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No.

B__________
IN THE CALIFORNIA COURT OF APPEAL
SECOND APPELLATE DISTRICT

VALERIE HANEY,
Plaintiff and Petitioner,
v.
SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA,
COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES,
Respondent.

CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY INTERNATIONAL, et al.,


Defendants and Real Parties in Interest.

PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE

Los Angeles County Superior Court Case No. 19STCV21210


Honorable Richard J. Burdge, Jr.
Department No. 37

Valerie T. McGinty (SBN: 250508) Robert W. Thompson (250038)


valerie@plaintiffsappeals.com Thompson Law Offices
Certified Appellate Specialist, State Bar 700 Airport Boulevard, Suite 160
Law Office of Valerie T. McGinty Burlingame, CA 94010
524 Fordham Road Telephone: (650) 513-6111
San Mateo, CA 94402 Facsimile: (650) 513-6071
Telephone: (415) 305-8253
Facsimile: (415) 373-3703

Marci Hamilton, Esq. Graham E. Berry


(Pro Hac Vice Admission Pending) Law Office of Graham E. Berry
hamilton.marci@gmail.com 3384 McLaughlin Ave.
University of Pennsylvania Los Angeles, CA 90066-2005
Fox-Fels Building Telephone: (310) 745-3771
3814 Walnut Street Facsimile: (310) 745-3771
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Telephone: (215) 353-8984
Facsimile: (215) 493-1094

Attorneys for Plaintiff and Petitioner Valerie Haney


CERTIFICATE OF INTERESTED ENTITIES

(Cal. Rules of Court, Rules 8.208, 8488)

Petitioner Valerie Haney knows of no other entity of person that


must be listed as an interested party under Rules 8.208 and 8.488.

DATE: September 10, 2020 ______________________

Valerie T. McGinty

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................... 8

PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE .................................................. 9

I. Issues presented. ................................................................................... 9

(1) Does a nonbeliever have the right to refuse a “religious arbitration”


under the First Amendment where such “arbitration” process specifies that
all “arbitrators” shall be ministers of the religion who are charged with
applying that religion’s “doctrine”? .............................................................. 9
(2) Does a court lack the power under the First Amendment to enforce
an agreement for “religious arbitration”? ...................................................... 9
(3) Does a religious institution’s practice of pressuring of an individual
to hurry up and sign agreements in the presence of an armed guard while
refusing to provide any copies render the agreements procedurally
unconscionable? ............................................................................................ 9
(4) Where a religious institution abuses a child from the age of 5 and
prevents her from learning about her rights, does a non-mutual “agreement”
to arbitrate every possible claim and the requirement that all arbitrators be
Scientology ministers who shall apply the Scientology doctrine shock the
conscience so as to render the agreements substantively unconscionable and
thus unenforceable? ....................................................................................... 9
II. Relief sought..................................................................................... 10

III. Reservation of right to request a stay. ........................................... 10

IV. Authenticity of exhibits. .................................................................. 10

V. The parties. ...................................................................................... 10

VI. Factual background. ....................................................................... 11

A. Plaintiff was abused and trafficked. .................................................. 11


B. Plaintiff was moved to Scientology’s Headquarters, known as “Gold
Base,” where she was forced to sign a “billion year contract,” pledging a

3
billion-year commitment to Scientology—then she was abused, trapped,
and trafficked. .......................................................................................... 12
C. Starting in 2010, plaintiff was pressured to sign several non-mutual
arbitration agreements that required all arbitrators be “Scientologists in
good standing.” ........................................................................................ 14
D. After submitting “seven” “written requests to leave” that were all
denied, Plaintiff escaped in the trunk of a car and the Church cut off all
communication to her family who remained there. ................................. 16
E. The Church lured Ms. Haney back to sign one more arbitration
agreement under the watch of an armed guard, designating again that
each arbitrator would be a Scientology minister...................................... 16
F. After Ms. Haney left Scientology, defendants continued to harass her
and declared her a Suppressive Person. ................................................... 18
G. The trial court granted defendants’ motion to compel arbitration
and denied reconsideration....................................................................... 19
VII. Timeliness of petition. .................................................................. 19

VIII. Basis for writ relief—this case meets all applicable Omaha
factors. ....................................................................................................... 20

IX. Absence of adequate remedy. ......................................................... 22

X. Irreparable harm............................................................................. 23

PRAYER .................................................................................................... 25

VERIFICATION ....................................................................................... 26

MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES ........................ 27

I.

Standard of Review: Orders compelling arbitration are reviewed de


novo. ............................................................................................................ 27

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II.

Novel First Amendment Issue: Because the arbitration agreement


violates Petitioner’s First Amendment rights, the trial court’s order
compelling arbitration must be reversed. ............................................... 28
A. The First Amendment guarantees absolute freedom of religion. ...... 28
B. The agreement forces participation in a religious ritual: Under the
agreement, “any” “dispute” “necessarily raises” a “Scientology religious
issue that can be resolved only through the application of Scientology
doctrine.” .................................................................................................. 29
C. Courts lack the power to compel a nonbeliever to participate in a
religious ritual. ......................................................................................... 30
D. Because the agreement is illegal (compelling participation in a
religious ceremony), it is void.................................................................. 31
E. Courts in other states have invalidated religious arbitration
agreements that violate the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of
religion. .................................................................................................... 32
III.

Unconscionability: Because the arbitration agreement is both


procedurally and substantively unconscionable, the trial court’s order
compelling arbitration was error. ............................................................ 33
A. Unconscionability’s two elements (procedural and substantive) and
the sliding scale of unconscionability. ..................................................... 33
B. The agreement was highly procedurally unconscionable, containing
elements of oppression and surprise. ....................................................... 34
C. Substantive Unconscionability: The agreement was non-mutual and
ensures a biased arbitrator. ....................................................................... 36
1. In designating exclusively Scientologist ministers as the arbitrators,
the agreements ensure a biased arbitrator, lacking an “essential”
attribute of arbitration. .......................................................................... 37
2. The agreement was non-mutual, stating only Ms. Haney’s promise
to arbitrate—but not Defendants’. ........................................................ 38
CONCLUSION AND CERTIFICATION............................................... 40

5
TABLE OF AUTHORITIES

Cases
Armendariz v. Foundation Health Psychcare Services, Inc.
(2000) 24 Cal.4th 83 .............................................................. 31, 32, 33, 36
Barrett v. Superior Court (1990) 222 Cal.App.3d 1176 .............................. 21
Bruni v. Didion (2008) 160 Cal.App.4th 1272............................................ 33
Cantwell v. State of Connecticut (1940) 310 U.S. 296 ............................... 26
Chavarria v. Ralphs Grocery Co. (2013 9th Cir.) 733 F.3d 916 ................. 35
Cheng-Canindin v. Renaissance Hotel Assocs.
(1996) 50 Cal.App.4th 676 ...................................................................... 35
City of Allegheny v. ACLU (1989) 492 U.S. 573 ...................................... 26
Davis v. Kozak (2020) 2020 WL 5000760 ................................................. 25
Fitz v. NCR Corp. (2004) 118 Cal.App.4th 702 ......................................... 37
Flores v. Transamerica HomeFirst, Inc.
(2001) 93 Cal.App.4th 846 ................................................................ 31, 37
Gatton v. T-Mobile (2007) 152 Cal.App.4th 571........................................ 25
Gentry v. Superior Court (2007) 42 Cal.4th 443 ................................... 31, 33
Graham v. Scissor-Tail, Inc. (1981) 28 Cal.3d 807 .................................... 35
Higgins v. Superior Court (Disney/ABC Int’l Television, Inc.
(2006) 140 Cal.App.4th 1238 .................................................................. 36
Kinney v. United HealthCare Services, Inc.
(1999) 70 Cal.App.4th 1322 .................................................................... 32
Little v. Auto Stiegler, Inc. (2003) 29 Cal.4th 1064 ................................... 33
Marron v. Superior Court (2003) 108 Cal.App.4th 1049 ............................ 21
McDermott Will & Emery LLP v. Superior Court
(2017) 10 Cal.App.5th 1083 .................................................................... 17
McIntosh v. Mills (2004) 121 Cal.App.4th 333 .......................................... 29
Mercuro v. Superior Court (2002) 96 Cal.App.4th 167 .............................. 37
Nguyen v. Applied Med. Resources Corp.
(2016) 4 Cal.App.5th 232 ........................................................................ 21
Olson v. Cory (1983) 35 Cal.3d 390 ........................................................... 21
Omaha Indemnity Co. v. Superior Court (Greinke)
(1989) 209 Cal.App.3d 1266.................................................................... 19
Palma v. U.S. Industrial Fasteners, Inc.
(1984) 36 Cal.3d 171 ............................................................................... 23

6
Parada v. Superior Court (2009) 176 Cal.App.4th 758 ............................... 21
Phelan v. Superior Court of San Francisco (1950) 35 Cal.2d 363 .............. 20
Polanski v. Superior Court (2009) 180 Cal.App.4th 507 ............................ 17
Roberts v. Superior Court (1973) 9 Cal.3d 330 .......................................... 20
Sch. Dist. of Abington Twp. V. Schempp (1963) 374 U.S. 203 ................. 28
Science Applications Internat. Corp. v. Superior Court
(1995) 39 Cal.App.4th 1095 .................................................................... 18
Sieger v. Sieger (N.Y. App. 2002) 297 A.D. 2d 33 .................................... 30
State Bd. of Educ. v. Barnette (1943) 319 U.S. 624 ................................... 28
Suh v. Superior Court (2010) 181 Cal.App.4th 1504.................................. 25
Szetela v. Discover Bank (2002) 97 Cal.App.4th 1094 .............................. 20
Trivedi v. Curexo Technology Corp. (2010) 189 Cal.App.4th 387 ............ 33
Wallace v. Jaffree (1985) 472 U.S. 38 ........................................................ 29
Young Seok Suh v. Superior Court
(2010) 181 Cal.App.4th 1504 ............................................................ 32, 34
Zembsch v. Superior Court (2006) 146 Cal.App.4th 153 ........................... 18
Statutes
Civ. Code § 1550 ......................................................................................... 29
Civ. Code § 1598 ......................................................................................... 29
Rules
CRC 8.104(e) ............................................................................................... 17
Constitutional Provisions
Cal Const. art. I § 4 ...................................................................................... 29
First Amendment, U.S. Constitution ........................................................... 26

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INTRODUCTION

Petitioner, who escaped from traffickers in Scientology and now


rejects Scientologist teachings, was born into Scientology with two
Scientologist parents. As a young child, she was taught never to question
Scientology and she was deprived of education, subjected to military
treatment, trafficked, imprisoned, and abused, including having adults
scream sexually lewd statements at her such as “I am going to fuck you and
then your mother,” and “You are going to suck my dick,” which constitutes
child abuse under California Penal Code § 273(a).

In her 30 years at Scientology, including at its paramilitary wings,


Ms. Haney worked seven days a week with rarely a day off; she watched
her supervisor abuse his wife; she saw the wife later escorted into a car,
visibly upset, never to be seen or heard from again; and Ms. Haney was
sentenced and subjected to physical labor and isolation by church leaders.
When she tried to leave Scientology, she was threatened and even
physically restrained until she finally escaped, hiding in the trunk of a car.

When Ms. Haney sued defendants for kidnapping, stalking, and


human trafficking, among other claims, defendants moved to compel
arbitration, relying on unenforceable “agreements” she was made to sign,
which are all non-mutual contracts of adhesion, requiring that all arbitrators
be ministers of Scientology, whose central tenet is that any person who
speaks out against the church is an evil sinner who should be suppressed.

Despite this, and in violation of petitioner’s First Amendment right


to freedom of religion, the trial court ordered that Petitioner be subjected to
“Religious Arbitration,” subjecting Petitioner, a non-believer, to a
Scientology religious ritual. Accordingly, writ relief is warranted.

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PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE
To the Honorable Presiding Justices and Honorable Associate Justices of
the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District:

I. Issues presented.

This Petition presents the following novel issues:

(1) Does a nonbeliever have the right to refuse a “religious arbitration”


under the First Amendment where such “arbitration” process
specifies that all “arbitrators” shall be ministers of the religion who
are charged with applying that religion’s “doctrine”?
(2) Does a court lack the power under the First Amendment to enforce
an agreement for “religious arbitration”?
(3) Does a religious institution’s practice of pressuring of an individual
to hurry up and sign agreements in the presence of an armed guard
while refusing to provide any copies render the agreements
procedurally unconscionable?
(4) Where a religious institution abuses a child from the age of 5 and
prevents her from learning about her rights, does a non-mutual
“agreement” to arbitrate every possible claim and the requirement
that all arbitrators be Scientology ministers who shall apply the
Scientology doctrine shock the conscience so as to render the
agreements substantively unconscionable and thus unenforceable?

These issues warrant review to determine the proper analysis for the
First Amendment right to freedom of religion and the unconscionability
doctrine in the context of “religious arbitration” agreements drafted and
imposed by religious institutions.

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II. Relief sought.

1. Petitioner, plaintiff below, seeks a peremptory writ of mandate to compel


the respondent court to vacate its order compelling arbitration.

III. Reservation of right to request a stay.

2. A stay is not presently required, but petitioner reserves the right to


request a stay if needed to allow these writ proceedings to conclude before
any commencement of arbitration.

IV. Authenticity of exhibits.

3. All exhibits accompanying this petition are true copies of original


documents that were either filed publicly or lodged with respondent court
except the true copies of the original Reporter’s Transcripts of Proceedings
on January 30, 2020 and August 11, 2020. The exhibits, filed under
separate cover titled “Exhibits to Petition For Peremptory Writ of Mandate”
(“EP”) are consecutively paginated, and are cited herein by volume and
page number (e.g., “3 EP 689” refers to Volume 3 of the Exhibits to
Petition, page 689).

V. The parties.

4. Petitioner is Valerie Haney, the plaintiff in the action now pending in the
Superior Court of Los Angeles, Case No. 19STCV21210.

5. Respondent is Los Angeles Superior Court where the action is pending.

6. Real parties in interest are the defendants in that action, the Church of
Scientology International, Religious Technology Center, and David
Miscavige.

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VI. Factual background.
A. Plaintiff was abused and trafficked.

7. In 1979, plaintiff Valerie Haney was “born into Scientology” to


“Scientologist parents” and she “lived at the Defendants’ Spiritual
Headquarters,” called “Flag Base” in Clearwater, Florida from “ages 5
through 12.” (1 EP 16, ¶ 44.)

8. Ms. Haney was a member of the “Cadet Org,” which is “for the children
of Scientology’s most dedicated members.” (1 EP 16, ¶ 45.) As a “Cadet
Org” member, Ms. Haney was “subjected to military-like conditions, which
included a strict schedule of working and cleaning for approximately
twelve hours per day.” (1 EP 16, ¶ 45.) She attended “school” on the
compound but learned only “Scientology’s practices, rather than…the
minimum compulsory education required under state law.” As a result,
when she “began public school” “at 8 years old, she was two grades behind
her peers.” (1 EP 16, ¶ 45.)

9. From a young age, Ms. Haney was “told what she could and could not
say publicly about Scientology,” she was “taught never to question
Scientology’s teachings and practices,” and she was “told she could never
go to the police and/or any government agency, because they were the
enemy of Scientology.” (1 EP 17, ¶ 46.)

10. At approximately 10 years old, Ms. Haney was also subjected to


“bullbaiting,” where “members, including children, are trained not to react
to harassment, verbal assault, threats, and/or sexually explicit and
inappropriate comments.” (1 EP 17, ¶ 47.) When “bullbaiting” children,
adults “would say vulgar and sexually explicit things to children and punish
them if they showed any visible reaction.” (1 EP 17, ¶ 48.) Ms. Haney was

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“forced” to “sit in a chair while adults screamed offensive things in her face
such as ‘I am going to fuck you and then your mother,’ and ‘You are going
to suck my dick.’” If Ms. Haney “reacted in any way,” the “entire process
of ‘bullbaiting’ would start all over again.” (1 EP 17, ¶ 48.) These actions
all constituted “child abuse” under “California Penal Code § 273(a).” (1 EP
17, ¶ 48.)

B. Plaintiff was moved to Scientology’s Headquarters, known as


“Gold Base,” where she was forced to sign a “billion year
contract,” pledging a billion-year commitment to Scientology—
then she was abused, trapped, and trafficked.

11. Defendants moved Ms. Haney to Scientology’s International


Headquarters (“Gold Base”) in San Jacinto, California, where they
subjected her to “involuntary servitude, “[i]mmediately” upon her arrival,
including “long grueling workdays for inadequate compensation.” (1 EP
17, ¶ 49.)

12. At age 15, while still a minor, she was “made to” sign a contract
“pledging a billion year commitment to Scientology,” “known within CSI
as the ‘billion year contract.’” (1 EP 18, ¶ 50.)

13. Defendants “forced” Ms. Haney to work “7 days a week” for “months
on end” and she was “rarely given a day off.” (1 EP 18, ¶ 51.) Defendants
“forced” Ms. Haney to “begin work early in the morning” and perform
“laborious and back-breaking work” “without breaks and/or legally
mandated meals until late at night.” (1 EP 18, ¶ 51.)

14. At “all times,” Defendants “verbally, physically, and/or psychologically


restricted” Ms. Haney from leaving Gold Base and “saw to it” that Ms.

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Haney had “little to no contact with anyone outside Scientology.” (1 EP 18,
¶ 52.) Defendants “prevented altogether or heavily censored” Ms. Haney’s
communication with non-Scientologists and any “contact she did have”
“was always supervised and heavily restricted.” (1 EP 18, ¶ 52.)

15. Ms. Haney’s “isolation and dependency on Defendants as her sole


source of security, survival, and human contact made her particularly
vulnerable to their psychological abuse.” (1 EP 18, ¶ 52.) Ms. Haney
“suffered nightmares” as a result of Defendants “frequently” “intimidating
and humiliating” her. (1 EP 18, ¶ 52.)

16. Ms. Haney began “working closely” with Scientology leader David
Miscavige and “became his steward,” working with him “7 days a week.”
(1 EP 18, ¶ 53.) To be “approved” as his “steward,” Ms. Haney was “forced
to reveal her entire sexual history.” (1 EP 18, ¶ 54.)

17. Ms. Haney “worked in close proximity” to Miscavige “on a daily basis
for years,” “becoming close with his wife, Shelly Miscavige.” (1 EP 18, ¶
55.) Because of her “intimate knowledge of David Miscavige,” she was
“more and more restricted from leaving the Gold Base” and was put in the
category of people who were “restricted to the Base.” (1 EP 18, ¶ 55.)

18. In 2005, David Miscavige “became increasingly hostile and verbally


abusive towards his wife” and had her “removed from the main office as
his secretary/assistant.” Ms. Haney was also “punished” and “removed
from her position as steward” “because of her connection to Shelly
Miscavige.” (1 EP 19, ¶ 56.) Ms. Haney was “forced to perform hours of
grueling manual labor” and was “confined to the Gold Base,” with her
“movements and communications” “heavily restricted.” (1 EP 19, ¶ 56.)
“Approximately six months” later, Ms. Haney “witnessed a dark-colored

13
tinted vehicle pull up” and “saw Shelly Miscavige, who was crying and
visibly distraught, being escorted out of the building and put into a car.”
She was not “seen or heard from again.” (1 EP 19, ¶ 57.)

19. After Ms. Haney completed her “sentence,” confined at the Gold Base
and “performing hard labor, she was reassigned to work on filming
promotional videos for CSI.” (1 EP 19, ¶ 58.) She hired “non-Scientologist
actors for the promotional videos and received information from outside the
Base through them.” (1 EP 19, ¶ 59.) “These actors were the only non-
Scientologists she was permitted to have contact with, and they became her
‘life-line’” to the outside world. (1 EP 19, ¶ 59.)

C. Starting in 2010, plaintiff was pressured to sign several non-


mutual arbitration agreements that required all arbitrators be
“Scientologists in good standing.”

20. Starting in 2010, plaintiff was pressured to sign arbitration agreements.


Signing these documents “was a required and non-negotiable part of
receiving any services or taking any position within Scientology.” A “high-
ranking Scientology official” “would summarize the contents in their own
words” and wait for Ms. Haney to sign while “standing over” her. If she
“attempted to read the documents,” they would say, “’are you done yet, just
sign it.’” When she asked to “take these documents home” to review, she
was told it was “’not possible.’” (3 EP 559.)

21. The 2010 “Religious Services” “Agreement and General Release” was
drafted by the Church and, as its terms explained, Ms. Haney was “not
eligible for any scientology religious services unless” she signed “this
contract.” (1 ER 178.) This “agreement” purports to represent that Ms.
Haney is “forever” “waiving” “any dispute, claim or controversy against

14
the Church” and that, “should any dispute, claim or controversy arise,” she
“will pursue resolution of that dispute” through “binding religious
arbitration” in which “all” arbitrators are “Scientologists in good standing
with the Mother Church.” (1 ER 177 (emphasis added).)

22. The 2010 “Declaration of Religious Commitment and Membership”


was drafted by the church and purported to represent agreement that in “no
event shall such claim or controversy be submitted to a court for judicial
determination as the parties understand that such matters are religious in
nature.” (1 ER 181 (emphasis added).)

23. The 2013 “Religious Services” “Agreement and General Release” was
drafted by the church and included Ms. Haney’s purported agreement that
“any dispute between me and the Church” is “BY ITS VERY NATURE”
“A MATTER OF RELIGIOUS DOCTRINE” that “MUST BE
RESOLVED SOLELY AND EXCLUIVELY BY THE
ECCLESIASTICAL AUTHORITES AND RELIGIOUS PROCEDURES
OF SCIENTOLOGY” in which “[e]ach arbitrator shall be a Scientology
minister and current staff of the Church.” (1 ER 188-189.) The agreement
also purported to represent that Ms. Haney did “WANT TO GIVE US THE
PROTECTION” of Civil Code Section 1542, which bars a general release
from extending to claims a person “does not know or suspect to exist…at
the time of executing the agreement.” (1 EP 190 (emphasis in original).)

24. The 2013 “Staff Commitment and General Release” was drafted by the
church and included Ms. Haney’s purported agreement that “any problem
that may arise out of this relationship is strictly religious in nature” and that
“any dispute concerning…service as a CSI staff member” shall be resolved
through “religious arbitration procedures exclusively,” where “[e]ach

15
arbitrator shall be a Scientology minister and current staff” of the church.
(1 EP 201 (emphasis added).) The agreement also contained a waiver of
Civil Code Section 1542. (1 EP 202.)

D. After submitting “seven” “written requests to leave” that were


all denied, Plaintiff escaped in the trunk of a car and the Church
cut off all communication to her family who remained there.

25. In 2016, Ms. Haney “submitted written requests to leave” “seven times”
but “[a]ll requests were denied.” (3 EP 560.) “On one occasion,” Ms.
Haney “was physically restrained and prevented from leaving.” (3 EP 560.)

26. In November 2016 Ms. Haney “learned that filming would be moved
off Gold Base” and she “would lose the non-Scientologist ‘life-line’ to the
outside world.” (3 EP 560.) She “decided to make an escape attempt and
hid in the trunk of an actor’s car to leave” and she was “then able to reunite
with [her] father.” (3 EP 560.)

E. The Church lured Ms. Haney back to sign one more arbitration
agreement under the watch of an armed guard, designating
again that each arbitrator would be a Scientology minister.

27. When defendants “discovered that Ms. Haney had escaped,” they got
her “mother and brother, both active Scientology members, to threaten” to
“immediately disassociate” from her (called “Disconnection’”) “if she did
not return.” (1 EP 20.)

28. Defendants “assured” Ms. Haney it would take “no more than” “three
weeks” to “complete the ‘routing out’ process.” (1 EP 20.)

29. Instead, Ms. Haney was held for “three months and again” “treated”
“like a prisoner.” (3 EP 560.) She was “forced to do everything with a

16
‘handler,’ including using the bathroom, showering, and sleeping.” (3 EP
560.) She was “made to do videotaped interrogations in which” she was
“forced to make false confessions” and “provide false positive testimonials
about [her] experiences with CSI.” (3 EP 560.)

30. Indeed, Ms. Haney had already been “dismissed” (4 EP 801, 804) and
was “subject to” being declared a Suppressive Person (4 EP 856) before she
signed the “Staff Departure” agreement. (1 EP 130.) According to the
church, a “Suppressive Person” is “one that actively seeks to suppress or
damage Scientology or a Scientologist by suppressive acts,” which are also
“called Crimes and High Crimes.” (4 EP 902.) When someone is declared a
“‘Suppressive Person’” that person is considered “an enemy of
Scientology” (4 EP 850), may be “‘deprived of property or injured by any
means by any Scientologist” and may be ‘tricked, sued or lied to or
destroyed.’” (4 EP 851.)

31. After her termination and while still under the threat of being declared a
Suppressive Person, she was “made to sign” another arbitration agreement
(the “Staff Departure” agreement) while in the presence of only
“Scientology’s general counsel and a man armed with a gun.” (3 EP 560.)
She “was not given copies of the documents” and did “not know the
contents of any of the documents.” She “signed any document that was
given” to her because she “just wanted it to be over and to get out of there.”
(3 EP 560.) She was “desperate to escape Scientology” and would have
been “further punished or imprisoned” if she “did not comply.” (3 EP 561.)

32. This 2017 “Staff Departure Release Agreement” was drafted by


Scientology and included Ms. Haney’s purported agreement that “any
problem or other dispute that I now or ever may have concerning my

17
experiences…as a voluntary religious worker…necessarily raises a
Scientology religious issue that can be resolved only through the
application of Scientology doctrine by the appropriate Scientology
ecclesiastical authorities.” (1 EP 127-128 (emphasis added).)

33. Ms. Haney “never had any opportunity or chance to negotiate any of the
terms of the arbitration agreements.” (3 EP 561.)

F. After Ms. Haney left Scientology, defendants continued to harass


her and declared her a Suppressive Person.

34. Since Ms. Haney’s escaped from Scientology for the last time,
defendants have “stalked, followed, surveilled, and harassed Ms. Haney.”
(1 EP 25.) “For a period of three to four months in 2018, on a daily basis,
Defendants and their agents followed Plaintiff’s vehicle, and in one
instance, almost ran Plaintiff off the road.” (1 EP 26.) “Defendants’
constant surveillance, harassment, and stalking of Plaintiff has caused her
extreme emotional distress.” (1 EP 26.)

35. Moreover, after Ms. Haney fled Scientology, she was declared a
“Suppressive Person” (4 EP 856.) “In the eyes of Scientology,” Ms. Haney
“has committed Crimes and High Crimes including speaking with the
media, spreading ‘disaffection,’ refusing to comply with the orders of the
organization, reporting alleged crimes by Scientologists to law
enforcement, and finally the act of bringing a lawsuit against Scientology.”
(4 EP 850; see also 4 EP 905.)

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G. The trial court granted defendants’ motion to compel
arbitration and denied reconsideration.

36. On February 18, the court issued its Order granting defendants’
Motions to Compel Religious Arbitration. (3 EP 708.)

37. On August 11, the court issued a minute order denying plaintiff’s
motion for reconsideration. (7 EP 1727.)

VII. Timeliness of petition.

38. On August 11, the court’s minute order denied reconsideration, which
was served by defendants on August 13. (7 EP 1724, 1732.)

39. This writ is filed within 30 days of the minute order and from service of
the same. (CRC 8.104(e); see also McDermott Will & Emery LLP v.
Superior Court (2017) 10 Cal.App.5th 1083, 1100 (“appellate courts have
discretion to decide a writ petition filed after the 60-day period, and
typically look to whether there is any prejudice to the opposing party in
doing so”—no prejudice exists here since a date for the arbitration has not
yet been set); see also Polanski v. Superior Court (2009) 180 Cal.App.4th
507, 531 (appellate court has discretion to entertain writ petition filed after
60-day deadline where one-day delay in filing was “truly minimal” and
“any court interest in holding fast to the timeliness principle against a
nonprejudicial one-day incursion is far outweighed by the interest in
considering” the “grave” “misconduct alleged here”).)

19
VIII. Basis for writ relief—this case meets all applicable Omaha
factors.

40. Writ relief is essential. While writ review is extraordinary, it is proper


where “the lower court’s determination imposes unusually harsh and unfair
results for which ordinary appellate review is inadequate.” (Science
Applications Internat. Corp. v. Superior Court (1995) 39 Cal.App.4th 1095,
1100-1101.) As explained below, Ms. Haney has no other adequate remedy
and will suffer irreparable harm if the trial court’s error is not remedied. At
the same time, the harm to defendants is non-existent. Indeed, correcting
this error now will reduce defendants’ costs in having to defend what would
otherwise (absent writ relief) be two duplicative proceedings.

41. By granting defendants’ motion to compel arbitration, Respondent


Court has clearly erred and substantially prejudiced Petitioner’s case such
that writ relief is justified. (Zembsch v. Superior Court (2006) 146
Cal.App.4th 153, 160 (where arbitration would be unduly time-consuming
or expensive, writ review of orders compelling arbitration is appropriate).)

42. When deciding whether to grant writ review, courts consider the
following:

(1) whether the issue tendered in the writ petition is of widespread


interest or presents a significant and novel constitutional issue;

(2) whether the trial court’s order deprived petitioner of an


opportunity to present a substantial portion of her cause(s) of action;

(3) whether conflicting interpretations of the law require resolution;

(4) whether the trial court’s order is both clearly erroneous as a


matter of law and substantially prejudices petitioner’s case;

20
(5) whether the petitioner lacks an adequate means, such as a direct
appeal, by which to attain relief; and

(6) whether the petitioner will suffer harm or prejudice in a manner


that cannot be corrected on appeal.

(Omaha Indemnity Co. v. Superior Court (Greinke) (1989) 209 Cal.App.3d


1266, 1273-1274 (“Omaha”) (citations omitted).

43. All applicable Omaha factors support writ relief in this case, as follows:

1. Omaha Factor 1: The invalidation of a religious arbitration


agreement on First Amendment grounds is a novel issue and the
enforceability of arbitration agreements is an issue of widespread
interest to litigants and courts alike. No Constitutional rights are
more sacred than First Amendment freedoms and no California court
has ever ruled on whether an arbitration that violates the First
Amendment is invalid. Moreover, as arbitration and the burgeoning
privatization of the justice system continues, courts need to know
what to do when religious institutions try to utilize arbitration to
curtail the rights of victims of abuse and trafficking. A Westlaw
search shows that 1,712 California appellate decisions addressed
arbitration in the 20 years since the California Supreme Court’s
seminal decision in Armendariz (the total number of decisions by
California appellate courts including unpublished cases is 7,275).

2. Omaha Factor 2: The trial court’s order wholly deprives petitioner


of her First Amendment rights, her right to a jury trial, and the
ability to present her claims to an unbiased trier of fact.

21
3. Omaha Factor 4: The trial court’s order is both clearly erroneous
as a matter of law and substantially prejudices plaintiff by
condemning her to an arbitration process she never freely agreed to.
The order is clearly erroneous because it: (1) forces plaintiff, a
survivor of abuse and trafficking, to participate in a religious
procedure in violation of her First Amendment freedom of religion
and to be adjudged according to that religion’s doctrine and by that
religion’s ministers, (2) compels plaintiff’s participation in a
religious arbitration based on an agreement that is procedurally and
substantively unconscionable, and (3) deprives plaintiff of her
Constitutional jury trial rights.

44. For the fifth and sixth Omaha factors, see the dedicated sections below.

IX. Absence of adequate remedy.

45. While in most cases the availability of a posttrial appeal is an adequate


remedy (see Phelan v. Superior Court of San Francisco (1950) 35 Cal.2d
363, 370-371), review by writ is proper when exceptional circumstances
render a posttrial appeal inadequate. (Roberts v. Superior Court (1973) 9
Cal.3d 330, 336.) Absent writ review, petitioner will be forced to
participate in a religious ritual in violation her First Amendment rights to
freedom of religion and thus the First Amendment issue would “effectively
evade appellate review, establishing the lack of an adequate remedy of law
necessary for a writ.” (Szetela v. Discover Bank (2002) 97 Cal.App.4th
1094, 1098.)

46. A later appeal is not an adequate remedy here because plaintiff will be
required to try her case twice, causing plaintiff an unreasonable financial
burden, along with a great inconvenience to all of the experts and percipient

22
witnesses. (Parada v. Superior Court (2009) 176 Cal.App.4th 758, 768
(high cost of arbitrating and the amount of time necessary to complete
arbitration justify reviewing the order compelling arbitration by writ of
mandate).) When an erroneous ruling will require a retrial if reversed on
appeal, the exercise of writ review is not only appropriate but essential to
prevent a waste of judicial resources in unnecessary multiple trials. (Barrett
v. Superior Court (1990) 222 Cal.App.3d 1176, 1183 (“were we not to
issue the writ . . . and were the order here under review determined to have
been incorrect, then a second trial would be required, with the attendant
waste of judicial resources”).) Therefore, a later appeal is not an adequate.

47. Issuance of a writ is appropriate to prevent forcing a party to participate


in “unnecessary trial proceedings,” (Olson v. Cory (1983) 35 Cal.3d 390,
400-401), including arbitration proceedings. (Nguyen v. Applied Med.
Resources Corp. (2016) 4 Cal.App.5th 232, 244-245 (appeal was treated as
writ of mandate ‘to avoid an arbitration based on erroneous rulings of law,
which may result in needless delay and expense).)

48. Ms. Haney has no adequate remedy other than to seek relief in this
Court and extraordinary writ relief is necessary to prevent multiple
duplicative proceedings.

X. Irreparable harm.

49. As discussed below, plaintiff will suffer irreparable harm and prejudice
in a manner that cannot be corrected on appeal. Where, as here, petitioner
“would suffer irreparable injury if a second trial were required because of
an erroneous summary adjudication by the trial court,” writ relief is proper.
(Marron v. Superior Court (2003) 108 Cal.App.4th 1049, 1056.) Writ relief

23
is appropriate where “unnecessary trial proceedings” would result from
delaying review of the issue. (Olson v. Cory, supra, 35 Cal.3d at 400-401.)

50. Plaintiff will suffer irreparable harm if the Writ is not granted because
plaintiff will be forced into two trials (assuming that the order compelling
arbitration is later reversed on appeal) and having two proceedings will
require duplicative testimony from percipient witnesses and experts, all at
double the cost to plaintiff.

51. In the first proceeding (arbitration), plaintiff would present her claims
stemming from the abuse and trafficking she suffered at the hands of
defendants, with the damages going from the date of her injuries through
the time of arbitration. The second proceeding (trial) would include all the
same percipient and expert witnesses, with damages going up through the
time of trial.

24
PRAYER

Wherefore, Petitioner prays:


1. That this Court, after giving notice under Palma v. U.S. Industrial
Fasteners, Inc. (1984) 36 Cal.3d 171, 178-180, issue a peremptory
writ of mandate and/or prohibition, or such other extraordinary relief
as is warranted, directing Respondent court to vacate its order
compelling arbitration entered on January 30, 2020 and enter a new
order denying defendants’ motion; or
2. That, alternatively, this Court issue an alternative writ directing
Respondent to show cause why it should not be so directed, and
upon return of the alternative writ, issue a peremptory writ as set
forth above;
3. That this Court allow plaintiff to file a reply brief if this Court
requests opposition from either Respondent or Defendants;
4. That plaintiff be awarded her costs in this proceeding;
5. That this Court issue a temporary stay of the proceedings in the
Respondent Court if Petitioner makes the request while this Petition
is still pending and this Court deems it necessary to allow these
proceedings to conclude before any arbitration proceedings
commence; and
6. Grant such other relief as may be just and proper.

Dated: September 10, 2020 Thompson Law Offices, P.C.


Laffi, Bucci & Kent, LLP | Child USA
Law Office of Valerie T. McGinty
By: ________________________
Valerie T. McGinty, Esq.

25
VERIFICATION

I, Valerie McGinty, declare as follows:

I am one of the attorneys for Petitioner and Plaintiff Valerie Haney. I


have read the foregoing Petition for Writ of Mandate and know its contents.
The facts alleged in the petition are within my own knowledge and I know
these facts to be true. Because of my familiarity with the relevant facts
pertaining to the Respondent Court proceedings, I, rather than the
Petitioner, verify this Petition.

I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and


correct under the laws of the State of California and that this verification
was executed on September 10, 2020, at San Mateo, California.

______________________
Valerie T. McGinty

26
MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES

I.
Standard of Review: Orders compelling arbitration are
reviewed de novo.

Where, as here, no material facts are in dispute, courts review orders


compelling arbitration de novo. (Davis v. Kozak, (2020) 2020 WL
5000760; see also Suh v. Superior Court (2010) 181 Cal.App.4th 1504,
1522; Gatton v. T-Mobile (2007) 152 Cal.App.4th 571, 579.)

27
II.
Novel First Amendment Issue: Because the arbitration
agreement violates Petitioner’s First Amendment rights, the
trial court’s order compelling arbitration must be reversed.

In an issue no California appellate court has yet addressed, this


motion to compel arbitration attempts to subject plaintiff, a nonbeliever
who survived abuse and trafficking at the hands of defendants, to undergo a
religious ceremony where Scientology “ministers” are the “arbitrators” and
Scientology “doctrine” is the “law” to be applied.

This violates her First Amendment right to freedom of religion.

A. The First Amendment guarantees absolute freedom of religion.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution states that


“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” (First Amendment, U.S. Constitution
(emphasis added).)

The right to believe as one chooses is absolute. (Cantwell v. State of


Connecticut (1940) 310 U.S. 296, 303.)

Long-settled constitutional doctrine “guarantee[s] religious liberty


and equality to the infidel, the atheist, or the adherent of a non-Christian
faith.” (Cty. of Allegheny v. ACLU (1989) 492 U.S. 573, 590.)

28
B. The agreement forces participation in a religious ritual: Under
the agreement, “any” “dispute” “necessarily raises” a
“Scientology religious issue that can be resolved only through
the application of Scientology doctrine.”

The agreement forces Petitioner to participate in a religious


ceremony, in violation of the First Amendment.

For example, the most recent 2017 agreement provides that “any
problem” or “dispute” “necessarily raises a Scientology religious issue that
can be resolved only through the application of Scientology doctrine by the
appropriate Scientology ecclesiastical authorities.” (1 EP 127-128.)

Almost all of the agreements recite the “religious” nature of any


possible dispute and Scientology’s requirement that any dispute be resolved
by application of Scientology’s “tenets,” “policies,” and “doctrine”:

• The 2010 “Declaration of Religious Commitment” states no


“claim or controversy” may be “submitted to a court” because
“such matters are religious in nature.” (1 EP 181.)
• The 2013 Staff Commitment and General Release states that
“any problem that may arise out of this relationship is strictly
religious in nature and should be resolved only by official
Scientology ecclesiastical authorities in accordance with
Scientology tenets, policies, and principles.” (1 EP 201.)
• The 2013 Religious Services Enrollment and General Release
states that if “any dispute” “should arise,” “I RECOGNIZE
UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT ANY SUCH
DISPUTE BY ITS VERY NATURE IS A MATTER OF
RELIGIOUS DOCTRINE, WHICH THEREFORE WILL

29
AND MUST BE RESOLVED SOLELY AND
EXCLUSIVELY BY THE ECCLESIASTICAL
AUTHORITIES AND RELIGIOUS PROCEDURES OF
SCIENTOLOGY.” (1 EP 188-189 (emphasis in original).)

In sum, the agreements purportedly bind Ms. Haney no to arbitration


but to the “religious procedures of Scientology,” in violation of her First
Amendment right to religious freedom.

C. Courts lack the power to compel a nonbeliever to participate in a


religious ritual.

As the United States Supreme Court stated: “If there is any fixed star
in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can
prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other
matters of opinion, or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith
therein.” (State Bd. of Educ. v. Barnette (1943) 319 U.S. 624, 642.)

Accordingly, courts may not interfere with a believer’s decision to


join or exit a religious organization:“[t]he First Amendment’s Religion
Clauses mean that religious beliefs and religious expression are too
precious to be either proscribed or prescribed by the State.” (Lee v.
Weisman (1992) 505 U.S. 577, 589.) Thus, the courts cannot remove
anyone from a religion, nor may they place anyone in a religion.

“The fullest realization of true religious liberty requires that


government neither engage in nor compel religious practices.” (Sch. Dist.
of Abington Twp. V. Schempp (1963) 374 U.S. 203, 305.) To force a
nonbeliever into a ritual controlled by the religious entity forces the

30
nonbeliever to partake in religious practices the nonbeliever rejects, which
violates the First Amendment. (Wallace v. Jaffree (1985) 472 U.S. 38, 60;
see also Cal Const. Art. I § 4.)

Accordingly, the court cannot compel a nonbeliever to participate in


this “religious arbitration.”

D. Because the agreement is illegal (compelling participation in a


religious ceremony), it is void.

Under Civil Code Section 1550, the object of a contract must be


lawful: “It is essential to the existence of a contract that there should be…a
lawful object.” (Civ. Code § 1550.)

If the object of a contract is “unlawful,” “the entire contract is void.”


(Civ. Code § 1598; see also Yoo v. Jho (2007) 147 Cal.App.4th 1249, 1254
(contract to sell store dealing in counterfeit goods was void and
unenforceable); McIntosh v. Mills (2004) 121 Cal.App.4th 333, 343 (illegal
fee-sharing agreement was void and unenforceable.)

Accordingly, the arbitration agreements, which on their face purport


to bind Ms. Haney to a religious ceremony—the application of
“Scientology doctrine” by “Scientology ecclesiastical authorities”—are
void and thus unenforceable.

31
E. Courts in other states have invalidated religious arbitration
agreements that violate the First Amendment’s guarantee of
freedom of religion.

Courts in other states have denied motions to compel religious


arbitration on First Amendment grounds.

For example, a New York court affirmed the denial of arbitration


before a rabbinical court on First Amendment grounds: the court reasoned
that if an arbitration agreement “provides for the resolution of disputes”
according to “religious principles,” compelling arbitration “would violate
the First Amendment.” (Sieger v. Sieger (N.Y. App. 2002) 297 A.D. 2d 33,
34.)

32
III.
Unconscionability: Because the arbitration agreement is both
procedurally and substantively unconscionable, the trial
court’s order compelling arbitration was error.

The agreement is unenforceable because it is permeated by


unconscionability.

Arbitration is a “favored method of resolving disputes only when it


is voluntary”: the “strong public policy of this state in favor of resolving
disputes by arbitration does not extend to an arbitration agreement
permeated by unconscionability.” (Flores v. Transamerica HomeFirst, Inc.
(2001) 93 Cal.App.4th 846, 856.)

A. Unconscionability’s two elements (procedural and substantive)


and the sliding scale of unconscionability.

As the California Supreme Court has explained, the doctrine of


unconscionability has both a procedural and a substantive element.
(Armendariz v. Foundation Health Psychcare Services, Inc. (2000) 24
Cal.4th 83, 114.)

Unconscionability also has a sliding scale, so that the “more


substantively oppressive the contract term, the less evidence of procedural
unconscionability is required to come to the conclusion that the term is
unenforceable, and vice versa.” (Gentry v. Superior Court (2007) 42
Cal.4th 443, 469.)

Under this sliding scale, “a conclusion that a contract contains no


element of procedural unconscionability is tantamount to saying that, no

33
matter how one-sided the contract terms,” a court would have no basis to
“overturn” it. (Id. at 470.)

And likewise, the converse applies: “the fact that some degree of
unconscionability is present does not mean necessarily that the arbitration
agreement is unenforceable. But it does mean that the agreement is not
immune from judicial scrutiny to determine whether or not its terms are so
one-sided or oppressive as to be substantively unconscionable.” (Id. at
472.)

Here the agreements are both procedurally and substantively


unconscionable, as shown below.

B. The agreement was highly procedurally unconscionable,


containing elements of oppression and surprise.

Procedural unconscionability focuses on “’oppression’ or ‘surprise’


due to unequal bargaining power.” (Armendariz, supra, 42 Cal.4th at 114;
see also Young Seok Suh v. Superior Court (2010) 181 Cal.App.4th 1504,
1515.) As shown below, the agreements have a high degree of procedural
unconscionability.

“The oppression component” of procedural unconscionability “arises


from an inequality of bargaining power…and an absence of real negotiation
or a meaningful choice on the part of the weaker party.” (Kinney v. United
HealthCare Services, Inc. (1999) 70 Cal.App.4th 1322, 1329.)

For example, in holding an arbitration agreement procedurally


unconscionable, Gentry cited the inherent “inequality between employer
and employee and the economic power that the former wields over the

34
latter”—despite the employees’ ability to opt out of it. (Gentry, supra, 42
Cal.4th 443, 472.)

“The procedural element of an unconscionable contract generally


takes the form of a contract of adhesion, which, imposed and drafted by the
party of superior bargaining strength, relegates to the subscribing party only
the opportunity to adhere to the contract or reject it.” (Little v. Auto
Stiegler, Inc. (2003) 29 Cal.4th 1064, 1071.) Procedural unconscionability
is generally satisfied if the agreement is a contract of adhesion. (Nyulassy v.
Lockheed Martin Corp. (2004) 120 Cal.App.4th 1267, 1280, fn. 11.)

As plaintiff explained, signing these documents “was a required and


non-negotiable part of receiving any services or taking any position within
Scientology”—and whenever she did so, a “high-ranking Scientology
official” would wait for Ms. Haney to sign while “standing over” her. (3 EP
559.) And if she “attempted to read the documents,” they would say, “’are
you done yet, just sign it.’” (3 EP 559.)

Surprise is added to the procedural unconscionability when a party is


not notified and provided with a copy of the rules that will dictate the
arbitration. (Trivedi v. Curexo Technology Corp. (2010) 189 Cal.App.4th
387, 393 (failure to provide a copy of the AAA arbitration rules supported a
finding of procedural unconscionability); Bruni v. Didion (2008) 160
Cal.App.4th 1272, 1293 (employer’s failure to obtain an employees’
signature acknowledging review of the arbitration rules renders agreement
procedurally unconscionable due to surprise).)

Here, Ms. Haney was not even provided with a copy of the
agreements, let alone a copy of the rules that would govern. Indeed, when

35
she asked to “take these documents home” to review, she was told it was
“’not possible.’” (3 EP 559.)

In sum, a high degree of procedural unconscionability is present


because all of the agreements were contracts of adhesion that Ms. Haney
was pressured to sign quickly and because she was provided with neither
copies of the agreements nor the rules that would govern the “religious
arbitration.”

Accordingly, only a low degree of substantive unconscionability is


required to render the contracts unenforceable under California law. But, as
shown next, the agreements were also highly substantively unconscionable.

C. Substantive Unconscionability: The agreement was non-mutual


and ensures a biased arbitrator.

Because the agreements were non-mutual and failed to provide a


neutral arbitrator, they are substantively unconscionable and thus
unenforceable.

Substantive unconscionability focuses on “’the actual terms’ of the


agreement and evaluates whether they create such ‘overly harsh’ or ‘one-
sided’ results so as to ‘shock the conscience.’” (Young Seok Suh v. Superior
Court (2010) 181 Cal.App.4th 1504, 1515 (internal citations omitted).)

36
1. In designating exclusively Scientologist ministers as the
arbitrators, the agreements ensure a biased arbitrator,
lacking an “essential” attribute of arbitration.

Where a contract of adhesion designates an arbitrator related to the


drafting party and fails to “assure that minimum levels of integrity” exist, it
is “not a contract to arbitrate, but an engagement to capitulate” and is thus
unenforceable. (Graham v. Scissor-Tail, Inc. (1981) 28 Cal.3d 807, 825.)

Where an agreement fails to provide an arbitrator “selection process”


that is “designed to produce a true neutral in any individual case,” it is
substantively unconscionable. (Chavarria v. Ralphs Grocery Co. (2013 9th
Cir.) 733 F.3d 916, 925.)

Put another way, where an agreement gives the stronger party


control over the arbitration process, it is unenforceable. (Cheng-Canindin v.
Renaissance Hotel Assocs. (1996) 50 Cal.App.4th 676, 691.)

Here, all of the agreements ensured biased arbitrators in requiring


that each of the arbitrators would be a “Scientology minister.” And, as
plaintiff explained, Scientologists are “trained and taught by Scientology
that any person who speaks out, regardless of the truth, is evil and a
sinner.” (3 EP 561.)

Specifically, as Scientologist expert Mr. Rinder explained, who was


for 20 years the “Executive Director” of Scientology’s “Office of Special
Affairs” and thus “oversaw the responses” to “every” “legal action against
Scientology entities” (4 EP 852), what Scientology “purports to be
‘religious arbitration’ is not arbitration as it is commonly understood by the
civil court system”—it is “not administered by AAA or any other similarly

37
situated body,” and it is “not designed to be fair but instead to achieve a
specific outcome which is the outcome most favorable to the Church.” (4
EP 857.)

And, as further explained by Scientologist expert Hana Whitfield,


who “served in the Church of Scientology for nineteen (19) years” and
“answered directly to and only to L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church
of Scientology” (4 EP 901), “no declared Suppressive Person who is suing
Scientology in a Court of Law can ever receive a fair or unbiased Religious
Arbitration” because any “’Scientologist in good standing’” “could only
ever find against the Suppressive person and in favor of the church”
because to do “otherwise would result in them being declared a Suppressive
Person.” (4 EP 905.)

Accordingly, the agreements fail to provide for a neutral arbitrator


and so are substantively unconscionable.

2. The agreement was non-mutual, stating only Ms. Haney’s


promise to arbitrate—but not Defendants’.

The agreement was non-mutual, stating only Mr. Hanson’s promise


to arbitrate—but no similar promise by defendants.

A “unilateral obligation to arbitrate is unconscionable.”


(Armendariz, supra, 24 Cal.4th at 117; Higgins v. Superior Court
(Disney/ABC Int’l Television, Inc. (2006) 140 Cal.App.4th 1238, 1253-
1254 (adhesive contract requiring only adhering party to arbitrate was
substantively unconscionable).)

38
In Higgins, a television corporation moved to compel arbitration of
actors’ claims. The court held that the contract’s one-sided “I agree”
language was substantively unconscionable because it showed that only the
actors, and not the corporation were required to arbitrate their claims. (Id. at
1254.)

Moreover, courts refuse to enforce arbitration provisions even where


they appear mutual on their face but exempt the most significant remedy
for the drafter. (Fitz v. NCR Corp. (2004) 118 Cal.App.4th 702, 713;
Mercuro v. Superior Court (2002) 96 Cal.App.4th 167, 175-176 (arbitration
agreement substantively unconscionable where it compels arbitration of
claims employees are most likely to bring but exempts from arbitration
claims the employer is most likely to bring).)

For example, in Flores v. Transamerica HomeFirst, Inc., supra,


senior citizens who got a reverse mortgage on their home sued the lender
for unfair business practices and other tortious conduct. When the lender
sought to compel arbitration, the trial court ruled the agreement
unconscionable and the Court of Appeal affirmed. Though the agreement
appeared mutual, the “mandatory arbitration provisions apply to claims of
the [consumer]” against the company “but not vice-versa,” rendering a
“unilateral obligation to arbitrate” that was “so one-sided as to be
substantively unconscionable” and thus unenforceable. (Flores, supra, 93
Cal.App.4th at 855.)

Here, the agreements all recite only her promise to arbitrate her
claims against the church, never the church’s promise to arbitrate its claims.

In sum, because the arbitration agreements ensure a biased


arbitrators and are non-mutual they are unconscionable and unenforceable.

39
CONCLUSION
Respondent Court erred in granting defendants’ motion to
compel. The agreements are unenforceable because they are
unconscionable and illegal as violative of the First Amendment’s
guarantee of freedom of religion.
For these reasons, Petitioner respectfully requests this Court
reverse the Respondent Court’s order compelling arbitration.

Dated: September 10, 2020 Respectfully submitted,


THOMPSON LAW OFFICES, P.C.
LAFFI, BUCCI & KENT, LLP
CHILD USA
LAW OFFICE OF VALERIE T. MCGINTY
By: ____________________________
Valerie T. McGinty
Attorneys for Plaintiff and Petitioner

CERTIFICATION
I hereby certify this petition, excluding tables, is 7,068 words long.

By: _____________________________
Valerie T. McGinty

40
PROOF OF SERVICE
(C.C.P. §1013(a), 2015.5)

I, the undersigned, hereby declare under penalty of perjury as follows: I am a citizen of

the United States, and over the age of eighteen years, and not a party to the within action; my

business address is 524 Fordham Rd, San Mateo, CA 94402. On this date, I served the interested

parties in this action the within documents: PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE;

EXHIBITS TO PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE (7 VOLUMES); via the court’s

online True Filing system as follows:

Los Angeles County Superior Court (writ only; via USPS)


Central District, Stanley Mosk Courthouse, Dept. 37
111 North Hill Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

William H. Forman (wforman@scheperkim.com)


David Scheper (dscheper@scheperkim.com)
Scheper Kim & Harris LLP
800 West Sixth Street, 18th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017-2701

Robert E. Mangels (rmangels@jmbm.com)


Matthew D. Hinks (mhinks@jmbm.com)
Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP
1900 Avenue of the Stars, 7th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90067-4308

Jeffrey K. Riffer (jriffer@elkinskalt.com)


Elkins Kalt Weintraub Reuben Gartside LLP
10345 West Olympic Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Executed at San Mateo, California on September 10, 2020.

____________________

Valerie T. McGinty

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