to communicate with Dell Liebreich unless Luke Lirot was present and that Dandar could never communicate with the Defendants’ counsel in the wrongful death case. Beach refused to reduce this order to writing.

Page 9 of 28

Case 8:12-cv-02477-VMC-EAJ Document 24

Filed 11/22/12 Page 10 of 28 PageID 346

16.

The above conspiracy with Judge Beach, makes all Defendants state actors and acting

under color of state law in violation of 42 U.S.C. §§1983, 1985, and 1986. THE LAST MEDIATION 17. The Personal Representative of the Estate of Lisa McPherson, Dell Liebreich,

appeared for the last mediation on May 26, 2004, and Dandar appeared without court order at the request of his client, Dell Liebreich. 18. At the May 26, 2004, McPherson wrongful death case mediation, Scientology,

through Pope, insisted on a “global settlement conference” encompassing not only the court ordered mediation for the McPherson case, but also the myriad of cases brought by Scientology and related entities against Dandar or the estate. The Global Settlement Conference was never court ordered. Because Dandar had been named as a party defendant in the collateral Clearwater case, Dandar, his law partner Thomas J. Dandar and their law firm, Dandar & Dandar, P.A. (“the Dandar Law Firm”), were also included as one of “the McPherson Parties” in the Global Confidential Settlement Agreement, CSA. Sensing Scientology’s and Pope’s aim to create a conflict of interest between Dandar and his client, the McPherson estate, Dandar agreed to a global settlement, releasing any claim he had against Scientology at that time for no remuneration, so that the Estate of Lisa McPherson could go forward with a settlement, because Judge Beach had already informed everyone that the case would never have a trial. 19. At that settlement conference, Scientology and Miscavige, through Pope, also insisted

that Dandar sign a “practice restriction,” where he would agree never to sue Scientology again in direct violation of the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar. Dandar refused. Pope then presented an alternative clause which he called a “disengagement clause,” where Dandar would never participate

Page 10 of 28

Case 8:12-cv-02477-VMC-EAJ Document 24

Filed 11/22/12 Page 11 of 28 PageID 347

in any adversary proceeding against Scientology. Dandar again refused to sign. Then the signature line of the settlement agreement was worded by Pope so that Dandar did not sign in his individual name, where the signature by a party is a requirement under Florida law to bind a party, but only signed as “counsel” in the identical manner as the Estate’s lead counsel signed and in the same manner as Pope signed. A Scientology officer signed for the Scientology entities and Dell Liebreich signed for the Estate. No signature of Dandar, corporately or individually, appears on the settlement agreement, but only as counsel. See attached CSA, Exhibit One, which states at ¶9 that only Luke Lirot, not Dandar, has “actual express authority” to execute the CSA on behalf of clients and non-clients, which is contrary to Florida law. 19. Even though the court-ordered McPherson mediation was changed by Defendants to

a global settlement conference, which was not court-ordered, the settlement agreement resulted in settlement proceeds being paid by Scientology to Dandar’s special trust account only for the benefit of the Estate of Lisa McPherson for McPherson’s injuries and death damages, with the sole beneficiary being the Estate of Fannie McPherson. Dandar’s law firm received its fee from these settlement proceeds and Dandar personally received no consideration for his participation in this global settlement conference and CSA. 20. Thereafter, the McPherson case and a multitude of other cases brought by Scientology

were all dismissed with prejudice by signature of counsel only. Critically, after all executory provisions of the CSA were complete, the McPherson case was dismissed on June 8, 2004, by the filing of a Joint Voluntary Dismissal With Prejudice, without a court order reserving to the Circuit Court for Pinellas County any jurisdiction to enforce the CSA or any continuing subject matter jurisdiction over this dismissed controversy.

Page 11 of 28

Case 8:12-cv-02477-VMC-EAJ Document 24

Filed 11/22/12 Page 12 of 28 PageID 348

21.

The global “Confidential Settlement Agreement,” CSA, contains a “disengagement

clause” which provides in pertinent part that [t]he McPherson Parties agree to full, permanent disengagement from the Scientology Parties, including no further anti-Scientology activity, and no involvement in any adversarial proceedings of any description against the Scientology Parties under any circumstances at any time. The Scientology Parties agree to full, permanent disengagement from the McPherson Parties, including no further anti-McPherson party activity, and no involvement in any adversarial proceedings of any description against the McPherson Parties under any circumstances at any time. For purposes of this paragraph, “Scientology” shall include the Scientology Parties and any Scientology related entities. 22. Reinforcing the fact that Dandar never signed the CSA in his personal or individual

capacity, underneath Dandar’s signature, the CSA provides the following: Kennan G. Dandar, Esq., counsel for Dell Liebreich, both individually and a personal representative for the Estate of Lisa McPherson, and authorized signatory on behalf of the Estate of Fannie McPherson, the Estate of Ann Carlson, Kennan G. Dandar, Thomas J. Dandar, Dandar & Dandar, P.A., Lee Skelton and Sam Darden Davis. (Emphasis supplied). 23. Following the execution of the CSA and releases, Scientology and the Estate of Lisa

McPherson executed voluntary dismissals with prejudice of every case, or satisfactions of judgment, where no court reserved jurisdiction, particularly in the McPherson case. However, in violation of the disengagement clause in the CSA, Scientology failed or refused to timely dismiss, and/or request no further action in a federal case brought by one of the Scientology parties in federal court for the Eastern District of Texas, which it ultimately lost following a week long jury trial due to lack of Page 12 of 28

Case 8:12-cv-02477-VMC-EAJ Document 24

Filed 11/22/12 Page 13 of 28 PageID 349

jurisdiction. However, the Scientology Parties’ entity in the CSA, RTC, where Miscavige is the Chairman of the Board, was able to convince the appellate court that the McPherson Estate had argued too many times in the district court the lack of jurisdiction, so the Fifth Circuit court awarded partial sanctions against Dandar, plus some court costs, approximately 8% of what RTC claimed, which Scientology advanced to a court order following the execution of the CSA, in violation of the CSA. THE KYLE BRENNAN CASE 24. On February 13, 2009, almost five years after the McPherson case had been settled

and dismissed with prejudice, and with no reservation of continuing jurisdiction by the Florida courts to enforce this CSA or any continuing subject matter jurisdiction over this dismissed controversy, and with no court order imposing a practice restriction, Dandar brought a wrongful death action on behalf of the Estate of Kyle Thomas Brennan (“the Brennan Estate”) against Scientology in the federal district court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division. Positing federal jurisdiction on diversity of citizenship, the complaint alleged that on February 6, 2007, 20-year-old Kyle Brennan, while in a state of emotional turmoil, arrived in Clearwater, Florida, to visit his father; a Scientologist, and that as a result of orders from Scientology, his father had taken Kyle’s Lexapro from him and locked it in the father’s car trunk and told Kyle to pack his bags and move out. Then, a day later, on February 16, 2007, while at his father’s apartment in Clearwater in a complex occupied by Scientologists, Kyle Brennan died from a gun shot to the head. 25. The Brennan Estate’s complaint further alleged that Scientology caused Kyle’s death

by (1) negligently and recklessly depriving him, or causing his father to deprive him, of Lexapro, a psychotropic medication prescribed for him by his treating psychiatrist; and (2) by negligently and Page 13 of 28

Case 8:12-cv-02477-VMC-EAJ Document 24

Filed 11/22/12 Page 14 of 28 PageID 350

recklessly leaving in the apartment Kyle occupied a .357 caliber handgun, the weapon with which he was killed. IN FURTHERANCE OF THE “GO AWAY” CONSPIRACY 26. Instead of moving in federal court to disqualify Dandar based upon their reading of

the CSA, and permitting the federal district judge to decide whether Dandar’s participation in the Brennan suit violated its provisions, Scientology and Miscavige, through Pope, sought to retaliate against Dandar for exercising his constitutionally protected freedom to practice law, and sought out and conspired with state court retired Judge Beach to interpret the disengagement provision of the CSA as demanded by Defendants to be a restriction upon Dandar from participating as an attorney against Scientology i.e., a practice restriction, in violation of Florida law. 27. The Defendants filed a motion in the closed case of McPherson, instead of filing a

new lawsuit for the purported breach of the CSA, in furtherance of the ongoing joint enterprise and conspiracy with Judge Beach to keep Dandar from suing Scientology by depriving Dandar of his rights under the Bill of Rights with coercive governmental power. 28. The state court waived the legal requirements of the Defendants to pay a filing fee

and file a complaint to invoke the jurisdiction of the court, waived the requirement of the issuance of a summons and paying the required fee, waived the requirement of process and service of process, and permitted the Defendants to avoid the required random selection of judge assignment. Instead, Defendants were able to select their judge, Judge Beach, all of which is against Florida law. 29. Dandar argued that the settlement agreement does not prohibit his representation of

the Brennan Estate and that, if it did, it would be unenforceable for violating public policy as well as the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar, Florida Bar Rule 4-5.6(b) (“A lawyer shall not Page 14 of 28

Case 8:12-cv-02477-VMC-EAJ Document 24

Filed 11/22/12 Page 15 of 28 PageID 351

participate...in making...an agreement in which a restriction on the lawyer’s right to practice is part of the settlement of a client controversy.”).1 30. Judge Beach, as part of the conspiracy with Defendants and contrary to clear Florida

law, with fundamental procedural irregularity and in retaliation for Dandar exercising his rights under the Bill of Rights, and in breach of Canon 2A2, Code of Judicial Conduct, held that he had jurisdiction over the parties and the subject matter, which he obviously did not under Florida law, that the settlement agreement prohibited Dandar’s representation of the Brennan Estate in federal court, and that this prohibition was enforceable, regardless of the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar and Florida Supreme Court decisions. On June 10, 2009, Judge Beach ordered Dandar to cease his representation of all parties against Scientology other than the plaintiff in the now dismissed McPherson action. Dandar appealed this order to Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal, arguing that the settlement agreement is unenforceable as interpreted by Judge Beach under Chandris v. Yanakakis, 668 S.2d 180, 184-186 (Fla. 1995), because it violates the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar, is contrary to an Florida Bar published Ethics opinion, No. 04-2, January 21, 2005, and case law, both state and Florida federal. In fact, practice restrictions violate most, if not all, state regulations of attorney practice.

Judge Beach, Pope, and even the mediator’s participation in a practice restriction is a violation of Rule 4-5.6 (b), and Judge Beach was also required to report them to the Florida Bar pursuant to Canon 3D(2). A judge shall respect and comply with the law... The Commentary to Canon 2A states: “Actual improprieties under this standard include violations of law, rules, or other specific provisions of this Code.” Page 15 of 28
2

1

Case 8:12-cv-02477-VMC-EAJ Document 24

Filed 11/22/12 Page 16 of 28 PageID 352

31.

On November 13, 2009, in sealed proceedings, the Court of Appeal affirmed Judge

Beach’s order without opinion. Dandar v. Church of Scientology, 25 So. 3d 1233 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2009).3 32. Prior to that affirmance, in August 2009, Dandar filed a list in excess of 230 trial

lawyers he had contacted to take his place in the Brennan case in his attempt to comply with the illegal order of Judge Beach, before it was affirmed on appeal. Scientology, Pope, as well as Judge Beach, knew that Dandar could not simply walk away and abandon his client in federal court, pursuant not only to the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar, but also the Local Rules of the Middle District, and Florida case law. Those rules and state law require that an estate be represented by counsel, and withdrawal requires court approval. 33. On February 19, 2010, Judge Beach heard Scientology’s motion to enforce his order

of June 10, 2009, and Dandar’s motion to void the settlement agreement due to the several breaches of the settlement agreement by Scientology as previously ruled by Judge Beach. In February 2010, Judge Beach denied Dandar’s motion, and on April 12, 2010, at the behest of Scientology, Pope, and in furtherance of the conspiracy, Judge Beach found Dandar in civil contempt of his orders of June 10, 2009, and February 19, 2010. He ordered Dandar to pay Scientology damages in the amount of $50,000, as demanded by Defendants, even though the $50,000 penalty, if legal, only applied to disclosing the confidential terms of settlement, and directed Dandar to file a motion to withdraw in

Although the circuit court’s caption is Dell Liebreich as the Personal Representative of the Estate of Lisa McPherson v. Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, Inc. et al., the Florida Second District Court of Appeal changed the caption. Page 16 of 28

3

Case 8:12-cv-02477-VMC-EAJ Document 24

Filed 11/22/12 Page 17 of 28 PageID 353

the Brennan action in federal court; and ordered that if Dandar failed to withdraw from the federal action, a civil penalty of $1,000 per day would accrue against him and the Dandar Law Firm. 34. In compliance with Judge Beach’s order, Dandar immediately filed in the Brennan

federal court case a motion entitled “Unopposed Involuntary Motion to Withdraw as Counsel for Plaintiff.” Dandar labeled his motion “involuntary” because he was the Brennan Estate’s preferred counsel, his client objected to the motion, withdrawal was against Florida law and Dandar’s rights under the Bill of Rights, and the motion was state court ordered. 35. On April 22, 2010, the federal district court in Brennan denied Dandar’s motion to

withdraw seeing no legal barrier to his continued representation of the Brennan Estate after the federal court reviewed the CSA proffered by Defendants. On May 6, 2010, however, Judge Beach, as demanded by Defendants, and in furtherance of the conspiracy, directed Dandar to appear before him to show cause why he and the Dandar Law Firm should not be held in indirect criminal contempt of his prior orders of June 10, 2009, and April 12, 2010, citing Dandar’s “involuntary” motion to withdraw in federal court as a willful violation of his prior orders, criticizing Dandar for telling too much information to the Brennan court. Scientology’s proposed order for this criminal contempt against Dandar and the Dandar Law Firm----a proposal which Judge Beach later adopted in part----consisted of accumulated civil sanctions of $130,000 plus 6% interest, the suspension of Dandar’s license to practice law in disbarment proceedings planned to be held by Judge Beach, although Judge Beach has no such legal power, and the award of Scientology’s attorney’s fees and costs, all in derogation of Florida law. 36. On August 25, 2010, the Brennan Estate filed an emergency motion in federal court

seeking a permanent injunction against Scientology and, if necessary, Judge Beach, to prohibit their Page 17 of 28

Case 8:12-cv-02477-VMC-EAJ Document 24

Filed 11/22/12 Page 18 of 28 PageID 354

interference with the federal court’s orderly progression of the case. On August 30, 2010, Judge Merryday denied the emergency motion stating that “[t]he state court can neither command Dandar’s withdrawal from this action nor otherwise interfere with the supervening federal jurisdiction;” and that “[c]omity commands the federal court not assuming that the state court will enter an unlawful order or interfere with the orderly administration of the federal court.” 37. Defendants, ignoring Judge Merryday’s order and in furtherance of the conspiracy

with Judge Beach, on August 31, 2010, went forward with a hearing before Judge Beach, at the demand of Defendants, which resulted in further retaliatory sanctions against Dandar for continuing to represent the Brennan Estate in federal court, as ordered by the federal court. Thus, Dandar was being sanctioned for obeying the order of the federal district court. 38. On September 2, 2010, the Brennan Estate filed its second emergency motion in

federal court for a permanent injunction against Judge Beach and the Defendants, including a request for sanctions against Scientology in seeking to impose further retaliatory sanctions against Dandar for pursuing the federal action on behalf of the Brennan Estate. As the Brennan Estate alleged, Judge Beach had “issued a severe sanction which interferes with [its] counsel’s ability to comply with this court’s order [denying his motion to withdraw]” and which “is causing great, immediate and irreparable harm and infringement on Plaintiff’s constitutional right in her choice of counsel.” 39. The Defendants, with the cooperation with Judge Beach, not only intended to retaliate

against Dandar and punish him for exercising his constitutionally protected right to practice law, i.e., his livelihood, with the coercive governmental power of Judge Beach, but intended to force dismissal of the case as it had attempted in McPherson, also resulting in the deprivation of the Brennan’s

Page 18 of 28

Case 8:12-cv-02477-VMC-EAJ Document 24

Filed 11/22/12 Page 19 of 28 PageID 355

estate’s constitutional right to its choice of counsel, and Dandar’s Sixth Amendment right to freedom of association with persons suing Scientology. 40. In the federal Brennan case, Judge Merryday scheduled a hearing on this emergency

motion for September 28, 2010, and Judge Beach scheduled a hearing in state court for October 1, 2010, to also entertain suspending Dandar’s license to practice law in Florida, and enter a money judgment as demanded by Defendants and in furtherance of the conspiracy. Although the state court judge had already decided to enter a judgment of criminal contempt against Dandar consistent with Defendant’s proposed judgment, together with an accompanying immediately executable money judgment of $130,000 plus 6% interest, the parties, at the request of Judge Merryday, were successful in having Judge Beach delay entering this judgment until after September 28, 2010, when Judge Merryday would hear the Brennan Estate’s emergency motion. 41. On September 28, 2010, the district judge issued an opinion and order granting the

Brennan Estate’s requested injunction. Citing the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651(a), as well as “the court’s inherent power to preserve its jurisdiction,” Judge Merryday permanently enjoined Judge Beach and Scientology from assessing any sanction against Dandar on account of his representation of the Brennan Estate in its federal action against Scientology. 42. District judge Merryday determined that by imposing criminal contempt sanctions

upon the Brennan Estate’s chosen attorney for pursuing his client’s federal remedies in federal district court, Judge Beach “deprives the [federal] district court of the rightful opportunity to determine whether Dandar is disqualified to practice in the Middle District of Florida and to represent the Brennan Estate in this wrongful death action, to weigh the best interest of the Brennan Estate, and to manage the district court’s docket.” Because Judge Beach could not compel Dandar’s withdrawal from representation in a federal district court nor supercede its jurisdiction, independence Page 19 of 28

Case 8:12-cv-02477-VMC-EAJ Document 24

Filed 11/22/12 Page 20 of 28 PageID 356

and discretion by levying assessments on those who practice law before it, the district judge concluded that at least as a matter of comity, the state court judge “should not undertake, directly or indirectly, overtly or through a surrogate, to compel an act by another judge, especially in a different jurisdiction.” (emphasis supplied). These findings and conclusions by Judge Merryday that Judge Beach was the surrogate of the Defendants were never challenged by Defendants and are therefore binding herein. 43. In an amended order of October 12, 2010, the district court reaffirmed its issuance

of the permanent injunction against Scientology and Judge Beach. 44. On October 13, 2010, Judge Beach entered an order in McPherson recusing himself

from any proceeding involving Dandar. 45. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1292(a)(1), Scientology appealed this interlocutory order

granting the injunction, and on July 7, 2011, the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reversed and vacated the district judge’s injunction. It determined that the injunction against the Florida court must have been entered pursuant to the second exception of the Anti-Injunction Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2283, i.e., that this exception is construed narrowly, and that this case presented no circumstance coming within it. 46. As for Judge Merryday’s concern about managing his own docket free of the coercive

orders of a state judge against an attorney appearing before him, the Circuit Court answered that the propriety of those orders were under review by the Florida appellate courts and the “district court’s conviction that a state proceeding has reached or is reaching an erroneous result does not alone warrant an injunction against those proceedings.” 47. Dandar also appealed to the Florida appellate courts Judge Beach’s order of April 12,

2010, imposing contempt sanctions against him for obeying the federal court’s order. Dandar argued Page 20 of 28

Case 8:12-cv-02477-VMC-EAJ Document 24

Filed 11/22/12 Page 21 of 28 PageID 357

that the Circuit Court for Pinellas County lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the CSA to enforce its provisions; that the agreement cannot be construed as a practice restriction since that would be void as violative of the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar; that only the Supreme Court of Florida can place restrictions on a lawyer’s practice of law; and that Dandar cannot be held in contempt of an order to withdraw from the federal case where the federal district court judge denied his motion to do just that, and therefore rendered him powerless to purge any perceived contempt. 48. On February 11, 2011, again in a sealed proceeding, Florida’s Second District Court

of Appeal in a per curiam order without opinion, “[r]eversed the circuit court’s order to the extent that it awarded $50,000 in damages against Dandar and in favor of [Scientology],” due to Scientology, Pope, admitting that the settlement agreement in McPherson did not authorize such a sanction, contrary to their position they had taken since 2005, but “affirm[ed] the circuit court’s order in all other respects.” Dandar v. Church of Scientology, 59 So.3d 144, 145 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2011).4 It further ruled that Dandar was “procedurally barred” from raising this issue of the lower court’s lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Id. On May 4, 2011, the Florida Court of Appeal for the Second District denied Dandar’s motion for rehearing. Id. 49. On May 20, 2011, Dandar filed a petition for writ of prohibition with the Florida

Supreme Court seeking an order “directing the Second District [Court of Appeal] to issue an order recognizing that the circuit court was without jurisdiction to enter any order subsequent to the joint voluntary dismissal with prejudice filed on June 8, 2004, and [that it] exceeded its jurisdiction by imposing a practice restriction and orders of criminal contempt of court.” (emphasis supplied). The

Although the circuit court’s caption is Dell Liebreich as the Personal Representative of the Estate of Lisa McPherson v. Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, Inc. et al., the Florida Second District Court of Appeal again changed the caption. Page 21 of 28

4

Case 8:12-cv-02477-VMC-EAJ Document 24

Filed 11/22/12 Page 22 of 28 PageID 358

Florida Supreme Court transferred the petition to the Florida Court of Appeal for the Second District which denied it. 50. On September 6, 2011, the state Court of Appeals denied Dandar’s timely filed

petitions for rehearing and for rehearing en banc. 51. On October 3, 2011, Judge Merryday vacated the denial of Dandar’s motion to

withdraw and granted withdrawal nunc pro tunc to April 12, 2010. Judge Merryday found that Judge Beach’s sanctions against Dandar for Dandar’s compliance with the federal order denying his withdrawal, is “an unconscionable, irrational, and unsustainable injustice that immediately threatens irreparable injury to Dandar and innocent third parties (including Dandar’s family and clients), who depend upon him for their well being.” Judge Merryday found that the state court’s “punitive enforcement of a contract construed by the Florida courts as a restriction on the practice of law,” is “both unlawful and unethical.” Judge Merryday reiterated that Judge Beach’s actions were a “punitive enforcement of an unlawful and unethical restriction on the practice of law.” The Defendants did not appeal or otherwise challenge these findings of this court. 52. The Brennan estate brought a petition for certiorari to the United States Supreme

Court seeking review of the decision of the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, but it was denied on February 21, 2012. Victoria L. Britton, as Administrator of the Estate of Kyle T. Brennan v. Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, Inc., U.S. Supreme Court Docket No. 11-722. 53. On October 10, 2011, Scientology through its attorneys, the Defendant, Pope, moved

in the Circuit Court for Pinellas County for the award of attorney’s fees, damages and other relief incident to the contempt against Dandar and the Dandar Law Firm for breaching the settlement agreement in the McPherson Action. Specifically, Scientology sought the award of its attorney’s fees and costs for all services rendered in the Brennan Action in federal court; all appeals and Page 22 of 28

Case 8:12-cv-02477-VMC-EAJ Document 24

Filed 11/22/12 Page 23 of 28 PageID 359

petitions for review filed in higher courts relating to the rulings of Judge Merryday and concerning jurisdictional issues; and all state court proceedings brought by Scientology to enforce the McPherson settlement agreement up to the present hearings, all pursuant to Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 1.730( c), which authorizes attorney fees only against a party for breach of a courtordered mediation, since the McPherson settlement agreement did not contain a prevailing party attorney fee clause. 54. Dandar opposed the motion and sought reconsideration or the dismissal of

Scientology’s contempt action, and the imposition of sanctions including an award of attorney’s fees and costs because of the “dishonesty on the Court” by Scientology and its counsel as well as their attempt to impose an illegal practice restriction upon him. 55. Due to Judge Beach’s recusal in October, 2010, McPherson was transferred by

random rotation to Section 11, but then, without notice or order, transferred back to Section 78. Another Senior Judge, the Honorable Crockett Farnell, assumed jurisdiction over the parties and this case and the entire file remained sealed. In July, 2012, he ruled that because Dandar was found to have violated the terms of the McPherson settlement agreement, under Florida Rules of Civil Procedure 1.730( c), Scientology is entitled “to all reasonable fees and taxable costs incurred in this Court, the Second District Court of Appeal, and the Florida Supreme Court commencing after Dandar filed the complaint in the Brennan case on February 12, 2009, through these present proceedings.” 56. In addition, Judge Farnell concluded that Scientology is entitled to all reasonable fees

and taxable costs “incurred in the Federal District court, the Eleventh Circuit Court, and the United States Supreme Court relating to the Brennan case, including litigation relating to Dandar’s involuntary motion to withdraw and the injunction issued by Judge Merryday, commencing on Page 23 of 28

Case 8:12-cv-02477-VMC-EAJ Document 24

Filed 11/22/12 Page 24 of 28 PageID 360

February 12, 2009, when the complaint was filed, until October 3, 2011, when Judge Merryday entered the order granting Dandar’s motion to withdraw from that case.” 57. However, in view of Judge Merryday’s order of October 3, 2011, which granted

Dandar’s involuntary motion to withdraw nunc pro tunc to April 12, 2010, Judge Farnell recognized the finality of this federal order as it related back to April 12, 2010, on grounds of comity and ruled that neither Dandar nor the Dandar Law Firm would be liable for the $1000 per-day civil penalty imposed by Judge Beach’s contempt order of April 12, 2010. However, Judge Farnell refused to give the same order comity in reference to Scientology’s claim for attorney fees in the state and federal courts. In a clarification dated August 10, 2012, Judge Farnell determined that Dandar’s breach of the CSA was done in bad faith and all federal court proceedings were done in bad faith, i.e., Dandar obeying the orders and rules of Judge Merryday’s orderly progression of the Brennan case, conducting discovery, following the local federal rules, and providing representation of his federal court client. A final hearing on the amount of attorney’s fees and costs due Scientology under Judge Farnell’s rulings is scheduled for November 26, 2012, where Defendants are seeking in excess of one million dollars in a closed-to-the-public-and-press courtroom in Clearwater, Florida. Dandar moved to unseal the court file and have a public hearing, but Defendants objected and Judge Farnell denied Dandar’s request for a public hearing, and denied Dandar’s demand for a jury trial to determine damages, in violation of Dandar’ constitutional right to a public hearing and jury trial on damages. 58. Reciting all of these events, Dandar and the Dandar Law Firm (“the Plaintiffs”) have

now brought this civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983,et seq., against the Defendants seeking damages, both compensatory and punitive, as well as declaratory and injunctive relief together with an award of attorney’s fees and costs arising from the Defendants’ resort to state court and the Page 24 of 28

Case 8:12-cv-02477-VMC-EAJ Document 24

Filed 11/22/12 Page 25 of 28 PageID 361

judicial machinery in the Circuit Court for Pinellas County as well as the Florida appellate courts in obtaining, and then enforcing, the contempt orders against the Plaintiffs in order to prevent them from participating in Brennan, to tortiously interfere with the client relationship between Dandar and the Brennan Estate and its Personal Representative, with the intent to force a dismissal of the Brennan case. 59. Prior to the Defendants having Judge Beach impose a practice restriction on Dandar,

and before Dandar filed the Brennan case, Florida and all states considered practice restrictions to be illegal and against public policy. Dandar was not forewarned, nor on notice, of a practice restriction before the state court deprived Dandar of his property and liberty interests, in violation of his constitutional due process and equal protection rights. 60. Prior to the imposition of the practice restriction (injunction), Dandar was not

forewarned or on notice that the state courts would not follow Florida Bar Rules, Florida Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedure, Judicial Cannons, and Florida case law. 61. Dandar has a property interest in Rule 4-5.6, R. Reg. Fla. Bar, and that property

interest was violated when Defendants pressured Judge Beach to ignore the Rule. Dandar likewise has a property interest in the following state procedural Rules, which all were violated by the state court at the insistence of the Defendants, and infringed upon Dandar’s right to equal protection of the laws: • 1.140(h)(2) (the lack of subject matter jurisdiction may be raised at anytime, and case law holds that it cannot be waived or created); • • 1.420(a) (a court is divested of jurisdiction after voluntary dismissal); 1.430 (a right to trial by jury);

Page 25 of 28

Case 8:12-cv-02477-VMC-EAJ Document 24

Filed 11/22/12 Page 26 of 28 PageID 362

1.730 (sanctions may only be imposed against a party in a pending case who was court-ordered to mediate and who signed the mediation agreement);

3.840 (Judge Beach was required to recuse himself and the Chief Justice of Florida Supreme Court was to appoint his replacement to determine contempt sanctions, if any);

• 62.

and all case law interpreting the above rules. The Defendants acted under color of state law and their conduct amounted to state

action when they knowingly invoked the processes of the Florida state courts by entering into a conspiracy with Judge Beach to deprive the Plaintiffs of their Constitutional rights of liberty, association, property, and due process by abusive governmental power of the state court, while the Brennan Action was pending, for the specific reason to get the Brennan case dismissed and to make contumacious the Plaintiffs’ representation of the Brennan Estate in federal court. 63. That by invoking the state court to impose a practice restriction, particularly in a court

lacking subject matter jurisdiction, and thereby prevent the Plaintiffs from representing the Brennan Estate in seeking redress for its injuries in federal court, the Defendants violated the Plaintiffs’ rights under the First, Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, such as liberty and property, free speech, the right to practice law and to represent a particular party, damage to business reputation and goodwill, to procedural and substantive due process and to the equal protection of the laws. These serial violations by the Defendants resulted in the Plaintiffs’ illegal and unconstitutional removal from the Brennan Action, one characterized by federal judge Merryday as “unethical and illegal,” another determination of fact and law, which was never challenged on appeal in the federal forum by the Defendants and which is now final.

Page 26 of 28

Case 8:12-cv-02477-VMC-EAJ Document 24

Filed 11/22/12 Page 27 of 28 PageID 363

64.

The state action prosecuted by the Defendants permanently enjoins the Plaintiffs from

representing any party against Scientology anywhere and at any time in the future, in any jurisdiction, which also affects interstate commerce since Plaintiff has recently turned down several wrongful death cases due to this illegal practice restriction, depriving the Plaintiffs of their past, present and future right to pursue a livelihood as an attorney to the detriment of Dandar’s constitutional rights, all as a result of the conspiracy with the state court, Judge Beach. The state action is pending and has not resulted in a final judgment, but is scheduled for final hearing on November 26, 2012, in the closed-to-the-public courtroom. 65. The Defendants’ enforcement of this presumed practice restriction through their

conspiracy with the Florida’s court has operated to subject the Plaintiffs to unwarranted civil contempt proceedings which have, in turn, ripened into criminal contempt proceedings resulting in monetary sanctions against Dandar and the Dandar Law Firm (in the form of an award of attorney’s fees and costs), claimed to be in excess of one million dollars, which are unfair, punitive and unconstitutional. 66. At all times material herein, Defendants were acting under color of state law by

utilizing the state laws, state judges, and state courts; by conspiring and acting together with, or having obtained significant aid from State officials, or because their conduct is otherwise chargeable to the State and is in such a close nexus between the State and the Defendants’ conduct to deprive Plaintiffs of property interests and other interests protected by the U.S. Constitution. CLAIMS FOR RELIEF WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs request the following relief: 1. Enter preliminary and permanent injunctions enjoining the Defendants, their officers,

employees, agents, attorneys and successors, and all persons in active concert or participating with Page 27 of 28

Case 8:12-cv-02477-VMC-EAJ Document 24

Filed 11/22/12 Page 28 of 28 PageID 364

any of them, from actively assisting the state judges or courts in their efforts to interfere with the Plaintiffs’ rights by conducting any further hearings, or entry of any additional orders or judgments, and enjoining the execution of any judgment. 2. 3. 4. 5. Grant trial by jury. Award compensatory damages against each Defendant. Award punitive damages against each Defendant. Enter a declaratory judgment declaring that the Defendants’ actions violated the

Plaintiffs’ First, Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights. 6. 7. Award the Plaintiff s reasonable attorney fees and costs. Grant such further additional relief to the Plaintiff as the Court deems just.

Under penalties of perjury, I declare that I have read the foregoing Complaint and that the facts stated in it are true. /s/ Kennan G. Dandar Kennan G. Dandar, Esq I HEREBY CERTIFY that on November 22, 2012, I electronically filed the foregoing with the Clerk of the Court by using the CM/ECF system which will send a notice of electronic filing to the counsel of record. /s/ Kennan G. Dandar, Esq. KENNAN G. DANDAR, ESQ. Florida Bar No. 289698 Post Office Box 24597 Tampa, Florida 33623-4597 813-289-3858/Fax: 813-287-0895 Attorney for Plaintiffs kgd@dandarlaw.net (Email) EF.KGD@dandarlaw.net (Court Desig.) EF.DMW@dandarlaw.net (2d Desig.)

Page 28 of 28

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful