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Case 8:13-cv-00220-JDW-TBM Document 277 Filed 02/28/18 Page 1 of 3 PageID 4943

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT


MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
TAMPA DIVISION

LUIS A. GARCIA SAZ and Wife,


MARIA DEL ROCIO BURGOS
GARCIA,

Plaintiffs, CASE NO: 8:13-CV-220-T27 TBM


vs.

CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY FLAG


SERVICE ORGANIZATION, INC., and
CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY FLAG SHIP
SERVICE ORGANIZATION, INC.,
Defendants.
__ /

PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION REQUESTING EVIDENTIARY HEARING


ON AMENDED MOTION TO VACATE ARBITRATION AWARDS

The Plaintiffs, LUIS A. GARCIA SAZ and MARIA DEL ROCIO BURGOS GARCIA,

file this Motion Requesting an Evidentiary Hearing on their Amended Motion to Vacate the

Arbitration Awards and Incorporated Memorandum of Law filed on January 23, 2018 (DE 272).

An evidentiary hearing is required to resolve the disputed factual issues.

1. In their motion to vacate the arbitration, Plaintiffs argued that an evidentiary hearing is

required to resolve the fact-intensive issues raised in the Amended Motion to Vacate the

Arbitration Awards (DE 272 at 20-21).

2. Plaintiffs supported their motion with the affidavit of Luis Garcia, averring that the

Church prevented the Plaintiffs from presenting evidence supporting their claims of fraud, breach

of contract and violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (DE 272-3).

The arbitration panel acted with evident partiality and engaged in misconduct (Id.). The motion,

affidavit, and exhibits, provide a sufficient factual basis to vacate the arbitration award.

3. In response to the Plaintiffs’ Amended Motion to Vacate Arbitration Awards, the

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Case 8:13-cv-00220-JDW-TBM Document 277 Filed 02/28/18 Page 2 of 3 PageID 4944

Church submitted the declaration of Mike Ellis, the International Justice Chief (“IJC”) (DE 275;

DE 276-1). The IJC has a very different account of what happened at the arbitration. The Church

also submitted the declaration of its attorney, Gary Soter, who claims to have been present, but

“did not participate in or attend” the arbitration (DE 276-10 at 1; see DE 275 at 11).

5. In addition, the Church includes an exhibit, A(3), that the Plaintiffs have never seen

before titled, “Religious Arbitration Instructions” (DE 275-4 at 1-2; DE 276-4 at 1-2). The Church

claims that this exhibits shows the IJC instructed the arbitration panel to be fair and impartial (DE

275 at 11-12 & DE 275-1 at 2). To the contrary, Luis Garcia’s affidavit provides evidence that the

IJC did not allow the Plaintiffs to be present when he “hatted,” or trained, the arbitration panel by

giving them extensive documents and policies to review (DE 272 at 6, 8, 10, 21). The only

instruction the IJC gave the arbitrators in the Plaintiffs’ presence was that the only issue for the

panel was whether the Plaintiffs filled out a CVB form to request a refund (DE 272-3 at 11).

6. An evidentiary hearing is required to resolve these disputed factual issues. Univ.

Commons-Urbana, Ltd. v. Universal Constructors, Inc., 304 F.3d 1331, 1340-41 & 1345 (11th

Cir. 2002) (recognizing these questions are fact-intensive and require an evidentiary hearing upon

a showing of a “mere appearance of bias or partiality”).

Theodore Babbitt, counsel for the Plaintiffs, certifies that he has conferred with opposing

counsel, F. Wallace Pope, Jr., and the parties cannot agree on the resolution of this motion.

DATED: This 28th day of February, 2018.

By: /s/ Theodore Babbitt


Theodore Babbitt
Fla. Bar No: 091146
Babbitt & Johnson, P.A.
P. O. Box 4426
West Palm Beach, FL 33402-4426
T: (561) 684-2500; F: 561-684-6308
tedbabbitt@babbitt-johnson.com

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CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I hereby certify that, on February 28, 2018, we electronically filed the foregoing document

with the Clerk of the Court using CM/ECF. We also certify that the foregoing document is being

served this day on all counsel or pro se parties identified below in the manner specified, either via

transmission of Notices of Electronic Filing generated by CM/ECF or in some other authorized

manner for those counsel or parties who are not authorized to receive electronically Notices of

Electronic Filings.

F. Wallace Pope, Jr., Esq. Eric M. Lieberman


FBN: 124449 NYBN: 105543
Robert Vernon Potter, Esq. Rabinowitz, Boudin, Standard, Krinsky &
FBN: 363006 Liberman, P.C.
Johnson Pope Bokor Ruppel & Burns, LLP 45 Broadway, Suite 1700
911 Chestnut Street New York, NY 10006
Clearwater, FL 33757 Phone: (212) 254-1111; Fax: (212) 674-4614
Phone: (727) 461-1818; Fax: (727) 462-0365 E-mail: elieberman@rbskl.com
E-mail: wallyp@ipfirm.com Counsel for Flag Church & Ship Church
bobp@jpfirm.com
Counsel for Flag Church & Ship Church

Jane Kreusler-Walsh Ronald Weil


Fla. Bar No: 272371 Fla. Bar No: 169966
Rebecca Mercier Vargas Weil Law Firm, P.A.
Fla. Bar No: 0150037 Southwest Financial Center, Suite 900
Kreusler-Walsh, Vargas & Serafin, P.A. 200 South Biscayne Blvd.
501 South Flagler Drive, Suite 503 Miami, FL 33131
West Palm Beach, FL 33401-5913 T: (305) 372-5352; F: (305) 372-5355
T: (561) 659-5455; F: (561) 820-8762 E-mail: rweil@weillawfirm.net
E-mail: janewalsh@kwvsappeals.com Counsel for Plaintiffs
rvargas@kwvsappeals.com
Counsel for Plaintiffs

By: /s/ Theodore Babbitt


Theodore Babbitt
Fla. Bar No: 091146