You are on page 1of 47

Filing # 99067713 E-Filed 11/18/2019 05:41:21 PM

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE ELEVENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT


IN AND FOR MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA

JANE DOE, Case No. 2019-027633 CA 01

Plaintiff,

vs. DEFENDANT RELIGIOUS


TECHNOLOGY CENTER’S MOTION
TO DISMISS COMPLAINT FOR
CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY FLAG LACK OF PERSONAL
SERVICE ORGANIZATION, INC., a Florida JURISDICTION OR, IN THE
Corporation; CLEARWATER ACADEMY, ALTERNATIVE, MOTION TO
INC., a Florida corporation; THE CHURCH TRANSFER FOR IMPROPER VENUE
OF SCIENTOLOGY INTERNATIONAL, a AND RESERVATION OF RIGHTS TO
California corporation; RELIGIOUS MOVE TO COMPEL ARBITRATION
TECHNOLOGY CENTER, a California OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE,
Corporation; and DAVID MISCAVIGE, a MOTION TO DISMISS FOR FAILURE
California resident, TO STATE A CLAIM UPON WHICH
RELIEF CAN BE GRANTED OR, IN
Defendants. THE ALTERNATIVE, MOTION FOR
MORE DEFINITE STATEMENT
_____________________________________/
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION ………………………………………………………………………………...1
RELEVANT ALLEGATIONS……………………………………………………………………3
ARGUMENT……………………………………………………………………………………...7
I. THE COURT LACKS PERSONAL JURISDICTION OVER RTC………………7
A. There is no Long-Arm Jurisdiction over RTC under Fla. Stat. § 48.193….8
B. The Exercise of Personal Jurisdiction Over RTC Would Offend Due
Process …………………………………………………………………...10
1. The is no General Jurisdiction Over RTC………………………..11
2. There is no Specific Jurisdiction Over RTC……………………...13
II. VENUE IS IMPROPER IN MIAMI-DADE AND MORE APPROPRIATELY
LIES IN PINELLAS COUNTY FOR ALL DEFENDANTS…………………….16
III. SHOULD THIS COURT FIND PERSONAL JURISDICTION OVER RTC,
PLAINTIFF SHOULD BE COMPELLED TO ARBITRATE HER CLAIMS AND
THIS MATTER SHOULD BE DISMISSED OR STAYED ……………………20
IV. THE COMPLAINT IS AN IMPERMISSIBLE “SHOTGUN PLEADING”
AND SHOULD BE DISMISSED………………………………………………..21
V. PLAINTIFF FAILS TO STATE A CLAIM AGAINST RTC……………………23
A. Counts VII, VIII, and IX are Time-Barred……………………………….24
B. Plaintiff Fails to State a Claim for Violation of Florida RICO
(Count VII)……………………………………………………………….25
C. Plaintiff Fails to State a Claim for Civil Conspiracy (Count XI)………….27
D. Plaintiff Fails to State a Claim for Invasion of Privacy (Count X)………..28
E. All Claims Should be Dismissed with Prejudice as to RTC………………30
VI. ALTERNATIVELY, RTC MOVES FOR A MORE DEFINITE
STATEMENT……………………………………………………………………30

ii
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

TABLE OF AUTHORITIES
Cases Pages(s)
Allstate Ins. Co. v. Ginsberg,
863 So. 2d 156 (Fla. 2003)……………………………………………………………28-29

AMS Staff Leasing, Inc. v. Ocha Engineering Corp.,


139 So. 3d 452 (Fla. 3d DCA 2014)………………………………………………………21

Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662 (2009)……………………………………………………………….……..23

Aspsoft, Inc. v. WebClay,


983 So. 2d 761 (Fla. 5th DCA 2008)……………………………………………………..22

Barrett v. City of Margate,


743 So. 2d 1160 (Fla. 4th DCA 1999)………………………………………………...22-23

Banco de los Trabajadores v. Cortez Moreno,


237 So. 3d 1127 (Fla. 3d DCA 2018)………………………………………………..10, 13

Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly,


550 U.S. 544 (2007)……………………………………………………………….……..23

Bott v. City of Marathon,


949 So. 2d 295 (Fla. 3d DCA 2007)………………………………………………………25

Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. v. Widdick,


717 So. 2d 572 (Fla. 1st DCA 1998)………………………………………………….18-19

Broz v. R.E. Reece,


272 So. 3d 512 (Fla. 3d DCA 2019)……………………………………………………....30

Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462


471 U.S. 462 (1985)…………….......………………………………………………..…..15

Burris v. Green,
No. 3:12-cv-521, 2016 WL 5844165 (N.D. Fla. Aug. 26, 2016)………………………….12

Carefirst of Maryland, Inc. v. Recovery Village at Umatilla, LLC,


248 So. 3d 135 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018)…………………………………………………….…7

Carmona v. McKinley, Ittersagen, Gunderson & Berntsson, P.A.,


952 So. 2d 1273 (Fla. 2d DCA 2007)………………………………………………...…... 7

iii
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

Carr v. Stetson,
741 So. 2d 567 (Fla. 4th DCA 1999)………………………………………………..…....16

Casita, L.P. v. Maplewood Equity Partners L.P.,


960 So. 2d 854 (Fla. 3d DCA 2007)……………………………………………………… 9

Catania v. E. Airlines, Inc.,


381 So. 2d 265 (Fla. 3d DCA 1980)……………………………………………………. 28

Cedar Hills Props. Corp. v. E. Fed. Corp.,


575 So. 2d 673 (Fla. 1st DCA 1991)……………………………………………….…….27

Conklin v. Boyd,
189 So. 2d 401 (Fla. 1st DCA 1966)…………………………………………….............30

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. v. Estate of Chavez ex rel. Hernandez,


8 So. 3d 1157 (Fla. 3d DCA 2009)………………………………………………………17

Daimler AG v. Bauman,
134 S.Ct. 746 (2014)………………………………………………………………...passim

Davis v. Bay Cty. Jail,


155 So. 3d 1173 (Fla. 1st DCA 2014)……………………………………………………23

Dubus v. McArthur,
682 So. 2d 1246 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996)……………………………………………….........22

Duncanson v. Wine & Canvas Dev., LLC,


No. 6:14–cv–704, 2015 WL 12844947, at *1 (M.D. Fla. Sept. 25, 2015)…..…………….14

E.I. DuPont De Nemours & Co. v. Fuzzell,


681 So. 2d 1195 (Fla. 2d DCA 1996)……………………………………………..…..17-19

Ellison v. City of Ft. Lauderdale,


175 So. 2d 198 (Fla. 1965)………………………………………………………………..23

Estes v. Rodin,
259 So. 3d 183 (Fla. 3d DCA 2018)………………………………………………11, 14-15

Fla. Dep’t of Health & Rehabilitative Servs. v. S.A.P.,


835 So. 2d 1091 (Fla. 2002)………………………………………………………..……..24

Fla. Health Sciences Center, Inc. v. Elsenheimer,


952 So. 2d 575 (Fla. 2d DCA 2007)…………………………………………………..… 19

iv
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

Fla. Patient’s Comp. Fund v. Fla. Physicians’ Ins. Reciprocal,


507 So. 2d 778 (Fla. 3d DCA 1987)……………………………………………….….….17

Fincantieri-Cantieri Navali Italiani S.p.A. v. Yuzwa,


241 So. 3d 938 (Fla. 3d DCA 2018)………………………………………………..8, 11, 15

Foreman v. Seaboard Coastline R. Co.,


279 So. 2d 825 (Fla. 1973)………………………………………………………..………30

Fountainebleau, LLC v. Hire Us, Inc.,


273 So. 3d 1152, 1157 (Fla. 2d DCA 2019)……………………………………………...20

Future Tech. Today, Inc. v. OSF Healthcare Sys.,


218 F.3d 1247 (11th Cir. 2000)……………………………………………………………8

Gazelles Fla., Inc. v. Cupp,


No. 6:18-cv-544, 2018 WL 7364591, at *1 (M.D. Fla. Sept. 28, 2018)...……………14-15

Hinkle v. Continental Motors, Inc.,


268 F. Supp. 3d 1312 (M.D. Fla. 2017)………………………………………………..….12

Hirschfeld v. Crescent Heights, X Inc.,


707 So. 2d 955 (Fla. 3d DCA 1998)………………………………………………………21

Homeway Furniture Co. of Mount Airy, Inc. v. Horne,


822 So. 2d 533 (Fla. 2d DCA 2002)………………………………………………..……..9

Houchins v. King Motor Co. of Fort Lauderdale, Inc.,


906 So. 2d 325 (Fla. 4th DCA 2005)……………………………………………………...21

Imperial Capital, LLC v. Tradewinds, Ltd.,


279 So. 3d 166 (Fla. 4th DCA 2019)………………………………………………….10, 12

Kurnow v. Abbott,
114 So. 3d 1099 (Fla. 1st DCA 2013)………………………………………………..…...28

Maiden v. Carter,
234 So. 2d 168 (Fla. 1st DCA 1970)...………………………………………………..…..23

Mancinelli v. Davis,
217 So. 3d 1034 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017)…………………………………………………… 27

Meadows Cmty. Ass’n, Inc. v. Russell-Tutty,


928 So. 2d 1276 (Fla. 2d DCA 2006)………………………………………………………7

v
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

Nationstar Mortg., LLC v. Sunderman,


201 So. 3d 139 (Fla. 3d DCA 2015)…………………………………………………..…..25

O'Malley v. St. Thomas University, Inc.,


599 So. 2d 999 (Fla. 3d DCA 1992)………………………………………………………26

Palmas Bambu, S.A. v. E.I. Dupont De Nemours & Co.,


881 So. 2d 565 (Fla. 3d DCA 2004)………………………………………………...…….26

Pratus v. City of Naples,


807 So. 2d 795 (Fla. 2d DCA 2002)………………………………………………......21-22

Regent Grand Mgm’t Ltd. v. Trust Hospitality LLC,


No. 18-21445, 2019 WL 1112553, at *1 (S.D. Fla. Jan 9, 2019)……………….…………11

Response Oncology, Inc. v. Metrahealth Ins. Co.,


978 F. Supp. 1052 (S.D. Fla. 1997)………………………………………………..……...23

Richard Bertram, Inc. v. Sterling Bank & Trust,


820 So. 2d 963 (Fla. 4th DCA 2002)………………………………………………..…… 27

Rolls-Royce, Inc. v. Garcia,


77 So. 3d 855 (Fla. 3d DCA 2012)………………………………………..………………20

Smith v. Piatt Motors, Inc.,


137 So. 2d 239 (Fla. 1st DCA 1962)…………………………………………..………….30

Sprint Corp. v. Telimagine, Inc.,


923 So. 2d 525 (Fla. DCA 2D 2005)……………………………………………………..20

Stoddard v. Wohlfahrt,
573 So. 2d 1060 (Fla. 5th DCA 1991)…………………………………………………… 29

Sullivan v. Klein,
691 So. 2d 21 (Fla. 3d DCA 1997)…………………………………………………..……18

Teva Pharm. Indus. V. Ruiz,


181 So. 3d 513 (Fla. 2d DCA 2015)………………………………………………..…..9, 12

Tucker v. Am. Employers’ Ins. Co.,


171 So. 2d 437 (Fla. 2d DCA 1965)……………………………………………..……….29

Universal Pro. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Long,


157 So. 3d 382 (Fla. 2d DCA 2015)…………………………………………...………….17

vi
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

Venetian Salami Co. v. Parthenais,


554 So. 2d 499 (Fla. 1989)…………………………………………………………7, 10, 15

Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft v. Jones,


227 So. 3d 150 (Fla. 2d DCA 2017)……………………………………………………….7

W.R. Townsend Contracting, Inc. v. Jensen Civil Constr., Inc.,


728 So. 2d 297 (Fla. 1st DCA 1999)…………………………………………….………. 23

Walden v. Fiore,
571 U.S. 277 (2014)…...……………………………………………………………..…..14

Watts v. Fla. Int'l Univ.,


495 F.3d 1289 (11th Cir. 2007)………………………………………………………..…23

Wiggins v. Tigrent, Inc.,


147 So. 3d 76 (Fla. 2d DCA 2014)……………………………………………….…..…..13

Wolfson v. Lewis,
924 F. Supp. 1413 (E.D. Pa. 1996)………………………………………………………..29

Statutes Pages(s)

18 U.S.C. § 1964(c)…………………………………………………………………………...25-26

Fla. Stat. § 47.122…………………………………………………………………………….17, 20

Fla. Stat. § 48.193……………………………………………………………………………..1, 7-9

Fla. Stat. § 48.193(1)(a)………………………………………………………………………..8, 13

Fla. Stat. § 48.193(1)(a)(2)………………………………………………………………………8-9

Fla. Stat. § 95.11…………………………………………………………………….………..…..25

Fla. Stat. § 772.101………………………………………………………………….……..……..25

Fla. Stat. § 895.05(10)………………………………………………………………….…..…… 24

Rules Pages(s)

Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.110…………………………………………………………………………..21, 23

Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.110(d)…………………………………………………………………………….7

Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.110(f)………………………………………………………..………………10, 21

vii
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.140(b)………………………………………………………..…………………...1

Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.140(e)………………………………………………………..………………1, 30

Treatises Pages(s)

Restatement (Second) of Torts § 652B……………………………………………...…………....29

viii
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

Defendant, RELIGIOUS TECHNOLOGY CENTER (“RTC”), by and through its

undersigned counsel and pursuant to Rules 1.140(b) and 1.140(e) Florida Rules of Civil Procedure,

hereby moves to dismiss the Complaint for the reasons stated below and, in support thereof, states

as follows:

INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff’s Complaint is long on hyperbole, innuendo, and abject falsity, but virtually

devoid of any facts to support her claims. For the following reasons, the Complaint is fatally

defective:

 Lack of personal jurisdiction over RTC: The Complaint should be dismissed as to


RTC for lack of general or specific personal jurisdiction over RTC. The Complaint
fails to allege sufficient jurisdictional facts to bring RTC within the ambit of Florida’s
long-arm statute, Section 48.193, Florida Statute. RTC’s contacts with the State of
Florida are not sufficiently continuous and systematic as to render it “at home” to
subject it to general jurisdiction. Rather, RTC is a California non-profit corporation
doing business in California and may not be sued in Florida under prevailing general
personal jurisdictional principles following Daimler AG v. Bauman, 571 U.S. 117
(2014). Additionally, the Complaint fails to allege that Plaintiff’s causes of action and
the alleged tortious acts arose from RTC’s minimum contacts in Florida and, therefore,
the Court lacks specific personal jurisdiction over RTC. The Complaint is replete with
conclusory and verifiably false allegations, but lacks any facts establishing RTC had
any role in the alleged acts, and absolutely no facts showing that any connection RTC
has with the State of Florida had any bearing on the alleged actions. Plaintiff has not,
and cannot, satisfy her prima facie burden of establishing personal jurisdiction over
RTC, as evidenced in the Declaration of RTC’s President Warren McShane (“McShane
Declaration”) (attached hereto as Exhibit A). Accordingly, RTC is not subject to the
personal jurisdiction of any court in the State of Florida.

 Should the Court find jurisdiction over RTC, venue is improper in Miami-Dade
County and the matter should be transferred to Pinellas County: As discussed
herein, and based on the plain language of the Complaint and supporting documentation
from RTC, venue is improper under Section 47.051, Florida Statutes. Indeed, no
parties are located in Miami-Dade County (including Plaintiff), no evidence and likely
no witnesses are located in Miami-Dade County, and none of the alleged torts occurred
in Miami-Dade County. Rather, Plaintiff’s claims appear to have a nexus to Pinellas
County, Florida. Accordingly, this action should be transferred to Pinellas County.1

1
Moreover, RTC joins in the arguments raised by the resident Florida defendants Church of
Scientology Flag Service Organization, Inc. (“FSO”) and Clearwater Academy, Inc. (“CA”) in
1
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

 Reservation of right to compel Arbitration: Should the Court determine that Florida
does have jurisdiction over RTC, RTC intends to petition the Court for an order
compelling Plaintiff to arbitrate this matter. RTC does not at this time move to compel
arbitration because such a motion could be deemed a waiver of RTC’s objection to
personal jurisdiction and such a motion would be premature prior to a determination
that any Florida court has jurisdiction to hear the motion.

Should the Court find jurisdiction over RTC, RTC moves in the alternative to dismiss on

the following bases:

 Impermissible Shotgun Pleading: The Complaint is subject to dismissal as a


paradigmatic “shotgun pleading” by lumping together several defendants in a
deliberate effort to obscure the identity of the parties that are alleged to have engaged
in the purported tortious activity and making it prejudicially difficult, if not impossible,
for RTC to defend itself in this action.

 Counts VII, VIII and IX are time-barred: Count VII alleging a violation of the
Florida Racketeering and Influenced Corruption Act (“RICO”) is subject to a five-year
statute of limitations. Count VIII alleging false imprisonment and Count IX alleging
intentional infliction of emotional distress are both subject to a four-year statute of
limitations. The Complaint on its face suggests that the events which purport to form
the basis for these counts occurred outside the limitations period and, thus, these counts
must be dismissed as time-barred. Further, as discussed below, there are no grounds
for tolling the statute of limitations for any claims against RTC.

 Count VII fails to state a claim for a Florida RICO violation: Count VII alleging a
Florida RICO violation also fails because Plaintiff lacks standing for failure to allege
any injury to her business or property, and because her allegations fail to satisfy the
“distinctness” requirement.

 Count XI fails to state a claim for Civil Conspiracy: Count XI alleging a civil
conspiracy fails under the “intra-corporate conspiracy doctrine.”

 Count X fails to state a claim for Invasion of Privacy: Plaintiff also has failed to
plead facts sufficient to establish a claim for invasion of privacy or plead facts sufficient
to establish when, how, where, or under what circumstances RTC may have engaged
in any of the predicate acts. Indeed, all facts as alleged in the Complaint appear to have
taken place in public, which generally precludes a claim for invasion of privacy.

 More definite statement: The Complaint is replete with ambiguity, generalizations,

their respective motions challenging venue. Because FSO and CA are statutorily entitled to
transfer of venue, this militates heavily in favor of transferring the entire matter to Pinellas County
should the Court find that RTC is subject to jurisdiction in Florida.
2
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

and hyperbole. It has virtually no detail regarding who may have committed any of the
acts alleged, when such conduct purportedly occurred, where they allegedly occurred,
and how RTC is in any way involved. Insofar as the challenges above fail, in order to
effectively defend this action, RTC moves the Court to require Plaintiff to amend her
Complaint to provide more detail regarding the allegations.

For the foregoing reasons, all of which are detailed below, Plaintiff’s Complaint must be

dismissed as to RTC or, in the alternative, the matter must be transferred to Pinellas County. Given

the jurisdictional and pleading deficiencies, it is unlikely Plaintiff will be able to amend her

Complaint in such a manner that would establish jurisdiction over RTC, cure the untimeliness of

her claims against RTC, or plead sufficient facts to state claims against RTC. It would be futile to

permit amendment. Plaintiff’s Complaint as to RTC must be dismissed with prejudice.

RELEVANT ALLEGATIONS

The Complaint’s jurisdictional allegations establish only that RTC is a “California

corporation with its principal place of business in California,” id. at ¶ 7, and that “RTC is tasked

with ensuring that all Scientology organizations and members comply with Scientology practices,”

id. at ¶ 16. There are no specific jurisdictional allegations in the Complaint that RTC had any

contacts in the State of Florida, business operations, or other activities in Florida other than the

venue allegation that RTC “does business in [Florida], and/or have agents and representatives in

Miami-Dade County, Florida.” Id. at ¶ 11. The generalized, conclusory allegations regarding all

“Defendants” actions are intentionally opaque, do not establish RTC was “at home” in Florida or

any grounds to assert specific personal jurisdiction over RTC in Florida. As set forth in the

McShane Declaration, RTC has insufficient contacts in Florida to subject it to jurisdiction.

For instance, Plaintiff alleges she was sexually assaulted at the Clearwater Academy while

a minor child, Compl. at ¶¶ 60-63, and that RTC, defined as part of the “Institutional Defendants,”

owns and/or operates the Academy, id. at ¶ 14. There are no facts pleaded in support of these bald

3
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

accusations, and none exist. The allegation is false. See McShane Dec. at ¶ 13. Further, Plaintiff

alleges that, upon returning to Clearwater, Florida in 2007 from Venezuela, she was sexually

abused as a minor by an individual named Katherine Richie, purportedly an agent or employee of

the “Institutional Defendants” which, according to the Complaint, includes RTC. See Compl. at

¶¶ 69-70. Plaintiff further alleges that the “Institutional Defendants,” including RTC, “knew or

should have known that Katherine Richie was abusing [Plaintiff] and should have prevented such

abuses from occurring, but they did not.” Id. at ¶ 71. There are no facts pleaded in support of

these bald accusations, and none exist. They are false. See McShane Dec. at ¶ 17. Plaintiff further

alleges that, upon her purported “escape” from Scientology, the “Institutional Defendants” which,

according to the Complaint, includes RTC, “launched a fair-gaming campaign against [Plaintiff]”

which included “tampering with [Plaintiff’s] vehicle, including cutting her brake lines; vandalizing

her property; following her; surveilling her; and conducting hundreds of spam/crank phone calls

to [Plaintiff’s] phone.” Compl. at ¶ 72. There are no facts pleaded in support of these bald

accusations, and none exist. They are false. See McShane Dec. at ¶¶ 19-20. The same holds true

for any allegations in the Complaint intended to establish specific jurisdiction over RTC by virtue

of its purported tortious activity, as encapsulated in Count VII (Florida RICO violation), Count

VIII (False Imprisonment), Count IX (Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress), Count X

(Invasion of Privacy), and Count XI (Civil Conspiracy).

The Complaint’s venue allegations are similarly defective. The Complaint’s venue

allegation relies on Section 47.051, Florida Statutes, and alleges that RTC does business in Florida,

which does not establish Miami-Dade County as an appropriate venue, and that RTC resides in

Miami-Dade County and/or has agents and representatives in Miami-Dade County. See Compl.

at ¶ 11. The venue allegations are false. See McShane Dec. at ¶ 6. The Complaint is otherwise

4
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

devoid of any facts facially demonstrating a nexus to Miami-Dade County. In particular, the

Complaint includes no allegation of any residency or domicile of Plaintiff, see Compl. at ¶ 1,

concedes that the Florida defendants—FSO and CA—are residents of Pinellas County, have

business operations in Pinellas County, and have registered agents in Pinellas County, see id. at ¶¶

2-5, and alleges that tortious conduct took place in Pinellas County, see id. at ¶¶ 57-63, 68-71.

As alluded to above, the Complaint largely fails to differentiate between acts or omissions

of one defendant or another. See Compl. at ¶¶ 17-21, 25-27, 30-32, 39-41, 43-55, 67, 69-74

(referring generally to conduct or omissions by “Defendants” or “Institutional Defendants”).

Furthermore, all counts asserted incorporate by reference all prior averments. As such, each

subsequent count incorporates all prior allegations, including those in the preceding claims, see id.

at ¶¶ 75 (Count I), 86 (Count II), 98 (Count III), 109 (Count IV), 120 (Count V), 130 (Count VI),

138 (Count VII), 151 (Count VIII), 159 (Count IX), 166 (Count X), 173 (Count XI), which

necessarily creates confusion and ambiguity by amorphously expanding the scope of each

subsequent count to incorporate facts that have absolutely no bearing on a particular count. It

would be fundamentally unjust for this Court to require RTC to engage in guesswork in order to

defend itself against a Complaint that is littered with gutter-level attacks from an opportunistic

litigant in what is the latest in a series of attacks on the Church of Scientology and the Scientology

religion designed to shame or intimidate RTC and the other defendants into a quick settlement to

avoid further negative press.2

2
It appears this Miami-Dade County filing was sent to the Tampa Bay Times newspaper on the
same day it was filed and, thus, was made available to reporters before it was ever available for
retrieval from the Court docket or ever served on RTC and the other defendants. See “Scientology
policy enabled years of child sexual abuse, lawsuit says,” Tampa Bay Times, September 19, 2019.
Of particular note is the fact that the Complaint was not provided to, nor published in, the Miami
Herald in Miami-Dade County.
5
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

Substantively, the Complaint is an unmitigated hit piece. Despite asserting five claims

against RTC—Florida RICO violation (Count VII); False Imprisonment (Count VIII); Intentional

Infliction of Emotional Distress (Count IX); Invasion of Privacy (Count X); and Civil Conspiracy

(Count XI)—not one alleges any facts establishing any acts or omissions by RTC in furtherance

thereof. Instead, the Complaint advances conclusory and undifferentiated allegations about

conduct that all defendants or “institutional defendants” or “Scientology” engaged in. The vast

majority of the allegations of the Complaint consist of defamatory statements regarding the Church

of Scientology as an institution, calling into question its religious doctrines and practices. Yet no

single act or omission is attributed specifically to RTC, save one: “The RTC is tasked with ensuring

that all Scientology’s organizations and members comply with Scientology policies.” Id. at ¶ 16.

Conspicuously absent is any allegation that any of the individuals identified pseudonymously or

by name were affiliated with, employed by or working at the direction of RTC. No information is

provided regarding RTC and, in particular, what role, if any, it played in the alleged tortious

activity, and how Plaintiff may have been harmed by an act or omission by RTC. See, e.g., Compl.

at ¶¶ 142-150, 152-158, 160-165, 168-172, 174-179.

At bottom, it would be patently unjust to forgive Plaintiff’s pleading deficiencies and

require RTC to defend itself against such unsupported claims. For the reasons detailed herein, the

Complaint must be dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction or transferred to a more convenient

venue. Should the Court determine that Florida does, in fact, have jurisdiction over RTC, RTC

intends to petition that Court for an order compelling Plaintiff to arbitrate this matter pursuant to

several agreements in which she agreed to arbitrate “any dispute, claim or controversy” between

her and any “Scientology Organization,” which includes RTC, see McShane Dec. at ¶ 4, and to

stay the matter pending arbitration. In an abundance of caution, however, and in full preservation

6
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

of all rights, challenges and objections and waiving none, RTC advances additional challenges to

the Complaint for Plaintiff’s failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

ARGUMENT

In ruling on a motion to dismiss for failure to state a cause of action, the court must consider

only the “four corners of the complaint.” See Carmona v. McKinley, Ittersagen, Gunderson &

Berntsson, P.A., 952 So. 2d 1273, 1275 (Fla. 2d DCA 2007) (citations omitted). A complaint

should be dismissed where the movant establishes that the claimant could prove no set of facts in

support of her claim. See Meadows Cmty. Ass’n, Inc. v. Russell-Tutty, 928 So. 2d 1276, 1280 (Fla.

2d DCA 2006). If a defendant raises an affirmative defense in a motion to dismiss, the defense

must appear on the face of the complaint. See Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.110(d). In the context of a motion

to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, the plaintiffs bears the burden of establishing a prima

facie case of jurisdiction over the nonresident defendant. See, e.g., Carefirst of Maryland, Inc. v.

Recovery Village at Umatilla, LLC, 248 So. 3d 135, 137 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018); Volkswagen

Aktiengesellschaft v. Jones, 227 So. 3d 150, 154–55 (Fla. 2d DCA 2017).

I. THE COURT LACKS PERSONAL JURISDICTION OVER RTC

No court in the State of Florida may exercise personal jurisdiction over RTC relating to

this matter. As alleged in the Complaint, RTC is a California corporation with its principal place

of business in California. Compl., at ¶ 7. RTC is, therefore, a foreign defendant. In order to

exercise personal jurisdiction over a foreign defendant, a court applies a two-step analysis. First,

the court must be satisfied that sufficient jurisdictional facts exist to subject a defendant to

jurisdiction under the Florida long-arm statute, Section 48.193, Florida Statutes. Second, even if

the complaint satisfies the Florida long-arm statute, the court must then analyze whether

exercising jurisdiction over a foreign defendant satisfies the Due Process clause of the First and

7
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

Fourteenth Amendments. See Venetian Salami Co. v. Parthenais, 554 So. 2d 499, 502 (Fla. 1989).

A key component in the jurisdictional analysis is the allocation of the burden of proof.

Fincantieri-Cantieri Navali Italiani S.p.A. v. Yuzwa, 241 So. 3d 938, 941 (Fla. 3d DCA 2018).

The plaintiff bears the burden of alleging plausible facts sufficient to establish a prima facie case

for personal jurisdiction over RTC. Id.; see also Future Tech. Today, Inc. v. OSF Healthcare Sys.,

218 F.3d 1247, 1249 (11th Cir. 2000). If the plaintiff pleads sufficient facts in the complaint to

establish long-arm jurisdiction, then the burden shifts to the defendant to contest these allegations

or to establish that minimum contacts is not met by way of affidavit or other similar sworn proof.

Fincantieri, 241 So. 3d at 942. If the court finds that the defendant adequately contests the

jurisdictional allegations, then the burden returns to the plaintiff to refute the evidence by affidavit

or other similar sworn proof. Id. If the parties’ evidence is in conflict, the trial court must then

conduct an evidentiary hearing to resolve the factual dispute. Id.

A. There is no Long-Arm Jurisdiction over RTC pursuant to § 48.193, Fla. Stat.

Plaintiff’s jurisdictional allegation consists of the following:

Defendants are subject to personal jurisdiction in Florida because, among other things, they
reside in Miami-Dade County, Florida; engage in substantial and not isolated business
activity on a continuous and systematic basis in the State of Florida; and/or operate,
conduct, engage in, or carry on a business or business venture in this State, or have an
office or agency in this State.

Compl. at ¶ 10. The foregoing statement implicates the Florida long-arm statute, Sections

48.193(1)(a) and (2), Florida Statutes. For the reasons that follow, there is no jurisdiction over

RTC pursuant to the Florida long-arm statute.

As an initial matter, RTC notes that the controlling test for whether a state may exercise

general jurisdiction over a foreign defendant consistent with the Due Process Clause of the

Fourteenth Amendment, is established by Daimler AG v. Bauman, 571 U.S. 117, 127 (2014).

8
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

Daimler necessarily sets forth a more restrictive jurisdictional standard than the Florida long-arm

statute, Section 48.193, Florida Statutes. As such, regardless of what Section 48.193, Fla. Stat.

would permit, general jurisdiction cannot lie if the Daimler test is not satisfied. RTC’s discussion

of general jurisdiction under the Daimler test is set forth below and is determinative on this issue.

See Teva Pharm. Indus. v. Ruiz, 181 So. 3d 513 (Fla. 2d DCA 2015) (eschewing analysis of general

jurisdiction under Florida long-arm statute upon concluding that “the Appellees cannot establish

the requirements for general jurisdiction as recently delineated by the Supreme Court in Daimler.”)

As such, RTC dispenses with any further discussion of general jurisdiction under the Florida long-

arm statute and refers the Court to the discussion of the Daimler test, set forth below.3

Although it is not apparent on a plain reading of the Complaint whether Plaintiff asserts

any basis for specific jurisdiction under the Florida long-arm statute, in an abundance of caution,

RTC addresses whether the assertion of tort claims in Counts VII, VIII, IX, X and XI confer

specific jurisdiction pursuant to Section 48.193(1)(a)(2), Florida Statutes. It is well-settled that if

a defendant’s tortious conduct occurred outside the state, injury in Florida, standing alone, is

insufficient to confer jurisdiction. See Homeway Furniture Co. of Mount Airy, Inc. v. Horne, 822

So. 2d 533, 539 (Fla. 2d DCA 2002); Casita, L.P. v. Maplewood Equity Partners L.P., 960 So. 2d

854, 855–56 (Fla. 3d DCA 2007) (noting that on the question of injury alone to a Florida plaintiff

caused by a tortious act committed outside the state is insufficient to invoke jurisdiction of Florida

courts under the Florida long-arm statute).

3
It is clear that, even under the Florida long-arm statute, general jurisdiction does not lie. The
contacts RTC does have with Florida—none of which are set forth anywhere in the Complaint
amidst a panoply of generalized allegations, but which stem exclusively from the fact that RTC
maintains an office and skeleton staff for the limited purpose of “ensur[ing] the orthodox
ministration of religious services by the FSO,” McShane Dec. at ¶ 11—is insufficient to satisfy
even the broader Florida long-arm statute. See also id. at ¶¶ 6-13.
9
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

Plaintiff’s claims against RTC, writ large, rely on conclusory allegations about an act or

omission by RTC as a defendant or “institutional defendant.” Plaintiff provides no supporting

facts whatsoever of RTC committing any such acts, nor has she identified a single RTC officer or

employee who allegedly committed these acts. The shotgun nature of Plaintiff’s pleading, as

discussed more fully in Section IV, infra, precludes a finding of specific jurisdiction. See Fla. R.

Civ. P. 1.110(f) (“[e]ach claim founded upon a separate transaction or occurrence . . . shall be

stated in a separate count . . . when a separation facilitates the clear presentation of the matter set

forth.”). The Complaint further fails to plead any facts establishing that any of the alleged torts

occurred in Florida. Incorporating by reference those arguments raised below in connection with

RTC’s alternative motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted,

see Section V, infra, Plaintiff fails to carry her burden to establish a prima facie showing of specific

jurisdiction over RTC pursuant to the Florida long-arm statute.

In the absence of specific, non-conclusory factual allegations establishing that RTC

committed tortious acts in Florida, there is no basis for personal jurisdiction under Florida’s long-

arm statute.

B. The Exercise of Personal Jurisdiction Over RTC Would Offend Due Process

Even if this Court were to find that Plaintiff pleaded facts sufficient to satisfy Florida’s

long-arm statute, jurisdiction may not lie unless the exercise of jurisdiction would satisfy federal

due process requirements. See Venetian Salami Co., supra,554 So. 2d at 502; see e.g., Banco de

los Trabajadores v. Cortez Moreno, 237 So. 3d 1127, 1134-35 (Fla. 3d DCA 2018) (recognizing

that the appropriate constitutional due process standard to determine whether the courts could

exercise general jurisdiction is under Daimler and Goodyear); Imperial Capital, LLC v.

Tradewinds, Ltd., 279 So. 3d 166 (Fla. 4th DCA 2019) (same). Here, Plaintiff fails as well.

10
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

The constitutional analysis is “more restrictive” than the long-arm statute analysis, but may

be satisfied by determining that a court may exercise general or specific jurisdiction over the

defendant. Estes v. Rodin, 259 So. 3d 183, 190 (Fla. 3d DCA 2018); see also Fincantieri, 241 So.

3d at 943 (finding the defendant’s contacts with Florida were insufficient to satisfy the more

restrictive due process requirements for general jurisdiction). General jurisdiction requires a

finding that a non-resident defendant’s contacts with the forum state are “so continuous and

systematic as to render [the defendant] essentially at home in the forum state.” Daimler AG v.

Bauman, 571 U.S. 117, 127 (2014). Specific jurisdiction “does not require the same level of

contacts,” but instead, “is based on the cause of action arising out of a defendant’s certain minimum

contacts with the state.” Fincantieri, 241 So. 3d at 942..

1. There is no General Jurisdiction Over RTC

In order to be subject to general jurisdiction in a state, a defendant’s contacts must be “so

extensive to be tantamount to the defendant being constructively present in the state to such a

degree that it would be fundamentally fair to require it to answer in the forum state’s courts in any

litigation arising out of any transaction or occurrence taking place anywhere in the world.” Regent

Grand Mgm’t Ltd. v. Trust Hospitality LLC, No. 18-21445, 2019 WL 1112553, at *4 (S.D. Fla.

Jan 9, 2019). A prima facie case showing that personal jurisdiction exists over a foreign defendant

requires factual allegations “with reasonable particularity” that there is the possible existence of

sufficient “contacts between [the party] and the forum state.” Id. at *3.

General jurisdiction arises where the defendant is “at home.” Daimler, 571 U.S. at 138-

39. A defendant is “at home” and may be subject to general personal jurisdiction only in the state

of its principal place of business, or its state of incorporation, except in the “exceptional case.” Id.

at 137. Following Daimler, courts have noted the “heavy burden” that a plaintiff now must meet

11
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

to establish that a defendant is subject to general jurisdiction. Waite v. All Acquisition Corp., 901

F.3d 1307, 1317 (11th Cir. 2018). Florida courts have, thus, dismissed cases where the plaintiff

cannot establish that the defendant is “at home” in Florida. See, e.g., Imperial, 279 So. 3d at 168

(Fla. 4th DCA 2019) (“The inquiry is no longer whether the corporation’s contacts with the state

are ‘continuous and systematic’ but whether they are ‘so continuous and systematic as to render

[the corporation] essentially at home in the forum State’”); Teva Pharm. Indus. v. Ruiz, 181 So. 3d

513, 521 (Fla. 2d DCA 2015) (finding no general jurisdiction where defendant was not

incorporated or had its principal place of business in Florida, yet had millions of dollars in sales

Florida). Federal courts applying Florida state law have likewise reached the same conclusion

based on Daimler. See Hinkle v. Cont’l Motors, Inc., 268 F. Supp. 3d 1312, 1327 (M.D. Fla. 2017)

(applying Florida law and declining to exercise general jurisdiction where defendant was not

incorporated or had its principal place of business in the state despite the fact that it had a sales

agent who conducted business in the state); Burris v. Green, No. 3:12-cv-521, 2016 WL 5844165,

at *8 (N.D. Fla. Aug. 26, 2016) (declining to find jurisdiction where defendant had business

interests in Florida corporations, but was not engaged in those corporations’ daily activities).

In one case in particular, the Third District Court of Appeal found that a defendant’s

contacts with Florida, while “substantial and not isolated activity within this state” under the

meaning of the long-arm statute, were still insufficient to satisfy the restrictive due process

requirements for general jurisdiction. Fincantieri, 241 So. 3d at 943. The defendant in that case

was an Italian corporation with its principal place of business in Italy. Id. at 945. Despite the

defendant’s business relationship with Carnival Cruise Lines, it’s Miami liaison office and Area

Manager that solicited cruise ship business and served Florida clients, and its frequent meetings

and communications with Carnival related to its ship-building business, the Court found that the

12
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

defendant’s contacts “were not sufficiently ‘continuous and systematic’ as to render it ‘at home’”

in Florida and, therefore, it was not subject to general jurisdiction. Id. at 945. Insofar as Plaintiff

in our case relies on principles of general personal jurisdiction, see, e.g., Compl., at ¶ 10, her efforts

to establish general jurisdiction over RTC fail. In addition to advancing a generalized and wholly

undifferentiated jurisdictional allegation, Plaintiff’s allegations are false. See, generally, McShane

Dec. And nowhere does Plaintiff aver any facts that would make this an “exceptional case” for

purposes of finding general jurisdiction where there would otherwise be none. Because RTC is

not at “home” in Florida, there is no general jurisdiction.

2. There is no Specific Jurisdiction Over RTC4

There is no basis for exercising specific personal jurisdiction over RTC. For RTC to be

subject to the specific jurisdiction of a Florida court, Plaintiff must allege facts sufficient to

establish, on the face of the complaint, that RTC committed a tortious act in Florida. See Wiggins

v. Tigrent, Inc., 147 So. 3d 76, 87 (Fla. 2d DCA 2014). For specific jurisdiction to lie under the

Due Process Clause, this Court must determine: (1) whether the plaintiff’s claims “arise out of or

4
Moreover, since Plaintiff has utterly failed to adequately plead a cognizable conspiracy claim,
this Court cannot exercise jurisdiction over RTC on the basis of any alleged conspiracy. There is
no allegation of what RTC did in furtherance of the supposed conspiracy or even of when and how
it was formed. As such, the claim fails. See NHB Advisors, Inc. v. Czyzyk, 95 So. 3d 444, 448
(Fla. 4th DCA 2012) (“[A] court will decline to apply the co-conspirator theory to extend
jurisdiction over nonresidents if the plaintiff fails to plead with specificity any facts supporting the
existence of the conspiracy and provides nothing more than vague and conclusory allegations
regarding a conspiracy involving the defendants.”). Moreover, “allegations of civil conspiracy, in
and of themselves, are not sufficient to confer specific jurisdiction. See Banco de los Trabajadores
v. Cortez Moreno, 237 So. 3d 1127, 1136 (Fla. 3d DCA 2018) (“We cannot read section
48.193(1)(a)’s dual requirements—both that a defendant does an enumerated act in Florida and
that the cause of action arises from an enumerated act in Florida—as authorizing the exercise of
specific jurisdiction when the only tort relied upon to confer such jurisdiction is a civil conspiracy
to commit a tort.”)

13
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

relate to” defendant’s contact with the forum; (2) whether the defendant “purposefully availed”

himself of the privilege of conducting activities within the state; and (3) whether the exercise of

personal jurisdiction is fair and reasonable. See Estes, 259 So. 3d at 192. All three factors must

be satisfied.

Plaintiff cannot satisfy the first prong (whether the claims arise out of the defendant’s

contact with the forum) by simply alleging RTC committed a tortious act against a Florida resident.

Estes, 259 So. 3d at 193. Instead, the Court must examine “the defendant’s contacts with the forum

State itself, not the defendant’s contacts with persons who reside there.” Walden v. Fiore, 571

U.S. 277, 285 (2014). As such, harms that would have occurred “wherever else the defendant may

have resided” and are based on the happenstance of plaintiff’s current residence are insufficient to

support specific jurisdiction. Id. at 290; see also Duncanson v. Wine & Canvas Dev., LLC, No.

6:14–cv–704, 2015 WL 12844947, at * 5 (M.D. Fla. Sept. 25, 2015) (even though Florida resident

alleged it had been harmed in Florida by defendant’s conduct, court barred finding of specific

jurisdiction on such grounds alone). In our case, jurisdiction in Florida is predicated on Plaintiff’s

purported residence in Florida (despite the fact that nowhere in the Complaint does Plaintiff allege

residing in Florida), and not on RTC’s contacts with Florida itself.

Plaintiff also cannot satisfy the second prong (whether RTC “purposefully availed” itself

of the privileges of conducting business in Florida). Plaintiff’s conclusory and generalized

allegations that RTC, along with other defendants, engaged in some form of tortious activity that

targeted Plaintiff who may or may not have resided in Florida at the time is insufficient to establish

that RTC purposefully availed itself of the privileges of conducting business in Florida. See, e.g.,

Gazelles FL, Inc. v. Cupp, No. 6:18-cv-544, 2018 WL 7364591, at *9-13 (M.D. Fla. Sept. 28,

2018) (plaintiff did not establish how defendants benefitted from Florida’s laws, and therefore

14
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

jurisdiction would arise based only on defendants’ “connection to Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s contacts

with Florida.”); Estes, 259 So. 3d 197-98 (finding that plaintiffs had not established purposeful

availment because defendants’ limited contacts with Florida, could not alone form the basis for

defendants to “reasonably anticipate being haled into a Florida court.”); Fincantieri, 241 So. 3d at

946 (finding no adequate connection between Florida and the alleged tortious acts to support a

finding of specific jurisdiction). In sum, “mere injury to a forum resident is not a sufficient

connection to the forum.” Id. As is clear from a plain reading of the Complaint, RTC does not

“avail” itself of the privileges of conducting business in Florida, and RTC’s alleged activities

towards Plaintiff does not establish “availment.” See McShane Dec., ¶¶ 6-14.

Finally, Plaintiff cannot show that the exercise of personal jurisdiction over RTC would be

fair or reasonable. “‘The facts of each case must [always] be weighed’ in determining whether

personal jurisdiction would comport with “fair play and substantial justice.” Venetian Salami,

supra, 554 So. 2d at 501 (quoting Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 485 (1985)).

Throughout the Complaint, Plaintiff does not attempt to identify when, where, how, or which of

RTC’s officers, employees, agents, or representatives, if any, committed the supposed conduct.

Her conclusory allegations of being “trafficked,” “abused,” “punished,” “sentenced,”

“imprisoned,” “spied upon,” or having her unidentifiable property “vandalized” falls far short of

satisfying her burden. At bottom, Plaintiff fails to allege a single ultimate fact supporting such

allegations against RTC.

For the foregoing reasons, all claims against RTC should be dismissed for lack of personal

jurisdiction.

II. VENUE IS IMPROPER IN MIAMI-DADE AND MORE APPROPRIATELY LIES


IN PINELLAS COUNTY FOR ALL DEFENDANTS.

In the event this Court finds jurisdiction over RTC, RTC submits in the alternative that

15
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

Miami-Dade County is an improper venue and that this action should be transferred to Pinellas

County, for the reasons that follow:

A defendant may move to transfer a matter for improper venue. Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.060(b);

Carr v. Stetson, 741 So. 2d 567, 569 (Fla. 4th DCA 1999). Section 47.011, Florida Statutes

provides that “[a]ctions shall be brought only in the county where the defendant resides, where the

cause of action accrued, or where the property in litigation is located.” § 47.011, Fla. Stat.

Pursuant to Section 47.011, venue is improper in Miami-Dade County and is appropriate in

Pinellas County. If this Court does not dismiss RTC for lack of personal jurisdiction, in an

abundance of caution and in the interest of preserving all challenges and waiving none, RTC

submits that venue for this action as to RTC and all defendants is most appropriate in Pinellas

County, Florida, the county in which the alleged torts occurred. See Compl. at ¶¶ 57-59, 68-70,

72, 90-91. RTC hereby adopts and incorporates by reference all arguments advanced by the FSO,

CA and Church of Scientology International (“CSI”) in their respective motions challenging

venue. For the reasons set forth in their briefs, FSO and CA have been improperly sued in Miami-

Dade County and are statutorily entitled to transfer of venue to Pinellas County.

Further, RTC notes that Plaintiff’s venue allegation is expressly predicated on Section

47.051, Fla. Stat., but which does not establish venue in Miami-Dade County. Section 47.051

provides that “[a]ctions against foreign corporations doing business in this state shall be brought

in a county where such corporation has an agent or other representative, where the cause of action

accrued, or where the property in litigation is located.” § 47.051, Fla. Stat. Plaintiff makes no

allegation that any cause of action accrued in Miami-Dade County, nor could she. Nor does she

identify or even that any property that may be the subject of this action is located in Miami-Dade

County. Finally, Plaintiff’s allegation that RTC has an agent or representative in Miami-Dade

16
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

County is false. See McShane Dec. at ¶ 6.

The Complaint is otherwise devoid of any facts facially demonstrating a nexus to Miami-

Dade County. In particular, the Complaint includes no allegation of any residency or domicile of

Plaintiff, see Compl. at ¶ 1, concedes that the Florida defendants—FSO and CA—are residents of

Pinellas County, have business operations in Pinellas County, and have registered agents in

Pinellas County, see Compl. at ¶¶ 2-5, and alleges that tortious conduct took place in Pinellas

County, see Compl. at ¶¶ 57-63, 68-71. Moreover, in addition to the arguments set forth below,

transferring venue for two resident defendants militates heavily in favor of transferring the entire

matter to the courts of Pinellas County. RTC respectfully requests this Court to transfer this action

because Pinellas County would be a more convenient forum to litigate the matter.

Florida Statute § 47.122 permits courts to transfer any case to another Florida venue in

which a party could have brought the case where it is more convenient for the parties or the

witnesses, or if transfer is in the interest of justice. Id. The decision to transfer venue to a more

convenient forum is one made in the court’s discretion. Fla. Patient’s Comp. Fund v. Fla.

Physicians’ Ins. Reciprocal, 507 So. 2d 778, 779 (Fla. 3d DCA 1987). Courts must take into

account the three enumerated statutory factors when deciding whether to transfer venue: (i)

convenience for the parties; (ii) convenience for the witnesses; and (iii) the interest of justice.

Universal Pro. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Long, 157 So. 3d 382, 383 (Fla. 2d DCA 2015). Indeed, “the

trial court must balance this choice [of venue] against the convenience of all the parties and the

witnesses.” E.I. DuPont De Nemours & Co. v. Fuzzell, 681 So. 2d 1195, 1197 (Fla. 2d DCA

1996). Of the three statutory factors, the most important factor is the convenience of the witnesses.

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. v. Estate of Chavez ex rel. Hernandez, 8 So. 3d 1157, 1159 (Fla. 3d

DCA 2009).

17
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

Factor one (convenience of the parties) compels the conclusion that Pinellas County is the

proper venue and most convenient forum for this case. Although Plaintiff proceeds in this case

pseudonymously and her Complaint is utterly devoid of any residence, domicile or jurisdiction

allegations as to herself, on information and belief, Plaintiff is a resident of Pinellas County.

According to the Complaint, Defendants FSO and Clearwater Academy are residents of Pinellas

County and have registered agents in Pinellas County. See Compl. ¶¶ 2-5. Additionally, the

majority of the predicate facts as pleaded in the Complaint relate to entities (other than RTC) that

are located in or headquartered in Pinellas County. See, e.g., Compl. ¶¶ 27-41. Predicate acts

forming the basis of Plaintiff’s claims generally likewise are alleged to have occurred in Pinellas

County. See, e.g., Compl. ¶¶ 57-63 (regarding Plaintiff’s attendance and alleged abuse at

Clearwater Academy); 68-71 (regarding Plaintiff’s membership in Sea Org and alleged assault by

the “Senior Persof of the Hubbard Communication office, Katherine Richie.”) Finally, RTC has

no presence or business activities in Miami-Dade County. See McShane Dec. at ¶ 6. As such, it

will be more convenient for all parties to prepare and argue their cases in the location underlying

many of the allegations which, according to the Complaint, is Pinellas County. In comparison,

none of Plaintiff’s allegations are claimed to have occurred in Miami-Dade. The only connection

between Plaintiff’s chosen venue and the case appears to be one of Plaintiff’s counsel, who are

located in Miami-Dade. This alone is an insufficient basis to sustain venue in Miami-Dade. See

E.I. DuPont De Nemours & Co., 681 So. 2d at 1197; Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. v.

Widdick, 717 So. 2d 572, 574 (Fla. 1st DCA 1998); Sullivan v. Klein, 691 So. 2d 21, 22 (Fla. 3d

DCA 1997).

Factor two (convenience of the witnesses) likewise compels the conclusion that Pinellas

County is the appropriate venue and most convenient forum for this case in Florida. To consider

18
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

the convenience of witnesses, “the court must know who the witnesses are [.]” Fla. Health Sciences

Center, Inc. v. Elsenheimer, 952 So. 2d 575, 578 (Fla. 2d DCA 2007). Based on a plain reading

of the barebones and conclusory allegations in the Complaint, the vast majority of the alleged

events occurred in Pinellas County. Based only on what can be discerned from a plain reading of

the Complaint, non-party witnesses will likely be present in Pinellas County. It will be most

convenient for these witnesses, if called to testify and/or attend trial proceedings, to do so in the

county in which they reside. In contrast, the Complaint does not allege any facts identifying any

material witness that might reside in Miami-Dade. Under these circumstances, Miami-Dade is an

inconvenient forum. See Widdick, 717 So. 2d at 574 (finding that the trial court abused its

discretion in denying the defendant’s motion to transfer venue where no material witnesses from

the chosen venue were identified).

Factor three (a determination of the “interest of justice”) also compels the conclusion that

Pinellas County is the appropriate venue and most convenient forum for this case in Florida. Here,

the court must consider whether it is being asked to hear a case that “has no nexus to the

community” in which the court sits. E.I. DuPont de Nemours, 681 So. 2d at 1197. In this case,

none of the events alleged took place in Miami-Dade County. For this Court to retain jurisdiction

over this matter would mean expenditure of this circuit’s judicial resources unnecessarily. It also

would mean having to transport evidence and witnesses to an unrelated location. The convenience

of the parties and expected witnesses, as well as the interest of justice, weigh heavily against

Plaintiff’s choice of venue in Miami-Dade County. Pinellas County would be a more convenient

venue for all parties because it is where the causes of action accrued, the parties and anticipated

witnesses are located, and the evidence and sites are found. Therefore, RTC requests that this

Court exercise its discretion and transfer venue to Pinellas County in accordance with Florida

19
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

Statutes, section 47.122.

Finally, because there is absolutely no nexus of any claims in the Complaint to Plaintiff’s

chosen forum, the public interest militates in favor of transferring venue to Pinellas County. See

Rolls-Royce, Inc. v. Garcia, 77 So. 3d 855, 861 (Fla. 3d DCA 2012) (“In broad terms, this inquiry

focuses on whether the case has a general nexus with the forum sufficient to justify the forum’s

commitment of judicial time and resources to it.”) (citations omitted). While the Plaintiff’s

allegations do not reveal the location of the tortious activity attributed to RTC, none suggest that

Miami-Dade has any nexus to the dispute that would outweigh California’s interest in regulating

the conduct of its residents.

For the foregoing reasons, venue is not proper in Miami-Dade county but is proper in

Pinellas County. Accordingly, this action should be transferred to Pinellas County.

III. SHOULD THIS COURT FIND PERSONAL JURISDICTION OVER RTC,


PLAINTIFF SHOULD BE COMPELLED TO ARBITRATE HER CLAIMS AND
THIS MATTER SHOULD BE DISMISSED OR STAYED.

Should the Court determine that RTC is subject to personal jurisdiction in Florida, RTC

intends to petition the Court for an order compelling Plaintiff to arbitrate this matter pursuant to

several agreements in which she agreed to arbitrate “any dispute, claim or controversy” between

her and any “Scientology Organization.” RTC is a Scientology Organization. See McShane Dec.

¶ 4. RTC does not at this time move to compel arbitration to the extent that such a motion could

be deemed a waiver of RTC’s objection to personal jurisdiction and such a motion would be

premature prior to a determination that any Florida court has jurisdiction to hear the motion. Sprint

Corp. v. Telimagine, Inc., 923 So. 2d 525 (Fla. DCA 2D 2005); see also Fountainebleau, LLC v.

Hire Us, Inc., 273 So. 3d 1152, 1157 (Fla. 2d DCA 2019) (before court is permitted to invoke

arbitration, it is required first to determine personal jurisdiction over defendant).

20
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

* * *

In an abundance of caution, and in the interest of preserving all challenges and objections

and waiving none, RTC raises alternative grounds in favor of dismissing all or part of the

Complaint in Sections IV, V and VI below,5 as follows:

IV. THE COMPLAINT IS AN IMPERMISSIBLE “SHOTGUN PLEADING” AND


SHOULD BE DISMISSED

The Complaint amounts to an impermissible “shotgun pleading.” First, Plaintiff’s claims

are defective because she engages in impermissible group pleading. Rule 1.110(f) of the Florida

Rules of Civil Procedure states in pertinent part that “[e]ach claim founded upon a separate

transaction or occurrence . . . shall be stated in a separate count . . . when a separation facilitates

the clear presentation of the matter set forth.” Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.110(f) (emphasis added).

Additionally, in derogation of this rule, the paragraphs of the Complaint, which purport to

allege a series of claims, are reincorporated by reference into each and every other count of the

Complaint. In addition, the Complaint impermissibly lumps together a series of undifferentiated

defendants, failing to provide notice to RTC of any facts that form the basis of each claim against

it as required by Rule 1.110. See Pratus v. City of Naples, 807 So. 2d 795, 797 (Fla. 2d DCA

2002). Counts VII, VIII and X are asserted against Flag Service, CSI, RTC, and David Miscavige.

Counts IX and XI are asserted against all Defendants.

A complaint that strings together legal conclusions and theories does not establish a claim

for relief. Barrett v. City of Margate, 743 So. 2d 1160, 1163 (Fla. 4th DCA 1999). Florida courts

5
Raising challenges to Plaintiff’s ability to state a claim upon which relief can be granted are
expressly done as alternative arguments and do not amount to a waiver of RTC’s right to compel
arbitration should the Court find jurisdiction over RTC. See AMS Staff Leasing, Inc. v. Ocha
Engineering Corp., 139 So. 3d 452, 454 (Fla. 3d DCA 2014) (citing Houchins v. King Motor Co.
of Fort Lauderdale, Inc., 906 So. 2d 325, 328 (Fla. 4th DCA 2005); Hirschfeld v. Crescent Heights,
X Inc., 707 So. 2d 955, 956 (Fla. 3d DCA 1998)).
21
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

have long recognized the infirmities of the shotgun pleading style and the untenable position the

court and defendants are placed in when contending with such pleadings. See Dubus v. McArthur,

682 So. 2d 1246, 1246 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996) (“It is apparent that the task of the trial court here was

made more difficult because the appellants' amended complaint improperly attempts to state in a

single count separate causes of action for vicarious liability and for negligent entrustment.”); see

also Aspsoft, Inc. v. WebClay, 983 So. 2d 761, 768 (Fla. 5th DCA 2008).

Conspicuously missing from the Complaint are any specific factual allegations as to what

RTC allegedly did wrong. As a result, the Complaint fails to give RTC adequate notice of the

claims against it and the grounds upon which each claim rests. Coupled with the fact that Plaintiff

has pleaded the claims pseudonymously, RTC is utterly unable to know what conduct is attributed

to RTC, who its accuser is, and how it might defend against her claims. All claims in Plaintiff’s

shotgun Complaint should be dismissed for this fundamental reason. See, e.g., Dubus, 682 So. 2d

at 1246 (“It is apparent that the task of the trial court here was made more difficult because the

appellants’ amended complaint improperly attempts to state in a single count separate causes of

action for vicarious liability and for negligent entrustment.”); see also Aspsoft, 983 So. 2d at 768.

Indeed, such “shotgun style” pleadings are highly disfavored and roundly criticized by state courts

in Florida and merit dismissal either on motion of a defendant or sua sponte by the Court on that

basis alone. See, e.g., Pratus, 807 So. 2d at 797; Barrett, 743 So. 2d at 1163; Dubus, 682 So. 2d

at 1246; Aspsoft, 983 So. 2d at 768.

For the foregoing reasons, the Complaint should be dismissed as an impermissible shotgun

pleading.

V. PLAINTIFF FAILS TO STATE A CLAIM AGAINST RTC

If the Court is not inclined to dismiss the Complaint on the above grounds, the Complaint

22
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

must be dismissed as to RTC for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, as set

forth below.

A meritless complaint is properly disposed of through a motion to dismiss. See Ellison v.

City of Ft. Lauderdale, 175 So. 2d 198, 200 (Fla. 1965). To survive a motion to dismiss, a plaintiff

must plead ultimate facts sufficient to state a claim that is “plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal,

556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)).

Although all well-pleaded material allegations should be taken as true, see Ellison, 175 So. 2d at

200, courts “need not accept internally inconsistent factual claims, conclusory allegations,

unwarranted deductions, or mere legal conclusions made by a party,” W.R. Townsend Contracting,

Inc. v. Jensen Civil Constr., Inc., 728 So. 2d 297, 300 (Fla. 1st DCA 1999) (citing Response

Oncology, Inc. v. Metrahealth Ins. Co., 978 F. Supp. 1052, 1058 (S.D. Fla. 1997)).

As such, “a complaint that simply strings together a series of sentences and paragraphs

containing legal conclusions and theories does not establish a claim for relief.” Davis v. Bay Cty.

Jail, 155 So. 3d 1173 (Fla. 1st DCA 2014) (citing Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.110); Barrett, 743 So. 2d at

1162–63 (“It is insufficient to plead opinions, theories, legal conclusions or argument.”); Maiden

v. Carter, 234 So. 2d 168, 170 (Fla. 1st DCA 1970) (“It is a fundamental principle of pleading that

the complaint, to be sufficient, must allege ultimate facts as distinguished from legal conclusions

which, if proved, would establish a cause of action for which relief may be granted.”). Simply put,

the “[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right of relief above the speculative level.”

Watts v. Fla. Int'l Univ., 495 F.3d 1289, 1295 (11th Cir. 2007)

A. Counts VII, VIII and IX are Time-Barred

A statute of limitations is designed to protect a defendant from unfair surprise and stale

claims. See Fla. Dep’t of Health & Rehabilitative Servs. v. S.A.P., 835 So. 2d 1091, 1096 (Fla.

23
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

2002). Here, Counts VII, VIII and IX fail under the applicable statute of limitations.

Count VII alleges a violation of the Florida RICO statute against RTC and other

defendants. Count VII turns on allegations of “human trafficking” based on Plaintiff’s allegations

that, as a member of the Sea Org, she was subjected to “grueling physical labor and otherwise

exploit[ed] . . . .” Compl. ¶ 143. However, there is no specific time period ascribed to such conduct

under the claim-specific allegations. The only allegation of forced labor is set forth in paragraphs

66-68. One instance of “hard labor” occurred when Plaintiff alleges she reported a sexual assault

that occurred while living in Venezuela when she was 12-years old (approximately 2006). See

Compl. ¶ 66-67 (after reporting the alleged sexual assault, Jane Doe “was “sentenced . . . to three

months of hard physical labor.”). Another instance occurred when Plaintiff alleges was a member

of the Sea Org at age 14 (approximately 2008). See Compl. ¶ 68 (“during her time as a member

of the Sea Org, Jane Doe was subjected to long hours of difficult physical labor for little to no

wages.”) No other events or instances set forth in the Complaint allege activity that would fall

within the scope of Count VII. And, despite a conclusory, self-serving statement and highly

confusing statement that “[t]he last of such above-described human trafficking incidents occurred

within five years after a previous instance of human trafficking activity by Defendants Flag

Service, CSI, RTC and Miscavige,” Compl. ¶ 144, there is nothing alleged that would bring any

such conduct within the five year statute of limitations applicable to Florida RICO claims. See

Fla. Stat. § 895.05(10). As such, Plaintiff’s Florida RICO claim is time barred and must be

dismissed.

Count VIII alleging False Imprisonment and Count IX alleging Intentional Infliction of

Emotional Distress are also time barred. Both are governed by a 4-year statute of limitations under

Florida law. Fla. Stat. § 95.11. These claims purport to be based on events that occurred

24
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

approximately thirteen years ago, as the Plaintiff herself reveals. See Compl., at ¶¶ 64, 67-68. As

such, these counts, as well as any other counts that rely on acts or omissions that occurred outside

of the applicable limitations period, should be dismissed for this additional reason. See Bott v.

City of Marathon, 949 So. 2d 295, 296 (Fla. 3d DCA 2007) (holding that if expiration of the

limitation period is evident from the Complaint, dismissal on statute of limitations grounds is

appropriate); Nationstar Mortg., LLC v. Sunderman, 201 So. 3d 139, 140 (Fla. 3d DCA 2015) (a

party can raise a statute of limitations defense in a motion to dismiss if that defense appears on the

face of the complaint).

There being no grounds for tolling the statutes of limitations discussed above, Counts VII,

VIII and IX are time-barred and must be dismissed.

B. Plaintiff Fails to State a Claim for Violation of Florida RICO (Count VII)

Plaintiff purports to state a claim under Fla. Stat. § 772.101 et seq., Florida’s RICO statute

modeled on the federal RICO Act and interpreted by courts in accordance with federal case law.

This claim against RTC fails for the following reasons.

First, as a threshold matter, Plaintiff lacks standing to assert a RICO claim because she has

not alleged damages to her business or property. To have standing to bring a private civil action

under the federal RICO Act, a plaintiff must allege and incur injury to his “business or property,”

the definition of which specifically excludes personal injuries. Section 1964(c) of RICO, which

creates the sole private, civil cause of action for damages inflicted by racketeering activity,

provides in pertinent part that:

Any person injured in his business or property by reason of a violation of section 1962 of
this chapter may sue therefor in any appropriate United States district court and shall
recover threefold the damages he sustains and the cost of the suit, including reasonable
attorney’s fees...

18 U.S.C. § 1964(c). Plaintiffs who fail to allege injury to their business or property and only

25
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

allege personal injuries have no standing to bring a civil RICO claim. Because Florida modeled

its RICO statute on the federal RICO Act, and because Florida courts look to federal RICO

decisions to interpret their own statute, Florida courts require an injury to business or property to

establish standing under Florida's RICO act. See, e.g., O'Malley v. St. Thomas University, Inc.,

599 So. 2d 999, 1000 (Fla. 3d DCA 1992). Having failed to allege injury to her business or

property, Plaintiff lacks standing to assert a RICO claim.

Second, like its federal counterpart, Florida’s RICO statute also requires a plaintiff to plead,

as an essential prima facie element of a RICO claim, an “enterprise” that is separate and distinct

from the corporate RICO defendant that is alleged to have committed the predicate racketeering

violations. See Palmas Bambu, S.A. v. E.I. Dupont De Nemours & Co., 881 So. 2d 565 (Fla. 3d

DCA 2004). The “distinctness” requirement is rooted in the axiom that a person cannot conspire

with himself:

Because a corporation can only function through its employees and agents, any act of the
corporation can be viewed as an act of such an enterprise, and the enterprise is in reality no
more than the defendant himself. Thus, where employees of a corporation associate
together to commit a pattern of predicate acts in the course of their employment and on
behalf of the corporation, the employees in association with the corporation do not form an
enterprise distinct from the corporation.

Bambu, 881 So. 2d at 575. In order for a the RICO claim to be cognizable, the corporation must

engage in a pattern of racketeering activity through an enterprise that includes more than itself or

its subparts. See id.

Plaintiff has not met the requirement of distinctness. Instead, she has alleged that

Defendants (including RTC) consist of a single network of centrally controlled entities that act

through its various employees and agents. See Compl. at ¶¶ 12, 139. Such allegations, taken as

true for purposes of this Motion, preclude Plaintiff from establishing “distinctness” and fail to state

a claim for a RICO violation For the foregoing reasons, Count VII must be dismissed.

26
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

C. Plaintiff Fails to State a Claim for Civil Conspiracy (Count XI)

Count XI for Civil Conspiracy, asserted against all Defendants collectively, fails. Pursuant

to the intra-corporate conspiracy doctrine, “neither an agent nor an employee can conspire with

his or her corporate principal or employer.” Mancinelli v. Davis, 217 So. 3d 1034, 1036–37 (Fla.

4th DCA 2017) (citing Richard Bertram, Inc. v. Sterling Bank & Trust, 820 So. 2d 963, 966 (Fla.

4th DCA 2002)). “This doctrine stems from basic agency principles that attribute the acts of agents

of a corporation to the corporation, so that all of their acts are considered to be those of a single

legal actor.” Mancinelli, 217 So. 3d at 1037 (citations omitted). Because a civil conspiracy

requires an agreement between two or more parties, “it is not possible for a single legal entity

consisting of the corporation and its agents to conspire with itself.” Id.; see also Cedar Hills Props.

Corp. v. E. Fed. Corp., 575 So. 2d 673, 676 (Fla. 1st DCA 1991) (“Since a corporation is a legal

entity which can only act through its agents, officers and employees, a corporation cannot conspire

with its own agents unless the agent has a personal stake in the activities that are separate and

distinct from the corporation's interest.”). The doctrine thus precludes the claim of conspiracy

against individuals and their corporation for wholly internal agreements to commit wrongful or

actionable conduct.

And yet, this is precisely what Plaintiff has claimed. Plaintiff has alleged that the

“Institutional Defendants,” of which RTC is supposedly a member, is a single “network” of

centrally-controlled organizations known as the Church of Scientology. Compl., at ¶ 12.

Throughout the Complaint, in fact, the so-called Institutional Defendants are alleged to operate as

a single unit, such that there is no differentiation in their respective conduct or purported liability.

And, because Count XI incorporates all prior paragraphs, see Compl. at ¶ 173, it necessarily

incorporates and relies upon the allegation that “Defendants Flag Service, CSI, RTC, and

27
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

Miscavige are all engaged individually and collectively, as part of the entity known as the ‘Church

of Scientology.’” Id. at ¶ 139. While seeking to have Defendants treated as a single entity,

Plaintiff simultaneously purports to state a claim for civil conspiracy, a claim which requires an

agreement between two or more parties. See Kurnow v. Abbott, 114 So. 3d 1099, 1102 (Fla. 1st

DCA 2013). A single entity cannot conspire with itself. For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff’s civil

conspiracy claim fails as a matter of law and should be dismissed.

D. Plaintiff Fails to State a Claim for Invasion of Privacy (Count X)

Plaintiff additionally fails to state a claim for invasion of privacy. Under Florida law, the

tort of invasion of privacy consists of four distinct wrongs:

(1) appropriation—the unauthorized use of a person's name or likeness to obtain


some benefit; (2) intrusion—physically or electronically intruding into one's private
quarters; (3) public disclosure of private facts—the dissemination of truthful private
information which a reasonable person would find objectionable; and (4) false light
in the public eye—publication of facts which place a person in a false light even
though the facts themselves may not be defamatory.

Allstate Ins. Co. v. Ginsberg, 863 So. 2d 156, 162 (Fla. 2003). Importantly, the tort of invasion of

privacy was not intended to duplicate other torts. Rather, the focus of this tort is the “right of a

private person to be free from public gaze.” See id. In order to state a cause of action for the

invasion of privacy under the intrusion theory (i.e., physically or electronically intruding into one's

private quarters) the intrusion of the plaintiff must be shown to have been in “a vicious and

malicious manner not reasonably limited to a legitimate purpose.” Catania v. E. Airlines, Inc., 381

So. 2d 265, 268 (Fla. 3d DCA 1980). To constitute an invasion of privacy, the intrusion must be

highly offensive to a reasonable person. See Stoddard v. Wohlfahrt, 573 So. 2d 1060, 1062–63

(Fla. 5th DCA 1991).

Florida courts have recognized that a defendant’s conduct in shadowing, snooping, spying,

or eavesdropping upon a plaintiff may constitute an actionable tort for invasion of privacy. Tucker

28
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

v. Am. Employers’ Ins. Co., 171 So. 2d 437, (Fla. 2d DCA 1965). A cause of action for invasion

of privacy, however, generally does not apply to matters that occur in a public place or a place that

is open to the public eye. See Wolfson v. Lewis, 924 F. Supp. 1413, 1421 (E.D. Pa. 1996) (citing

Florida law); see also Restatement (Second) of Torts § 652B comment b and c (noting that

watching or observing an individual in a public place, or taking a picture of someone from a public

vantage point generally is not an invasion of privacy).

Here, Plaintiff’s allegations fail to adequately plead the manner in which and how RTC

allegedly shadowed, spied, eavesdropped, stalked, or surveilled her. See Compl., at ¶ 168(c).

Plaintiff merely alleges, in conclusory fashion and without differentiating between the Defendants,

that they regularly, repeatedly, and with malicious motive invaded Plaintiff’s right to privacy. See

Compl., at ¶ 168. It is therefore unknown whether these alleged activities took place while Plaintiff

“secluded” herself within her home, or whether these activities took place in a public location. See

Wolfson, 924 F. Supp. at 1421. Moreover, Plaintiff pleads additional facts and damages that are

unrelated to the tort of invasion of privacy. For example, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants tampered

with her vehicle and vandalized her property. See Compl., at ¶ 168(c). The invasion of privacy tort

is not broad enough to encompass claims of vandalism and tampering with an individual’s vehicle.

See Allstate, 863 So. 2d at 162 (the focus of this tort is the “right of a private person to be free

from public gaze.”). Accordingly, because Plaintiff fails to properly allege a claim for invasion of

privacy, the cause of action should be dismissed.

E. All Claims Should Be Dismissed With Prejudice as to RTC

All claims are insufficiently pleaded and must therefore be dismissed with prejudice. To

permit Plaintiff the opportunity to amend and replead would be futile. See, e.g., Broz v. R.E. Reece,

272 So. 3d 512, 514 (Fla. 3d DCA 2019) (affirming dismissal with prejudice on grounds of

29
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

futility). It would also not serve the ends of justice to permit Plaintiff to continue to harass, abuse

and oppress Defendant RTC with costly litigation simply by allowing Plaintiff to amend the

Complaint. Accordingly, all claims against RTC should be dismissed with prejudice.

V. ALTERNATIVELY, RTC MOVES FOR A MORE DEFINITE STATEMENT

Alternatively, Rule 1.140(e) of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure provides that “if a

pleading to which a responsive pleading is permitted is so vague or ambiguous that a party cannot

reasonably be required to frame a responsive pleading, that party may move for a more definite

statement before interposing a responsive pleading. . . .” As such, “[t]he function of a motion for

more definite statement is to require that a vague, indefinite, or ambiguous pleading be so amended

as to enable the party required to respond thereto to intelligently discern the issues to be litigated

and to properly frame his answer or reply.” Conklin v. Boyd, 189 So. 2d 401, 404 (Fla. 1st DCA

1966); see also Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.140(e). A motion for a more definite statement is directed to

vagueness and ambiguity; therefore, when a complaint is so vague and indefinite that it cannot be

properly responded to, the remedy for such a defect lies in pressing for a more definite statement.

See Foreman v. Seaboard Coastline R. Co., 279 So. 2d 825 (Fla. 1973); see also Smith v. Piatt

Motors, Inc., 137 So. 2d 239 (Fla. 1st DCA 1962).

A cursory review of the Complaint compels dismissal of all counts against RTC on this

basis alone. For instance, Plaintiff’s claims for Florida RICO, false imprisonment, civil

conspiracy, and invasion of privacy are so vague and ambiguous that it does not state a cause of

action under Florida law and RTC cannot reasonably be required to frame a responsive pleading.

Thus, RTC alternatively moves this Court for an order requiring Plaintiff to file a more definite

statement before RTC is required to file a responsive pleading. With respect to the RICO claim,

Plaintiff merely alleges that Defendants RTC, CSI, Flag Service, and Miscavige engaged in human

30
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

trafficking when “they committed, attempted to commit, conspired to commit, solicited, coerced,

and/or intimidated others, including Scientology members, agents, employees, representatives,

servants, affiliates, and/or personnel, to solicit, harbor, entice, recruit, coerce, maintain, and/or

obtain Plaintiff for the purpose of exerting control over Plaintiff and subjecting her to forced labor

and services in the Sea Org for their financial benefit.” Compl., at ¶ 142. Likewise, in her false

imprisonment claim, Plaintiff alleges in conclusory fashion that RTC, Flag Service, CSI, and

Miscavige unlawfully restrained and deprived her of her liberty. See Compl., at ¶ 152. These

boilerplate allegations that refer to the Defendants indiscriminately do not adequately apprise RTC

of what, if any, improper conduct Plaintiff alleges against RTC. Accordingly, Plaintiff should be

required to file a more definite statement as to each of her claims.

WHEREFORE, Defendant, RELIGIOUS TECHNOLOGY CENTER, respectfully

requests that this Court grant this Motion to Dismiss the Complaint for lack of jurisdiction. Should

the Court finds jurisdiction over RTC, RTC submits that this case is not properly filed in Miami-

Dade County and should be transferred to Pinellas County, Florida. Moreover, should the Court

find jurisdiction over RTC, RTC intends to petition the Court for an order compelling Plaintiff to

arbitrate this matter. In the alternative, and only if this Court finds jurisdiction over RTC, RTC

requests that this Court dismiss the Complaint as an improper shotgun pleading and the individual

counts for the reasons discussed above. Finally, in the alternative, Plaintiff seeks an order requiring

Plaintiff to replead and provide a more definite statement of claims, and to award such other and

further relief the Court deems just and proper.

DLA PIPER LLP (US)

/s/ Christopher Oprison _


Christopher Oprison, Esq.
Florida Bar No. 122080
Primary Email: chris.oprison@dlapiper.com

31
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

Secondary Email: monica.tucker@dlapiper.com


Ardith Bronson, Esq.
Florida Bar No. 423025
Primary Email: ardith.bronson@dlapiper.com
Janelly Crespo, Esq.
Florida Bar No. 124073
Primary Email: janelly.crespo@dlapiper.com
200 South Biscayne Blvd., Suite 2500
Miami, Florida 33131
Tel.: (305) 423-8522
Fax: (305) 675-6366

Counsel for Defendant Religious Technology Center

32
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I HEREBY CERTIFY that a true and correct copy of the foregoing was furnished
electronically upon filing with the e-Filing Portal this November 18, 2019 to all entitled parties
and counsel of record:

Ricardo M. Martinez-Cid
Florida Bar No. 383988
Email: RMCTeam@podhurst.com
Lea P. Bucciero
Florida Bar No. 84763
Email: RMCTeam@podhurst.com
PODHURST ORSECK, P.A.
SunTrust International Center
One SE Third Avenue, Suite 2300
Miami, FL 33131
Tel.: (305) 358-2800
Fax: (305) 358-2382

Brian D. Kent, Esq.


Gaetano D' Andrea, Esq.
M. Stewart Ryan, Esq.
Helen L. Fitzpatrick, Esq.
Lauren Stram, Esq.
LAFFEY, BUCCI & KENT, LLP
1435 Walnut Street, Suite 700
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 399-9255/Fax: (215) 241-8700
(Pro Hac Vice admission pending for
all attorneys)

Jeffrey P. Fritz, Esq.


SOLOFF & ZERVANOS, P.C.
1525 Locust Street, 8t1 Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 732-2260/Fax: (215) 732-2289
(Pro Hac Vice admission pending)

Marci Hamilton, Esq.


University of Pennsylvania?
Fox-Fels Building
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 353-8984/Fax: (215) 493-1094
(Pro Hac Vice admission pending)

33
Defendant RTC’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint
Case No. 19-27633 CA 01

Robert W. Thompson, Esq.


Kristen A. Vierhaus, Esq.
THOMPSON LAW OFFICES, P.C.
700 Airport Boulevard, Suite 160
Burlingame, CA 94010
(650) 513-6111
Fax: (650) 513-6071
(Pro Hac Vice admission pending)

DLA PIPER LLP (US)

/s/ Christopher Oprison _


Christopher Oprison, Esq.
Florida Bar No. 0122080
Primary Email: chris.oprison@dlapiper.com
Secondary Email: monica.tucker@dlapiper.com
200 South Biscayne Blvd., Suite 2500
Miami, Florida 33131
Tel.: (305) 423-8522
Fax: (305) 675-6366

Counsel for Defendant Religious Technology Center

34
EXHIBIT A