As for the details of this or its enforcability, I have no further details.
Other third-hand reports indicate that the MFC and other onlookers cheered
when the judge left the court, but the cult lawyers just looked solemn and
silent. - Rob Clark
about this criminal empire may be found at
Operation Clambake and FACTNet.
I just heard on irc that the result of the TRO hearing was that Minton was
required to stay 10 feet away from the cult, and the cult was required to
stay *20* feet away from Minton.
IN THE CIRCUIT COURT IN AND FOR PINELLAS COUNTY, FLORIDA
CASE NO. 99-7430-CI-8
RICHARD W. HOWD, JR. :
ROBERT S. MINTON, JR. :
BEFORE: THE HONORABLE THOMAS PENICK, JR.
CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE
PLACE: ST. PETERSBURG JUDICIAL BUILDING
545 - First Avenue North
St. Petersburg, Florida 33701
DATE: November 29, 1999
TIME: 12:00 - 9:00 p.m.
REPORTED BY:DONNA M. ANDERSON, RPR
SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
NOTARY PUBLIC, STATE OF FLORIDA
RETURN ON TEMPORARY INJUNCTION FOR PROTECTION AGAINST
HARASSMENT AND VIOLENCE
ROBERT A. DEMPSTER & ASSOCIATES
P.O. BOX 35
CLEARWATER, FLORIDA 34617-0035
A P P E A R A N C E S
Attorney for Petitioner:
Paul B. Johnson, Esquire
112 S. Magnolia Avenue
Tampa, Florida 33606
Michael Hertzberg, Esquire
New York, New York 10003
Attorney for Respondent:
Denis Devlaming, Esquire
Douglas Devlaming, Esquire
1101 Turner Street
Clearwater, Florida 34616-4105
Bruce G. Howie, Esquire
5720 Central Avenue
St. Petersburg, Florida 33707
1 CROSS-EXAMINATION OF ROBERT MINTON (cont)
2 BY MR. JOHNSON:
3 Q Right.
4 A I am aware that Stacy Brooks has given him
5 some money to do that.
6 Q And did that money come from you?
7 A I'll have to be circumspect in answering
8 that in the sense that it was part of a lump sum that
9 I gave to Miss Brooks to use to set up a bank account
10 for the Lisa McPherson Trust.
11 Q And you authorized her to pay out money to
12 Mark Bunker who had assisted in editing tapes and who
13 has assisted you in videotaping various Scientology
15 A No, sir.
16 Q Well was he on the payroll then?
17 A No, sir.
18 Q These were gifts, then, these monies that
19 both you and Miss Brooks gave to him?
20 A The money that I gave to him was a gift. I
21 believe he mentioned to my recollection this is
22 probably right, $5,000 back in March. The money that
23 Miss Brooks has sent to him is from the Lisa
24 McPherson Trust.
25 Q And that's one of the purposes of the trust
1 is to furnish monies to people that assist you in --
2 MR. DENIS DEVLAMING: Judge, I'm
3 did --
4 THE COURT: Hold on. Hold on.
5 MR. DENIS DEVLAMING: Judge, I'm going
6 to object. I think what Mr. Johnson is
7 doing now is he's getting some discovery
8 into what the trust is all about. It has
9 nothing to do with this injunction, has
10 nothing to do with violence. What they're
11 trying to do now is take some discovery from
12 this individual about a trust situation,
13 which they're more concerned about than they
14 are an injunction. It's irrelevant.
15 MR. JOHNSON: Judge, I have no interest
16 in the trust. I'm not involved in the
17 trust. I am involved with petition for an
18 injunction I think I'm entitled, the people
19 that testified involved with Mr. Minton what
20 the financial relationship is with
21 Mr. Minton. That's my purpose of asking it.
22 THE COURT: All right. He can answer
23 this question and let's move on. I think
24 they've already admitted that he was -- or
25 he did pay Mr. Bunker and possibly the lady
1 also may have paid him money from the trust.
2 Let's answer this question, let's get on
3 back to --
4 MR. JOHNSON: Can he answer that one
5 question, Your Honor?
6 THE COURT: Yes, he can?
7 THE WITNESS: Could the court reporter
8 read that back, please?
9 MR. DENIS DEVLAMING: Well wouldn't it
10 be easier than the court reporter?
11 MR. JOHNSON: I'd rather the court
12 reporter read it.
13 THEREUPON, THE REQUESTED PORTION WAS READ BY
14 THE COURT REPORTER.)
15 A No, sir.
16 MR. JOHNSON: All right. I'm move on.
17 THE COURT: Thank you.
18 MR. JOHNSON: Before I ask the next
19 serious of questions, I'd like to ask
20 counsel if he intends to put on Stacy
21 Brooks. And the reason I'm asking is I have
22 some questions about his financial
23 relationship with her if you're going to
24 call her as a witness. If you're not going
25 to call her, I see no need for me to ask
1 these questions.
2 MR. DENIS DEVLAMING: We're not calling
4 MR. JOHNSON: All right. I'll move
5 onto another matter then. Thank you.
6 MR. DENIS DEVLAMING: You're welcome.
7 THE COURT: Thank you both.
8 MR. DENIS DEVLAMING: You're welcome.
9 THE COURT: You're asking and you're
10 answering. Now let's go on.
11 BY MR. JOHNSON:
12 Q Let's go back to the Boston incident that
13 you showed photographs of or video of and you've
14 testified about. You were, in fact, arrested by the
15 Boston police; were you not?
16 A That's correct.
17 Q And you've seen the Boston police report
18 and you've seen the entire file of that case in
19 Boston; have you not?
20 A I've seen the Boston police report, yes.
21 Q Were you are you aware that Officer Mazer
22 (phonetic spelling) who arrested you watched
23 videotape recordings of the incident for which he was
24 arrested and stated in that report that videotape
25 shows suspect striking victim in the face with a
2 A Yes. That's not a disputed fact.
3 Q It's not disputed?
4 A No.
5 Q All right. And isn't it also undisputed
6 that the court asked you to stay away from the Church
7 of Scientology?
8 A Uh --
9 Q And that was a docket entry in the court's
11 A I don't believe that was the case. I
12 believe that it's a mandatory stay away order in the
13 state of Massachusetts if somebody is charged with
14 assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, which
15 according to the police anything, whether it be a
16 blown any sandwich or a stick that weighed 1.2
17 ounces, is dangerous.
18 Q Right, but --
19 A So there's a mandatory stay-away for any
20 charge. But, of course, the charges were ultimately
21 dropped completely.
22 Q Is that true that they were dropped
23 completely or was there a stipulation that you
24 entered into to have the charges dismissed?
25 A In order to have the charges dropped
1 completely, yes, there was a stipulation.
2 Q Didn't you stipulate not to go and
3 demonstrate on Church of Scientology properties
4 unless you first gave notice by fax prior to doing
6 A I agreed to give one hour's notice that I
7 was intending to peacefully demonstrate. The Church
8 of Scientology also agreed to respond to that notice
9 but never did in any of the instances where notice
10 was given.
11 Q Right. And so there was a continuing
12 restraint on your conduct as a result of striking
13 that gentleman with a stick?
14 A Well I wouldn't call it restraint if you
15 have to give somebody an hour notice before you show
16 up. It takes an hour to drive from my house in New
18 Q But there never was any doubt that you did,
19 in fact, strike the gentleman in Boston?
20 A There was never any doubt that I was first
21 assaulted and then in order to defend myself after
22 they had hit me and broke my sign with the remainder
23 of that stick, I tried to keep the guy away from me.
24 Q Okay. Let's go into another matter. Did
25 you ever fire a shotgun over the head of any
2 A Not over the head, but close.
3 Q And so there are three occasions that I
4 know of. Are there any others: The shotgun New
5 Hampshire, the stick in Boston, and the sign here in
6 Clearwater, that you have assaulted a Scientologist?
7 A First of all, I -- I didn't assault any
8 Scientologists with a shotgun.
9 Q But you fired a shotgun blast over their
11 A I just said I didn't fire a shotgun blast
12 over their heads, but near.
13 Q Near them. And didn't you discuss this on
14 the Internet?
15 A I did.
16 MR. JOHNSON: Your Honor, I'll be
17 asking some questions about the Internet
18 postings which are in evidence. May I give
19 the witness a copy?
20 THE COURT: Yes, sir. Please approach.
21 MR. JOHNSON: And counsel for the
22 respondent has the copy of it and Your Honor
23 has the original.
24 THE COURT: Of those exhibits, yes.
25 MR. JOHNSON: Yes. I wonder if I could
1 ask the clerk to make it available to you so
2 you can follow my questioning better.
3 THE COURT: I have them. Thank you.
4 MR. JOHNSON: I ask counsel -- I'm
5 referring to Exhibit 13. This is an
6 Internet posting dated July the 26th, 1998.
7 BY MR. JOHNSON:
8 Q Do you have that before you, Mr. Minton?
9 A I do.
10 Q All right. Do you admit to posting this
11 item on the Internet?
12 A I believe it's already -- yes.
13 Q Your counsel has stipulated that you did.
14 A That is correct.
15 Q All right. Says here underneath the
16 introduction, after the shots over the head of the
17 OSA boys someone called the police to have them check
18 out the shooting incident in New Hampshire. I wonder
19 who. Thanks, Mike.
20 A Yes.
21 Q So there was a shooting incident in New
23 A There were four Scientologists who came to
24 picket my house in New Hampshire. They were
25 accompanied by a private detective working for the
1 Church of Scientology by the name of Michael
2 Middleton who was photographing their picket on the
3 street of my home in New Hampshire. There's no
4 sidewalks on the street, so they're marching in the
6 Q Excuse me.
7 A Mr. Middleton -- if I can continue with my
9 Q Surely.
10 A Mr. Middleton was requested by the
11 Scientologists to go into the back of the property,
12 where they heard noises from the swimming pool where
13 I was physically located, and to take pictures.
14 Mr. Middleton in his statement to the New Hampshire
15 Police in Sandale, New Hampshire stated that he told
16 the Scientologists he would not trespass on my
17 property and have his PI license, you know, messed up
18 on account of that.
19 And said he was leaving and he left. And
20 then subsequently two of the Scientologists who were
21 remaining did come 75 feet onto my property and start
22 yelling obscenities at me in my pool. And they were
23 told at that stage to get off my property.
24 Q And was it at that time you fired the
25 shotgun --
1 A No.
2 Q -- near them?
3 A No.
4 Q How much after that did you fire the
6 A Well I'm going to tell you, the -- I got
7 out of the swimming pool, I put my bathrobe on, put a
8 towel around my neck, went into the house, which is
9 about a hundred feet away from the pool, went
10 upstairs to a bedroom where my keys to the barn were
11 located. I walked down to the front of the house out
12 the front door after having come in the back door
13 originally, walked out to the barn, went into my
14 office that's in a barn out there, and proceeded to
15 get one of several guns that I had. And I chose a
16 12-gauge shotgun to take to the back yard area to
17 protect myself from any further intrusion by
19 Q All right.
20 A At that stage, as I walked out of the front
21 of the barn, the four Scientologists who had gone to
22 their car were driving up the street at approximately
23 two to three miles per hour. And so I come out of
24 the front of the barn. And they're looking at me and
25 I'm looking at them, and not a word is said. They
1 continue on up the street at approximately the same
2 speed and make a left turn into the field next to my
3 barn, and all four of them proceeded to open their
4 car doors and got out of the car and started walking,
5 not very long, mind you, because I did -- I had
6 loaded two shells into the shotgun and fired up into
7 the woods. This is a big field with woods, you know,
8 150 feet away.
9 Q All right.
10 A And they took serious notice of the fact
11 that I was really meaning for them not to trespass.
12 They parked their car back on my property after they
13 had personally trespassed on the property and were
14 told to leave.
15 Q All right, sir. That was July the 26th,
16 1998, right?
17 A I believe that's about when it was, yes.
18 Q All right. Look at Exhibit 14 two months
19 later. A month later, excuse me, on August 24, 1998.
20 You put another posting on the Internet saying
21 shotgun is clean and targets are ready in New
22 Hampshire. Is that your writing on the Internet?
23 A It could be, yes. Looks like.
24 Q Did you also say in the last paragraph
25 furthermore, if by any remote chance a Scientologist
1 steps so much as one foot on my property tomorrow I
2 pray to something for your sake that I don't see you
3 do it? Is that a threat to shoot anyone that comes
4 near your property?
5 A It's a warning.
6 Q All right. Let me go onto another item
7 then. Let's look at Exhibit 14, which is entitled
8 "Loretta Miscavige". You have stipulated that you
9 wrote this mostly?
10 A I did, yes.
11 Q And for what purpose did you call David
12 Miscavige, the ecclesiastical leader of the
13 Scientology religion's mother?
14 A Well Loretta Miscavige is one of numerous
15 financial contributors to the Church of Scientology,
16 especially to their OT Preservation Committee. I've
17 been sent a list by some contacts here in Clearwater
18 of people who had donated, I think, the amounts were
19 from 50,000 to $500,000 to the Church of Scientology,
20 and I called several of those people, including David
21 Miscavige's mother who is on that list.
22 Q Did you also say in that posting that no
23 one is off limits from this point forward, not his
24 mother, his father, his wife, or him? Isn't that a
25 threat that you're going to do something to his
2 A I believe the remainder of that quote,
3 which is the most important, is "and especially their
4 money lines". The purpose of these calls was to try
5 to inform some of these people who were giving large
6 amounts of money to Scientology what it's being used
8 Q Was it your purpose to harass the mother of
9 the Scientology leader, they ecclesiastical leader?
10 A The purpose was to make these people aware,
11 including Loretta Miscavige, of what the money is
12 being used for that they're donating into the Church
13 of Scientology.
14 Q Why did you put her unlisted number on the
15 Internet so that --
16 A It's not an unlisted number. It came out
17 of a phone directory which that copy was sent to me
18 along with the listing of the people on this OT --
19 Q Why you did you put her number on the
20 Internet? Was that so people would harass her as
21 well as other people of your ilk would harass the
22 mother of David Miscavige?
23 A No.
24 Q Why did you put her number on your Internet
1 A Why not? It's a public number.
2 Q Well there are many, many public numbers
3 that you didn't put in your Internet posting. You
4 must have had some reason you wanted to put her
5 number in the Internet so she would be harassed and
6 interfered with her day-to-day activities.
7 A I believe you're just stretching your
8 imagination on this. I don't think that's what was
9 intended at all.
10 Q All right. Let's go on, then, to another
11 matter. Weren't there people, even among the
12 anti-Scientologists that objected strenuously to your
13 bringing the mother of David Miscavige into this,
14 your fight against Scientology?
15 A There could have been some people who
16 objected, yes.
17 Q How about looking at the next posting on
18 item No. 5, which was dated Thursday, 22nd of July,
19 which was the following day after you posted Loretta
20 Miscavige's number on the Internet.
21 A Yes, I see it.
22 Q Did you receive a number of complaints and
23 criticisms of your bringing his mother and his family
24 into your fight?
25 A Well, you know, a couple people thought it
1 was a little bit excessive to start calling family
2 members, yes. But they were upset -- they thought
3 that the call itself was probably harassive. And so,
4 therefore, the purpose of this posting here is to
5 give a quote of what was actually said on Loretta
6 Miscavige's answering machine.
7 Q And look at the bottom paragraph on Page 1
8 of that second day, July 22. You're talking about
9 the ARS critics. Isn't that the group that writes on
10 Scientology matters, ARS?
11 A It's -- it is a group that was set up by
12 former Scientologist to discuss their experiences in
13 Scientology back in 1995, yes.
14 Q Didn't you describe those who objected to
15 your harassing David Miscavige's mother as being like
16 eunuchs in a harem and you were critical of those who
17 did not want you harassing David's mother?
18 A Again, I think you're mischaracterizing
19 what was said here. There were some concern from
20 people that the contents of the message that was left
21 for Loretta Miscavige may have been harassive.
22 However, by stating what I said in the message to
23 Loretta Miscavige, the idea was to diffuse any
24 criticisms because it was not a harassive message.
25 Q All right. You heard the tapes of
1 David -- excuse me. Strike that. You heard the
2 tapes of Jesse Prince in your presence making remarks
3 about sodomizing David Miscavige; did you not?
4 A I did, yes.
5 Q And did you not encourage him in making
6 those remarks about sodomizing the head of a
8 A Well you bring up a point here that, you
9 know, Mr. Miscavige brought up sodomy first in a
10 deposition that was conducted by Grady Ward in
11 California last year. David Miscavige tore into
12 somebody during a deposition about the whole subject
13 of sodomy. And he's the one who brought it up and
14 made it a sensitive issue. And, you know, I've never
15 suggested anybody sodomize David Miscavige. If
16 that's his preference, it's not my concern.
17 Q Let's look at item No. 6, the last
18 paragraph. You're talking about and DM. Who's David
20 A David Miscavige.
21 Q It says, DM, for your next declaration
22 please include the fact --
23 A Which number is this? I think you've
24 skipped ahead to another one.
25 Q No. 6 titled from Bob Minton?
1 A Right.
2 Q And the last paragraph says and DM, David
3 Miscavige, for your next declaration please include
4 the fact that when Jesse Prince finishes with your
5 ass I've got the next ticket from the bakery counter.
6 Aren't you again talking about sodomizing
7 David Miscavige and you would be number two right
8 after Jesse Prince gets through?
9 A First of all, it's not my inclination to
10 participate in that type of activity. Secondly --
11 Q Why did you write it?
12 A Secondly, secondly, the point of this
13 message is to criticize David Miscavige for one of
14 the most laughable rewriting of his own church's
15 history in a declaration that he filed in the Lisa
16 McPherson case here in Clear -- in Tampa. It was
17 totally laughable.
18 Q But doesn't this indicate a constant
19 pattern of your trying to harass and incite people by
20 making outrageous accusations, many of them of a
21 sexual nature to members of the Church of
23 A Listen. Mr. Miscavige is the one who has
24 this hangup about sodomy, not me. He's the one who
25 has brought it up.
1 Q All right. You continue your attack on
2 David Miscavige on February 7; did you not, Exhibit
4 A I did make that post. The answer to your
5 question is no.
6 Q Well you talking about supporting Mark
7 Bunker. Why were you supporting Mark Bunker?
8 A Because of what had happened to him in the
9 July 4th picket in Los Angeles.
10 Q And you said Miscavige will be hanged in
11 effigy and burned like a common criminal?
12 A I did say that, yes.
13 Q Were you suggesting some violence against
14 David Miscavige?
15 A Burning someone in effigy is not a
16 particularly violent act.
17 Q Well, let me ask you another thing about --
18 (THEREUPON, A DISCUSSION WAS HELD OFF THE RECORD.)
19 BY MR. JOHNSON:
20 Q Let's turn to Exhibit No. 9, please, sir.
21 It was testified that this is a chat. Are you
22 familiar with the procedure of chatting on the
24 A Yes, it's just an interactive live message
25 group, yeah.
1 Q In which several persons of like interests
2 at the same time are on the Internet and they're all
3 back and forth with comments and reactions?
4 A Like interests would probably be stretching
5 it, but there are people there who share an interest
6 in a general topic that may be the subject of that
7 chat room.
8 Q All right. Let's turn to the last page of
9 Exhibit 9. And I want to ask you --
10 A There's only one page, isn't there?
11 Q I have -- did he get --
12 A Okay. I see what you mean. The cover
13 sheet is your first page. Okay.
14 Q Yeah. Look at Exhibit 9, which has got the
15 chat on November 3, 1999. Was it not your purpose to
16 incite violence against Scientologists no matter
17 where they are located?
18 A No, sir.
19 Q Let's look at the last page, if you don't,
20 mind, sir. Who is BlitzK2?
21 A I don't have any idea.
22 Q He says, why can't one of those shoot 'em
23 up nut cases run in the FH. Do you know what he was
24 talking about?
25 A FH would probably stand for Fort Harrison.
1 Q So he suggested that someone run in with a
2 pistol and blast away at the Scientologists in the
3 Fort Harrison?
4 A I don't know what he's suggesting. You'll
5 have to ask him. I don't know.
6 Q Well what do you understand "shoot 'em up
7 nut cases" to mean?
8 MR. DENIS DEVLAMING: Judge, I'm going
9 to object to the area of inquiry. He's
10 asking him to comment apparently upon what
11 someone else says, not what Mr. Minton says.
12 MR. JOHNSON: Well I'm coming to
13 Mr. Minton's response.
14 THE COURT: Rapidly, please.
15 MR. JOHNSON: All right. Thank you.
16 BY MR. JOHNSON:
17 Q And then you said after Blitz said, why
18 can't one of them shoot 'em up nut cases run in the
19 FH. You said, I'll E-mail your my manual. What do
20 you mean by manual? Is that --
21 A Let me just explain. I don't think you
22 understand how this IRC develops. Because what
23 happens in IRC is this is -- one comment doesn't
24 follow the other. That may have nothing to do with
25 what he said. I don't even know when this person is.
1 Q Did you disprove of what he said? Did you
2 say anything on the Internet in the chat to say you
3 shouldn't talk that way we don't want to talk about
5 A Trying to herd cats is about the equivalent
6 of trying to control people on the Internet. No. I
7 don't even know who this person is.
8 Q Okay. Let's go onto another matter then,
9 Exhibit No. 10, picture of you with a Samurai sword.
10 A Right.
11 Q Is that to inflict terror on Scientologists
12 of what you might do?
13 A No, sir.
14 Q All right.
15 A I came down from the morning after the
16 hearing in the -- after the Boston court hearing that
17 was scheduled, and I was in my bathrobe having just
18 gotten out of the shower. There was a gentleman
19 there who as I was leaning over the back of the
20 chair. He said, you look like a Samurai. Or he
21 said, do you mind if I take a picture. And I said, I
22 got a sword right here. I said, if you want to make
23 it more realistic, let's take it with the sword. So
24 he took the picture with the sword.
25 Somebody named Russell Shaw, who is a
1 Scientologist, put the caption on that picture which
2 you have presented to this Court as being something I
3 did. I had nothing to do with that caption.
4 In fact, my attorney who handles the
5 lawsuit specifically requested that if we were going
6 to put anything on that picture that we put at the
7 top, "Setup Fails", referring to the Boston attempt
8 to set me up, and at the bottom, "Heads Will Roll".
9 Q All right. Let's go on to Item 11. You're
10 aware that every year the Church of Scientology in
11 Clearwater Flag Service Organization runs a Say No to
12 Drugs race in which 800 runners, some of them world
13 class runners come down here to --
14 A No, sir. I wasn't aware of that, but I was
15 aware of their participation this year --
16 Q So you plan to disrupt that race which is
17 for the benefits of the city of Clearwater?
18 A No, sir. I didn't plan to disrupt that
19 race. I wanted to make sure that the people who were
20 participating in it, and I sent over 218 E-mail
21 messages to people who were involved in running
22 organizations around the country, and particularly in
23 the southeast, knew exactly who was sponsoring that
24 race. Because there was no clear indication that
25 this was a Scientology front group sponsoring this
2 Q And you have some objection to Scientology
3 sponsoring a matter to do away with drugs among young
5 A I believe that -- if I thought for one
6 second that the Church of Scientology carried
7 anything but recruiting members through these types
8 of events, I will not have sent it. But,
9 unfortunately, that's the nature of the deception
10 that I believe goes on within the church.
11 Q Now didn't you have Mark Bunker set up to
12 be there with his camera and disrupting this
14 A Disrupting the procedure, if you call
15 sending 218 E-mail messages to people informing them
16 who was sponsoring this event, you know, that wasn't
17 a disruption. There is no disruption planned. There
18 are some events that are planned that will further
19 inform people who are there as to what they are
20 participating in.
21 Q You have some objection to the things that
22 Scientology are doing to benefit the community such
23 as running the race, such as decorating for
24 Christmas? You have some objection to that?
25 A I don't have any problems with the Church
1 of Scientology doing anything to benefit anyone. I
2 don't see much of that, however.
3 MR. JOHNSON: Excuse me just one
5 BY MR. JOHNSON:
6 Q Mr. Minton, do I understand you to testify
7 that Rich Howd was at the airport when you arrived on
8 Halloween Day?
9 A No, sir. I didn't say that. I said that
10 at some point from the airport to Downtown Clearwater
11 he was seen following us.
12 Q As a matter of fact --
13 A I mean, he wasn't the first one to be
14 following us, but, yes, he subsequently fell in line
15 with the rest.
16 Q As a matter of fact, didn't you come
17 immediately from the airport and start demonstrating
18 in front of Fort Harrison?
19 A I believe what I testified to was that
20 given the reception that we got -- first of all, I
21 was met by two Scientologists inside the airport.
22 Q That was not Mark Howd (sic). You're not
23 suggesting that he was there.
24 A No, I said he was not there. And you know
25 what they said to me at the airport was, you know,
1 what are you doing in your town.
2 Q So isn't it also true that you went in a
3 attempt to create a disturbance in front of the Fort
4 Harrison by sticking cameras in people's faces and
5 interfering with their activities?
6 A No, sir. That's not correct.
7 MR. JOHNSON: I'd like to show a video
8 of the afternoon of the October 31, 1999
9 when Mr. Minton first arrived here on the
11 THE COURT: Proceed.
12 MR. JOHNSON: Steve?
13 MR. DENIS DEVLAMING: Did I see that,
14 Paul? Was that given to me.
15 THE COURT: This is October 31 now.
16 MR. DENIS DEVLAMING: Yes, sir.
17 THE COURT: October 31.
18 MR. JOHNSON: Yes, sir.
19 THE COURT: That's Halloween.
20 MR. JOHNSON: That's the same day the
21 assault took place.
22 THE COURT: I think he testified to two
23 pickets. One he did first, then they went
24 to the Belleview Biltmore and then they came
25 back or something. Is this picket number
2 MR. JOHNSON: This is the one at Fort
4 THE COURT: Weren't they both at The
5 Fort Harrison?
6 MR. JOHNSON: Yes, sir, the one in the
7 evening where the assault took place.
8 THE COURT: Okay. That's number two.
9 MR. JOHNSON: Yes, sir.
10 THE COURT: So this is number one.
11 MR. DENIS DEVLAMING: Earlier in the
13 THE COURT: Right.
14 MR. JOHNSON: Earlier in the day, yes,
16 THE COURT: Well, I didn't mean to make
17 it that simple.
18 MR. DENIS DEVLAMING: Judge, we had a
19 deal to swap the tapes. I haven't seen this
21 THE COURT: You want me to take a break
22 let you look at it?
23 MR. DENIS DEVLAMING: Yeah, how long?
24 THE COURT: I'll give you 5, 10
25 minutes. Take a look at it. Same rules
1 apply, Mr. Minton.
2 (THEREUPON, A BRIEF RECESS WAS TAKEN.)
3 THE COURT: Mr. Devlaming did you get a
4 chance to look at it?
5 MR. DENIS DEVLAMING: Judge, I did in
6 your absence. It appears to be an edited
7 version of what obviously is a longer tape.
8 I would imagine that Mr. Johnson had it. If
9 Mr. Johnson had it originally, he would have
10 certainly turned it over, but at some point
11 in time he became aware of its existence. I
12 haven't had an opportunity to look at the
13 unedited version nor show it to my client.
14 The Court was very specific last time
15 we were here not to try to get anything in
16 we didn't show the other side. So because I
17 don't have the unedited version, I object to
18 its introduction.
19 THE COURT: Sustained.
20 MR. JOHNSON: Judge, could you indulge
21 me just a moment? I'm nearly through.
22 THE COURT: Yeah. I'll indulge you.
23 MR. JOHNSON: Thank you, sir. That's
24 all I have, Your Honor. Your Honor, I'm
1 THE COURT: Okay. I understand.
2 Defense? Mr. Johnson said he has no further
4 MR. DENIS DEVLAMING: Respondent has no
5 further questions. I have no further
6 questions, Judge.
7 THE COURT: Sir, you may step down.
8 Have a seat back at your attorneys' table.
9 Mr. Devlaming, call your next witness.
10 MR. DENIS DEVLAMING: Your Honor, there
11 are no further witness to call on behalf of
12 Respondent. However, I have marked
13 Respondent's Exhibit 2 for identification.
14 It's been displayed to the Court, but I have
15 not formally introduced it. That's the one
16 introduced with Mr. Minton. I will
17 introduce that at this time as Respondent's
18 Exhibit 2.
19 THE COURT: All right. Any objection?
20 MR. JOHNSON: No, sir, I don't. But we
21 have another video I don't think has been
22 marked. Is that right, Miss Clerk?
23 THE CLERK: Yes, No. 19 has not been
24 marked into evidence.
25 MR. JOHNSON: I offer No. 19 in
1 evidence, Your Honor.
2 THE COURT: Any objection?
3 MR. DENIS DEVLAMING: Well I'm just
4 being -- was it played? If it was played, I
5 have no objection.
6 THE CLERK: It's not this one; it was
7 the one prior to.
8 MR. JOHNSON: It wasn't the last one
9 that was not played; it was the one --
10 MR. DENIS DEVLAMING: That was played.
11 MR. JOHNSON: Yes, sir.
12 MR. DENIS DEVLAMING: Then I have no
14 THE COURT: Both in. His No. 2 and
15 your No. 19.
16 MR. JOHNSON: Yes.
17 THE COURT: Mr. Devlaming you rest?
18 MR. DENIS DEVLAMING: I do, Your Honor.
19 THE COURT: Rebuttal?
20 MR. JOHNSON: No rebuttal, Your Honor.
21 THE COURT: All right. Now I know I
22 swore in a lot of people. And some of them
23 have been sitting by very dutifully in the
24 witness rooms. If you don't intend to call
25 them could I get somebody from each side to
1 please go release those people so they don't
2 sit there forever thinking they're going to
3 get called?
4 MR. DENIS DEVLAMING: Or they can come
5 in if they wish.
6 THE COURT: They can come in as far as
7 I'm concerned, too. Are you both ready to
8 go to closing?
9 MR. JOHNSON: Judge, I don't want to
10 delay this. Could you give me a few
11 minutes? What we'd like to do -- I have
12 Mr. Hertzberg whose a First Amendment
13 specialist, and he's going to cover that
14 part of the case; I was going to cover the
15 facts. I'd like to talk to him a few
16 minutes to see exactly how we're going to do
17 it so as to make it more efficient for Your
19 I was surprised that counsel rested,
20 but you learn never to be surprised at
21 anything that Dennis does. He's always got
22 something up his sleeve. So if you'll give
23 me a few minutes to confer with counsel
24 before, I think it'll save time in the long
1 THE COURT: Don't let my hesitation
2 here mean that I'm not going to grant that.
3 I'm just thinking about something, another
4 way to do it. That was all. A thought:
5 I've got Thursday afternoon open. Do you
6 all want to come back, say, one o'clock
7 Thursday afternoon and give me your
9 MR. JOHNSON: Judge, I would prefer to
10 go ahead and get it behind. I do have a --
11 THE COURT: Tonight's fine. That's all
12 right. I'll give you time to get organized
13 and do your thoughts, we'll press on. I'll
14 give you -- let's shoot for 15 minutes. Now
15 is that going to be enough?
16 MR. JOHNSON: Yes, sir, that will be
18 THE COURT: All right. If you need a
19 few more, just tell one of the bailiffs.
20 MR. DENIS DEVLAMING: Before you get
21 up, I don't mean to impinge, but it might
22 help us too, do you know about how much time
23 Mr. Weinberg.
24 MR. HERTZBERG: Hertzberg.
25 MR. DENIS DEVLAMING: Hertzberg, I'm
2 THE COURT: 30 per side, 45?
3 MR. JOHNSON: 45, Judge.
4 THE COURT: 45 per side.
5 MR. JOHNSON: I'm trying to get it
6 narrowed down. When we got two lawyers,
7 sometimes -- when get through
8 Mr. Hertzberg's introduction, there may not
9 be much time for me.
10 THE COURT: Well I already know who he
11 is so we can cut the introduction out, okay?
12 (THEREUPON, A BRIEF RECESS WAS TAKEN.)
13 THE COURT: All right. Are we ready to
14 proceed with closings?
15 MR. DENIS DEVLAMING: Yes, Your Honor.
16 THE COURT: Mr. Johnson?
17 MR. JOHNSON: May it please the Court?
18 THE COURT: Please proceed.
19 MR. JOHNSON: Your Honor, we have
20 presented evidence on behalf of the
21 Petitioner, which from my judgment and
22 observation, has fully supported the making
23 of the temporary injunction for protection
24 against harassment and violence viable, and
25 it should be made into a permanent
2 In our presentation I would like to
3 talk generally about the evidence generally
4 for my portion of the argument, and
5 Mr. Hertzberg will point to the First
6 Amendment problems.
7 (THEREUPON, THERE WAS A PAUSE IN THE PROCEEDINGS.)
8 MR. JOHNSON: All right. Your Honor,
9 thank you very much. And can everybody hear
10 me? Your Honor, the evidence overwhelmingly
11 supports the need for a temporary injunction
12 against violence and harassment. And we
13 have shown in our evidence and in the
14 examinations of the -- particularly
15 Mr. Minton and the other witnesses, that it
16 is very clear that harassment is a big part
17 of this case. Of course the violence was
18 what precipitated this action, and had it
19 not been for the violence perhaps, this
20 action would not have of been initiated, but
21 once it was initiated it became very evident
22 that the purpose of the Respondent,
23 Mr. Minton, has been to harass and incite to
24 violence and to question the religious
25 activities of the Church of Scientology.
1 And so that's where the important parts of
2 our petition, not just that he doesn't hit
3 anybody else for a while, but that he not be
4 allowed to come so close to the church
5 facilities as to harass and incite bad
6 things to happen.
7 Let's look at what the facts show. The
8 evidence is clear and convincing. The first
9 video we showed you was video taken outside
10 of the Fort Harrison, the security video.
11 And it showed Rich Howd, who is liaison for
12 all of the security for all of the church
13 buildings, and he's described what each
14 building does. Many, many of them are
15 residential buildings. And there are, of
16 course, I'm sure Mr. Hertzberg will talk
17 about the law being even more stringent on
18 protection of residential buildings.
19 But so he was there with the purpose of
20 knowing the background of Mr. Minton. He
21 knew about the shotgun situation in New
22 Hampshire, according to the petition sworn
23 petition. He knew about the clubbing in
24 Boston. And knowing that background of
25 Mr. Minton, who is an avowed opponent of the
1 church, and that's certainly his right to be
2 an avowed opponent of the church if he so
3 wishes, but he doesn't have the right to
4 come down from up in New Hampshire or Boston
5 or wherever, to come down to Clearwater and
6 to incite improper conduct, to talk about a
7 person's religion. And he doesn't have a
8 right to do that.
9 And so he comes down here, and as soon
10 as he gets off the plane he's goes out to
11 start doing his picketing and his signs here
12 in front of Fort Harrison. And what Rich is
13 doing, Rich, being in charge of security,
14 knowing the pension for violence and hoping
15 that he can encourage Mr. Minton not to do
16 anything inappropriate as he's done in so
17 many other places, he is photographing him
18 with a video camera.
19 And he's not putting the camera up in
20 his face or anything of that sort. He's
21 four or five feet away. And he's following
22 him and photographing his activities as
23 Mr. Minton walks back and forth.
24 So and then we see at the end of the
25 block, and luckily for everybody involved
1 here, so there's no question of what the
2 facts are, there's a police officer and his
3 cruiser is parked there at Pierce and Fort
4 Harrison. And he looks over there, he sees
5 some -- here's some conversation. And he
6 looks over there and he sees Mr. Minton haul
7 off and hit and knock down Rich Howd.
8 Oh, later on they talk to this police
9 officer and said, do you think you would
10 have fallen down. Well, it's easier to say
11 that if you're not the one whose hit. And
12 also the police officer looked like a pretty
13 husky guy and Rich Howd is just a -- he's a
14 regular man. He's not a police officer,
15 he's not doing judo or anything that sort.
16 He's whacked in the face with a hard
17 surface -- the hard surfaces of this sign
18 and it snaps his head back. You can see his
19 head snap back as you looked at the video
20 and his head snapped back and he fell. And
21 the police officer comes right up turns on
22 his red lights and his blue lights and comes
23 right over there and sees Minton and a
24 companion making an escape. They go some
25 hundred feet down the road down Pierce
1 Street away while Rich is laying there
2 bleeding from the top of his head, without
3 any attempt or any remorse, any attempt to
4 come back and see, golly, are you hurt or
5 anything of that sort.
6 And if it happened as Respondent
7 suggests, it happens now well that, you
8 know, I just turned around and hit him,
9 what's the natural thing to do. If you
10 accidentally hurt someone, you're going to,
11 actually say, hey, man, I'm sorry, I didn't
12 mean to do it, are you hurt, can I do
13 anything, you're lying there on the ground
14 bleeding. Did he do that? No, didn't do
15 that. He took off.
16 And if it hadn't been for the fortunate
17 the situation of a police officer being
18 right there and being an eye witness to the
19 attack and him going down and running down
20 to Mr. Minton before he can get more than a
21 hundred feet down the road. He then looked
22 at the two videos which, and unfortunately,
23 Judge, Mr. Devlaming and I have used our
24 best efforts to get the close videos, the
25 police videos, but it's being used in
1 evidence for Mr. McCabe's office. And so,
2 but we did have, luckily, the video taken
3 from outside the security camera outside the
4 Fort Harrison which showed it all, but just
5 not as close.
6 But we don't need the two videos,
7 because the police officer saw them. He
8 looked at the attack with his own eyes. He
9 then took two of the videos of the local
10 people, I guess, of Mr. Minton's group and
11 our group and looked at them and
12 determined -- and he interviewed Mr. Minton,
13 he heard his defenses, and he made the
14 decision to make an arrest for assault. Or
15 I'm not sure. Was it assault and battery?
16 But, anyway, he made the arrest and the case
17 is still pending in the court here in
18 Pinellas County. So, that is clearly what
20 Now, Mr. Minton can't suggest that he
21 was provoked into doing this. He's trying
22 to suggest by showing some photographs of
23 something that happened in New York some
24 time before -- no, excuse me, Boston
25 sometime before, that he was provoked. He
1 was not provoked. Rich Howd didn't utter a
2 word. He was just photographing for the
3 intent of discouraging any violence from
4 happening to any parishioners or staff
5 members or anyone else. And he was just
6 going on silently. No one says they heard
7 Rich Howd say anything. And then Minton
8 turned around and got angry and he turned
9 around and whacked him with a sign and
10 knocked him down. So that's the facts of
11 the incident there.
12 Okay. So based upon the past history
13 of Robert Minton and this particularly
14 unexcusable (sic) action, Rich Howd made a
15 petition on behalf of himself, the
16 parishioners, the staff members of the
17 Church of Scientology here in Clearwater,
18 and he did it in such away as to present to
19 the Court evidence sufficient to show that
20 there should be an injunction to protect
21 against irreparable harm. And certainly if
22 something is not done, there is going to be
23 some irreparable harm.
24 Now as we look through the whole modus
25 operandi, if you want to say, or procedure, or
1 tactics, Mr. Minton had throughout all of this fight
2 against the church. And here again I'm not talking
3 about his financing the fight against the church and
4 financing people like Mark and others to be against
5 the church. I'm talking about he had a definite
6 modus operandi of insulting, making sexual
7 accusations or innuendos and accusations against the
8 spiritual leader of the Church of Scientology, which
9 governs the globe of some nine million members I
10 think they've quoted.
11 And so he is -- both he and Jesse Prince
12 who he said is not his cohort, but we see Jesse
13 Prince, the black man who had such a vulgar mouth
14 throughout Boston, throughout Tampa -- I keep saying
15 Tampa. Through Clearwater. And all with the intent
16 of getting some reaction.
17 I know these people had to bite their
18 tongues when someone comes up to you and say, hey,
19 curly head, you know why you're curly. Well then he
20 goes on and makes that accusation against -- had
21 relations with his mother. You know, when I was
22 raised, those were fighting words. And he knew that
23 he was going to get the right man one of these days
24 when he goes with these words to incite some
25 response. He would love to have some response
1 someone says, you're not going to talk about my
2 mother that way and haul off and hit him. Luckily
3 the members of the staff of the Church of Scientology
4 bit their tongues and withheld saying anything back.
5 And then here goes Jesse Prince. He then
6 makes that very vulgar comment about the size of his
7 sexual organ and he's going to sodomize David
8 Miscavige and that sort of thing. I mean, it's so
9 absurd, that's not free speech. That's unacceptable
10 behavior. And it has the tendency of encouraging the
11 possibilities of violence. You just can't talk to
12 people that way. I know many people I've had contact
13 with, if they would have been talked to that way,
14 there would have really been a violent act out there.
15 And we're trying to avoid that thing.
16 Even on the Internet, what he does do?
17 Talk about the same thing. And I read from the
18 Internet. He says when Jesse Prince gets through
19 with him he's got the next bakery ticket. That means
20 he's next in line, they're going to sodomize the head
21 of the religion.
22 I mean, that's just so unacceptable. And
23 it's not just unacceptable, the results of the -- of
24 that can be so dangerous. He's to incur some type of
25 violent reaction in harassing the members of the
2 Also did it on another occasion. Let's
3 see, where was that? I'll come back to that in just
4 a moment. Up in -- and then their defense, is that,
5 oh, this is some kind of a pattern that they are
6 performing, these Scientologists, whoever they are,
7 all over the world, are a having some kind of a
8 pattern to go after Mr. Prince.
9 They show some type of pickets in L.A.,
10 they're having a 4th of July party there in honor of
11 our nation's declaration of independence. And so
12 they have this Mark comes in and sticks his camera
13 down there and starts trying to create something.
14 And then this is the same man, two days later -- no,
15 a week later, after he went to the accident in Los
16 Angeles, he comes down to Tampa and starts filming
17 various Scientologists who are seen backing away from
18 him as he walks around with his camera in his hand.
19 And also saying, for a devout
20 Scientologists who knows that the auditing system is
21 part of their religion, which is different from the
22 Christian religion, as was explained on the stand,
23 but the auditing is really pastoral counseling and
24 that's the center of the Scientology religion, and
25 this is being done over the top of where Minton and
1 Prince are saying these vulgarities. Three or four
2 stories up, they're having these auditing sessions
3 and here Mark -- what's his last name?
4 Barnard (sic). He says, to try to incite
5 one of these Scientologists, he asked how many times
6 have you had relationships with women up there during
7 the auditing sessions. That's just outrageous. And
8 many people would take a violent reaction to that.
9 This is the center of their religion and he says
10 they're up in the room having an improper sexual
12 This whole thing is part of the plan that
13 Mr. Minton had to create problems here in Clearwater.
14 He's come down from New Hampshire, he's trying
15 to -- if he wants to difference himself with the
16 church, that's entirely up to him, but he's coming
17 down here trying to destroy the church and trying to
18 incur violence and all type of activities that are
20 And then he says -- oh, yes, we've got
21 Boston now. We proved when, I guess Mr. -- I'm
22 sorry. I forgot his name again. What is his name?
23 Bunker. Bunker. When Bunker comes down here a week
24 after he goes to Los Angeles, he's down here for the
25 purpose of creating more problems. He's paid his way
1 down here. And here's a man who is being financed in
2 his tough times by Mr. Minton to do his bidding.
3 So these are the facts of the case. And
4 their defense is that this is some kind of conspiracy
5 to create some kind of attack upon Mr. Minton? This
6 is Mr. Minton who has at least on three occasions
7 that in the record has used violence against members
8 of the Church of Scientology.
9 He has a short fuse. A very short fuse.
10 And he comes up there and we know about the shotgun
11 in New Hampshire. He put it on the Internet twice.
12 We know about the pole. He admits that he assaulted
13 the man in Boston. And he admits he was charged with
14 it, admits that ultimately he was required to stay
15 away and that ultimately he was required to give
16 notice before he would come out and do his actions or
17 give members of the church time to get away from him
18 and clear out.
19 So this is a man who has repeatedly been
20 guilty of violent acts against the church and who has
21 repeatedly through his Internet postings suggested
22 sexual activities against the ecclesiastical leader
23 of the church. And do they suggest that anyone has
24 ever struck Mr. Minton or anybody from the church has
25 ever done anything inappropriate? There's nothing to
1 show it. And we have shown all the films concerning
2 Clearwater, and it's clear from the films there's
3 no -- there's no actions by Rich Howd that would
4 encourage this type of activity. He was just trying
5 to defend against this activity by hoping that if
6 Minton knew he was photographed, he would not do
7 anything inappropriate.
8 So the facts of the case show there is an
9 immediate irreparable danger of injury being
10 committed, being done to members of the church, the
11 staff and their parishioners. And the only way to
12 protect them from the actions of Mr. Minton is to
13 have him stay away from these church facilities 150
14 yards, which is certainly reasonable. I know even in
15 domestic violence cases there's a long distance away
16 that's often ordered by judges that doesn't have
17 nearly as much potential for violence as this case
18 here does.
19 So, Mr. Minton has a number of -- I call
20 them colleagues or cronies or whatever you call them.
21 If they want to walk down the sidewalk and
22 demonstrate, that's their right their First
23 Amendment. They can say whatever they want to say as
24 long as it's not inciting to violence. But
25 Mr. Minton himself has demonstrated, you know, three
1 strikes and you're out. And he's got three strikes
2 against him. The shotgun, the pole, and the sign.
3 And he just should not be allowed to come so close to
4 the facilities, and particularly as these people some
5 thousand Scientologists four times a day, they go
6 from the Fort Harrison to the Sandcastle over to the
7 rest of the facilities at the Clearwater Bank
9 And those people are just in danger by the
10 actions of Mr. Minton. As I say, he's financing the
11 fight against the Church of Scientology, that's fine.
12 He has many colleagues who can do it, carry as many
13 signs as they want to, but he has forfeited his right
14 to do that. And we urge the Court to make permanent
15 this injunction which was properly entered against
16 Robert Minton. Now I'm going to ask if Mr. Hertzberg
17 will close out our argument.
18 THE COURT: All right. You may
20 MR. HERTZBERG: I just want to briefly
21 reiterate some of the points that we touched
22 on this morning, because it's been and long
23 day. But I want to reemphasize that the
24 actual terms of what would be a permanent
25 injunction here are not totally in dispute
1 and that, in fact, if we revisit or the
2 Court revisits on its own time that
3 Paragraph 2 is suggested on Page 8 of the
4 Respondent's pleadings. We have no problem
5 with the terms of that language, which is a
6 prohibition against Mr. Minton having
7 intentional, willful physical contact with
8 Mr. Howd or staff and parishioners of the
9 church and that he not harass or commit acts
10 of violence against those groups of people.
11 So I think that that should be the point of
12 the departure.
13 So what is in dispute? What's in
14 dispute is how far away -- what is now up to
15 now the 150-yard provision should be. And,
16 Your Honor, just to amplify very slightly on
17 Mr. Johnson's marshalling of the facts here,
18 I just want to emphasize that we are talking
19 about Mr. Minton. And we're talking about
20 acts that occurred here in Clearwater after
21 the incident that occurred in Boston. And I
22 know that the Respondent put on this tape in
23 Boston and there were suggestions, perhaps,
24 that Mr. Minton was somehow provoked into
25 the assault that occurred up in Boston, but
1 what happened in Boston, there was
2 significant testimony on cross-examination
3 on Mr. Minton. On cross-examination
4 Mr. Minton conceded that he had read the
5 report of law enforcement agency. I believe
6 it was the addressing officer. And that
7 report, which Mr. Minton conceded that he
8 had read, stated that the law enforcement
9 personnel had reviewed the video of the
10 incident. So that's the same video that was
11 played in this court. And in their
12 discretion they bought the charges up in
14 So, in a way, we have a referee. I
15 don't think they're going to suggest for a
16 moment that somehow the Boston Police or the
17 commonwealth attorney up in Boston is
18 beholding to the Church of Scientology.
19 Obviously they're not suggesting that.
20 But the law enforcement agency in the
21 first instance, when they arrested
22 Mr. Minton, and in the second incident, when
23 they decided to proceed with the charge,
24 they made the determination based on the
25 very same video that was presented by
1 Respondents that Mr. Minton should be
2 charged. In Boston he was charged with
3 assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
4 They tried to minimize. They talk about the
5 nature of the stick or the nature of the
6 sign that's being carried. That's the
7 charge that was brought.
8 And Mr. Minton further acknowledged on
9 cross-examination that it wasn't just an
10 outright dismissal. I mean, his testimony
11 at first was he was trying to tell the
12 Court, and he wanted the Court to believe,
13 that the charges were just dropped. Now
14 when Mr. Johnson pursued that with him we
15 learned something different. We learned
16 that there was a term that in exchange for
17 the charges being dropped there was that
18 stay-away order, there was that order with a
19 condition to it, that he had to give
20 advanced notice before coming to the church.
21 He was dismissive about it. He said, well,
22 it takes a hour to get down there anyway
23 from New Hampshire.
24 But I think there was a reason for an
25 advanced notice. And that term, which was
1 proved by the commonwealth attorney, Your
2 Honor, I think one can infer, and certainly
3 Your Honor can infer was to give perhaps law
4 enforcement officials sufficient time to
5 understand what the situation might be if
6 there's a repeat situation of Boston.
7 Now why has Boston -- we've been saying
8 that what happened in Los Angeles is
9 irrelevant. It is. Certainly Mr. Minton
10 wasn't around there. And I would suggest to
11 Your Honor that lengthy little side trip
12 that we took is totally irrelevant.
13 But Boston does have significance in
14 this respect. The case law, the United
15 States Supreme Court talks in terms of the
16 strictness of the terms of an injunction.
17 And the discretion the court has to impose
18 those terms can take into consideration the
19 fact that an earlier injunction or an
20 earlier -- or a statute has not had the
21 desired effect to deter. So actually it is
22 important. It is important that Mr. Minton,
23 after the review of that videotape by the
24 authorities in Boston was charged and he did
25 not just walk away from dropped charges,
1 that there was a penalty, there was a
2 condition imposed. And the importance of
3 that, Your Honor, is that apparently that
4 had no deterrent effect when he came down to
5 Clearwater and he assaulted Mr. Howd. So
6 that's important.
7 And under the law, Your Honor, I
8 suggest to Your Honor you have the ability
9 to take that into account when you fashion
10 the final remedy in this case. And it
11 didn't just happen once; it happened a
12 second time. And as far as all these other
13 collateral matters about what may or may not
14 have off camera have provoked Mr. Minton or
15 his cohorts to spew the vulgarities, the
16 unprotected speech, Your Honor, which I
17 eluded to my opening remarks.
18 Well, you know what struck me as I sat
19 there is what we have is sort of a
20 blame-the-victim defense on the part of the
21 Respondents. Somehow every time there's a
22 vulgarity from Mr. Minton, every time
23 there's something from Mr. Prince or
24 Mr. Bunker that time that the cameraman
25 says, well, he never says that what he's
1 saying, although he did say it here,
2 something was said by the Scientologists or
3 that that provoked him. Well, you know,
4 Your Honor, you can't assault people as a
5 response to verbal provocation, even if
6 there was provocation. That's in the a
7 defense. And Your Honor should take that
8 into consideration here.
9 And I think Your Honor should take into
10 consideration this well notion of blaming
11 the victim. Mr. Minton who resides by his
12 own account up in the northeast, further
13 north than I am, and further east than I am,
14 comes down here, well he makes a tour. He
15 goes to California on a whim, they decide to
16 come to Clearwater instead of California.
17 He's all over the place. He has the means,
18 apparently, to do it. That's his privilege
19 if he wants to spend his money that way.
20 Comes down to Clearwater, though, and
21 where does he park himself? Right on the
22 sidewalk? Right in front of The Fort
23 Harrison where it is undisputed on this
24 record that Scientologists come from all
25 over the world to reside, to engage in their
1 religious practices. There are rooms set
2 aside for that. There are rooms where
3 they're supposed to sleep, there are rooms
4 where they're supposed to eat, there are
5 rooms where they're supposed to engage in
6 auditing. And they know that. No one's --
7 they didn't claim surprise about that.
8 And they're chanting these vulgarities.
9 And they come down -- and something that's
10 also revealing and reflects also on how Your
11 Honor can fashion an appropriate remedy, a
12 fair remedy for Mr. Howd and the people of
13 Church of Scientology, his religion is, you
14 know, I didn't see the general public of
15 Clearwater in any of these tapes.
16 Your Honor saw a number of tapes where
17 I can't count how many there are, but there
18 was several tapes, obviously, with different
19 segments of picketing. And did Your Honor
20 see the general public? No, you didn't.
21 And the reason is because this picketing
22 that Mr. Minton engages in is targeted to
23 get right in the face, as he says, of the
25 He comes down and parks himself right
1 on that front sidewalk wherever he goes.
2 The front sidewalk up in Boston, the front
3 sidewalk here in Clearwater. And that's
4 where they march up and down the front
5 sidewalk. And whose there at that sidewalk?
6 Is it the other citizens of Clearwater? It
7 is not, Your Honor. It is the
9 And they want, they want to -- nothing
10 more than to provoke -- and I suppose its
11 part of their agenda as well to try to
12 disaffect Scientologists from their
13 religion. Well, I guess if you're
14 non-violent and if you engage in protected
15 speech, which is not what's going on with
16 the Defendant, Mr. Minton, I suppose that's
17 all right. I suppose you can get -- you can
18 just target that sidewalk. Except that when
19 you start the kind of focused picketing, and
20 that's the term the Supreme Court uses in a
21 number of cases, and that's the term that's
22 utilized in a lot of the decisions other
23 than the United States Supreme Court, and it
24 came up in a large part in the abortion
25 clinic cases, focused picketing.
1 Focused picketing is when you started
2 to direct your message to the people who
3 were seeking abortions, which is
4 constitutionally protected activity in this
5 country. And what do they do? They're
6 targeting their message at the
7 Scientologists. He's not trying to tell the
8 citizens of Clearwater his message. He's
9 trying to tell the Scientologists and he's
10 trying to provoke them. So he's focusing
11 his picketing on his unprotected speech on
12 them as well.
13 And that's what leads to the problem,
14 and that was what leads to the trouble. But
15 by the trouble, I want to be sure that we
16 understand. The trouble is assaults that
17 ends up in arrests and -- and we're going to
18 have a prosecution here in Florida. And we
19 had a disposition which was conditional in
20 Massachusetts. And so we have, Your Honor,
21 no incidents, as Mr. Johnson said this
22 already, we have not one instance where a
23 Scientologist hit Mr. Minton with a soft
24 board out any kind of board.
25 So what are we left with in terms of
1 the law? There's a significant government
2 interest, Your Honor, several of them, to be
3 protected here. One of them is that good
4 order be kept in the streets. That the
5 peace be kept. And I don't think my
6 colleague when he addresses the Court is
7 going to dispute that that's a significant
8 governmental interest. And that interest is
9 a sufficient interest in itself. And only
10 one interest needs to be identified
11 to -- under the case law to support the kind
12 of injunction that we're asking for. That
13 significant government interest exists right
14 here and now in Clearwater based on the
15 record that's been adduced in this court.
16 We also have, just like the government
17 interest, we have in the abortion clinic
18 cases, Your Honor, which is the Madsen case
19 and others in the United States Supreme
20 Court. I don't think there's going to be
21 any dispute about what these say cases say.
22 I don't think there are actually that many
23 disputes here, if we focus on what the real
24 issues are.
25 Those cases talk about the need to
1 protect the people who are potential clients
2 of the abortion clinics. Well we need to
3 protect Mr. Howd and whoever -- and I hope
4 it doesn't happen, but whoever the next
5 potential Mr. Howd is who might get
6 assaulted when Mr. Minton loses his temper
7 again. And those -- that's another
8 significant governmental interest.
9 And they cannot get around this, Your
10 Honor, I would submit, by saying that
11 somehow because some other unspecified
12 Scientologist who was shown in Los Angeles
13 apparently a year ago or whenever it was,
14 may have -- I mean, their theory is, okay,
15 he's feigning an injury. Because of that
16 they're going to attribute -- they're going
17 to say Mr. Howd and his co-religioners here
18 in Clearwater are not entitled to relief. I
19 think that's where they're thinking.
20 Well the police didn't think that what
21 Mr. Howd did was faked. They didn't think
22 that. And the police up in Massachusetts
23 didn't think that what happened to that
24 other fellow who was on the screen was
25 faked. They didn't think that. Because if
1 they thought that for a moment they wouldn't
2 have brought the charges. So I think that's
3 the answer to that, Your Honor.
4 Now let's also not ignore the postings.
5 We have here, and Mr. Minton was pretty
6 candid that he made those post things,
7 although I felt, and obviously, Your Honor,
8 it's your prerogative to judge the
9 credibility and the candor of the witnesses.
10 I thought he was a little bit disingenuous
11 about what he was really saying in those
12 postings. I think Your Honor can draw your
13 own conclusions.
14 And I don't want to rehash every with
15 single one of the posings, but I want Your
16 Honor to focus in particular about, on the
17 one about David Miscavige's mother and the
18 kind of answers that Mr. Minton gave on
19 cross-examination when he was discussing
20 that one. I mean, let's be realistic here.
21 When somebody says that nobody is off
22 limits, nobody is off limits, from this
23 point forward, not his mother, not David
24 Miscavige's mother, not his father, not his
25 wife, not him. Those are threats. That's
1 not protected.
2 And we can debate where the line is
3 drawn on a threat or not. But I don't think
4 there's any debate about that. And I don't
5 think my learned colleague over here on the
6 other side is going to get up here and try
7 to convince Your Honor that threats are
8 protected by the First Amendment or that
9 vulgarities are protected by the First
10 Amendment. And he's certainly not going to
11 dare get up here and maintain that
12 violations of statutes that result in
13 arrests are protected.
14 And by the way, Your Honor, down here
15 in Clearwater there are some additional
16 statutes. There's two specific statutes I
17 want to bring to Your Honor's attention.
18 871.O1 of the Florida Statutes makes it a
19 misdemeanor to disrupt.
20 THE COURT: I'm sorry 87 --
21 MR. HERTZBERG: 871.O1 Florida
23 THE COURT: 871.O1.
24 MR. HERTZBERG: I'm sorry.
25 THE COURT: That's fine.
1 MR. HERTZBERG: Entitled Disturbing
2 Schools and Religious and Other Assemblies.
3 And it's a misdemeanor offense to do so.
4 And the facial validity of that statute and
5 it's application in a particular case was
6 upheld in a case called State v. Sween by
7 the Second DCA. So that's good law in this
8 jurisdiction and in the state of Florida for
9 that matter. And 775.085 of Florida
10 Statutes makes it -- I'll just give you the
11 title of the statute. Evidencing Prejudice
12 While Committing an Offense - Enhanced
13 Penalties. And in it's wisdom the Florida
14 legislature has provided by that statute
15 that if somebody commits a certain -- an
16 offense, and in the case of that offense
17 they've evinced prejudice towards certain
18 groups of people, and that includes racial
19 prejudice, but most importantly in this case
20 it includes religious prejudice, it can lead
21 to an enhancement of the offense. So if it
22 were otherwise a second-degree misdemeanor,
23 for example, it would become a first-degree
24 misdemeanor and so on and so forth. And I
25 think Your Honor ought to keep that in mind,
1 too, when Your Honor exercises its
2 discretion here in how it's going to deal
3 with Mr. Minton's past behavior and what the
4 ramifications should be.
5 So now we have the postings. And, by
6 the way, just before I leave that, the
7 matter of postings, you know, when I refer
8 to the answers that were given, we're
9 talking about the gratuitous posting of an
10 elderly woman's phone number, whether it was
11 in the phone book or not, and a clear
12 invitation on the Internet for people to
13 call her and harass her. And it's so
14 disingenuous for Mr. Minton to say in his
15 testimony -- I can't help myself, I have to
16 just mention this one part, to say, well, he
17 just wants to let contributors to
18 Scientology know what his views are on how
19 the money was being spent. Who is he trying
20 to kid when he gives that testimony?
21 He's going to tall call the mother of
22 the ecclesiastical leader of the Church of
23 Scientology and he's going to give her some
24 public information for the public good some
25 information about how her contributions to
1 this religion, that she's a religion that
2 she member of, and that her son and the
3 ecclesiastic head, he's going to give her a
4 heads-up so to speak about her money is
5 being spent?
6 Your Honor, I think you ought to go
7 take that kind of testimony into account
8 when you evaluate this gentleman's
9 credibility, the gentleman from Boston, what
10 his credibility and what his real motives
11 are, and how he can further problems here in
13 Now -- which is really the issue, and
14 it's the only issue before there Court.
15 Now, Your Honor, the Court in the Madsen
16 case, which is the United States Supreme
17 Court case, Madsen vs. Women's Health
18 Center, Inc., 530 U.S. 753.
19 THE COURT: Just a moment 512 U.S.
20 what, 753?
21 MR. HERTZBERG: 1994, talked about
22 significant government interests being
23 accommodated without -- while accommodating
24 whatever speech was necessary. And this is
25 an important case in several respects. No
1 more burden should be given on the speech
2 than necessary, but significant government
3 interests should be accommodated.
4 Your Honor, they upheld a buffer zone
5 in that case. There was no allegation there
6 of violence. This case had to do with
7 people being near the entrance, and it had
8 to do with speech and being near the
9 entrance of a clinic. But there was
10 no -- there was no allegation of the kind of
11 violence like Mr. Minton was involved in.
12 And the court upheld in that instance a
13 36-foot buffer zone. But while it did that
14 it said it gave great discretion to the
15 local court to the trial court in
16 determining knowing what would be the
17 appropriate, because of local conditions,
18 what would be the appropriate distance that
19 should be maintained.
20 And then it had to consider a 300-foot
21 ban, which is much more akin to the -- which
22 is akin to the one that Your Honor has
23 provisionally entered in this case, a
24 300-foot ban on approaching people who
25 wanted to enter the clinic. That is to say
1 respective -- perspective clients of the
2 abortion clinics. And a 300-foot ban on
3 focused picketing outside the residence of
4 the people who resided in those buildings.
5 Now it didn't impose that because it
6 said that -- and this is again in a context
7 that no violence has occurred. It didn't
8 have a record of fighting words or threats.
9 But we have that records here, Your Honor.
10 That's the record that we have.
11 We have fighting words. Your Honor saw
12 them coming straight out of Mr. Minton's
13 mouth. We don't even need to show -- I
14 don't have to remind you it came out from
15 other people he was picketing with, but they
16 came out of his mouth those fighting words,
17 and the threats and the threats on the
19 And the Court indicated that those
20 kinds of distances would be appropriate if
21 there were those kind of threats. Those
22 kinds of fighting words. And again, Your
23 Honor, I don't want to sound overly
24 repetitive, because I know I've been
25 somewhat repetitive, but we have a record
1 here of non-protected speech and
2 non-protected conduct.
3 And we're not talking here in terms of
4 the possibility of future unlawfulness just
5 in and of itself. We're talking about
6 unlawfulness that's occurred already, which
7 gives Your Honor a very sound basis for
8 finding the possibility of future
9 unlawfulness. And that's I think the
10 framework for our analysis here, Your Honor.
11 And so in any event, coming back to and
12 trying to wind down, Your Honor, to
13 the -- to the -- Your Honor's exercise of
14 sound discretion here in the view of this
15 record I think that if we focus on what
16 happened here in Clearwater against the
17 backdrop that the initial condition in
18 Boston did not have its desired or intended
19 deterrent effect, and the stated agenda of
20 Mr. Minton and the reading of -- Mr. Howd
21 identified how each and one of these
22 facilities has an importance in Clearwater
23 for the church.
24 They're combinations of residences and
25 places of religious teaching and places of
1 religious practice except, by my notes, two.
2 And I think webbing probably -- I haven't
3 spoken to Mr. Howd about how he feels about
4 this, but two of them are under
5 construction, so that's kind of moot. You
6 can't -- I suppose the interests that we
7 have are not implicated in a place that's
8 still under construction. But in 15 of
9 those 17 facilities which, include The Fort
10 Harrison, which is the targeted facility of
11 the focused picketing, we have
12 Scientologists trying to practice their
13 religion, trying to sleep, trying to learn
14 the religion. And they should all be
15 subject to the relief that Your Honor
16 ultimately imposes.
17 And Mr. Minton's First Amendment rights
18 insofar as he engages or will engage in
19 First Amendment activities in the future
20 will not be diminished unconstitutionally,
21 will not be diminished unconstitutionally,
22 Your Honor, if you keep -- if you adopt the
23 terms that they've already agreed to in that
24 second paragraph and you maintain that
25 this -- a distance to separate Mr. Minton
1 from the building property lines.
2 He can go elsewhere in Clearwater. I
3 mean he professes that he -- in their papers
4 he wants to educate the public. He doesn't
5 say Scientologists, curiously enough, which
6 is what obviously is going on here in
7 reality when one sees the tapes. But if his
8 stated purpose in the pleading that they've
9 filed with Your Honor is truly to get out
10 the message, it says to the public,
11 particularly the Clearwater community has an
12 interest in receiving and assessing the
13 Respondent's position concerning the Church
14 of Scientology.
15 There are so many places in Clearwater
16 that he can go. And he can even
17 go -- close -- he can go to any and all of
18 those places. And he can continue to do
19 what he's done all along. He can give
20 newspaper interviews. He's not shy with the
21 media. He can give television interviews.
22 He can continue with his Internet postings.
23 He's got an avid following apparently on the
24 Internet, or he thinks he does. He can do
25 all of those. And what's more, he can
1 continue to picket.
2 But what he has forfeited, and what the
3 case law, and there are plenty of other
4 cases, Your Honor. I would just like
5 to -- if they need to be brought up. I'd
6 just like to reserve three or five minutes
7 for rebuttal because I don't know what law
8 my colleague here is going to rely on. But,
9 Your Honor, he can even demonstrate within
10 sight of the church facilities as this
11 injunction is presently worded, 150 yards.
12 People will see him. He can be filmed.
13 He can have the media trail around him and
14 he can get out his message there. But what
15 he has lost is a right to be right in there
16 on that sidewalk causing trouble as he's
17 caused too much trouble already. Thank you,
18 Your Honor.
19 MR. DENIS DEVLAMING: Judge, Mr. Minton
20 needs to use the facilities. He will
21 voluntarily absent.
22 THE COURT: Let's do this. You want to
23 take a five-minute break?
24 (THEREUPON, A DISCUSSION WAS HELD OFF THE RECORD.)
25 MR. HOWIE: May it please the Court?
1 Your Honor, starting with the elements of an
2 injunction, as the Court knows, they have to
3 establish irreparable harm or lack of an
4 available remedy at law. The likelihood of
5 success on the merits of the case in chief,
6 and public interest and public policy
7 supporting the injunction. Snibbe vs.
8 Napoleonic Society of America, Inc. at 682
9 So.2d 568, Second DCA case 1996. I want to
10 address those elements based on the
11 testimony that the Court has heard. First,
12 there are -- there is a conjunction of the
13 two elements of irreparable harm and the
14 availability of a remedy at law. If this
15 case is, in fact, about Richard Howd and the
16 injuries he sustained, his irreparable harm
17 is not irreparable if it can be compensated
18 by money damages. That from B.G.H.
19 Insurance Syndicate vs. Presidential Fire
20 and Casualty at 549 So.2d 197. As for the
21 availability of a remedy at law, if Mr. Howd
22 can bring an action against Mr. Minton at
23 law and if, in fact, he can obtain a money
24 judgment, then it his remedy at law is
25 adequate. That's from Carney v. Hadley, 32
1 Fla. 344, a case that's been around for over
2 a hundred years.
3 In fact, the solvency of the Respondent
4 is often important in determining whether
5 there is availability of a legal remedy.
6 Clearly Mr. Minton meets that requirement
7 under Neel v. Williams Communications
8 Service, 638 So.2d 1017, a Second DCA case
9 from 1994.
10 As to the likelihood of success on the
11 merits, again if this is a case involving
12 Mr. Howd, he has to establish a clear legal
13 right to the relief he is requesting,
14 including a property interest in the
15 particular locations that he is referring to
16 in the injunction. This under Reed v.
17 Quatkemeyer, 647 So.2d 172, a Second DCA
18 case 1994.
19 On the issue of public policy an
20 injunction should not issue where the injury
21 to the public outweighs the individual
22 rights of the Petitioner, here again,
23 Mr. Howd, to have the relief he is
24 requesting. And the elements of
25 consideration of the public interest is
1 expressly recognized in Wilson v. Sandstrom
2 at 317 So.2d 732, a 1975 Florida Supreme
3 Court case.
4 There are other legal considerations as
5 well in granting of an injunction, matters
6 that have already been touched upon in our
7 opening statements before the Court. For
8 example, the one concerning this Court has
9 to be avoiding the multiplicity of
10 litigation, which may follow with a sound
11 order which covers this situation if not
12 rendered by the Court. One purpose served
13 by the injunction is to avoid this
14 multiplicity of lawsuits which we anticipate
15 will occur if certain conditions are imposed
16 that are not capable of ready enforcement.
17 I refer to Dotolo v. Schouten, 426 So.2d
18 1013, a Second DCA case, 1993.
19 Mr. Hertzberg in his argument has
20 pointed out a couple of statutes to the
21 Court, 871.O1 concerning disturbing school
22 and religious assemblies. And then 775.085,
23 enhancing the penalties where one evidences
24 prejudice against a particular group. This
25 in fact supports our contention that an
1 adequate remedy is at hand through the
2 enforcement of our criminal statutes.
3 There has been no evidence adduced in
4 this case that I heard, and I will stand
5 corrected if I'm wrong, that there was any
6 actual interruption of a religious assembly.
7 We are informed, in fact, that there is no
8 worship as such. Rather there is auditing
9 and there are classes. We have not heard
10 any evidence, and again I stand corrected on
11 this part because of my absence from Court
12 during most of the testimony, but I believe
13 we have not heard evidence of a disruption
14 of these functions as well. Had there been,
15 however, there would have been an adequate
16 remedy at law that would set aside any
17 considerations of equity or injunction and
18 which would address the problems in
19 straightforward fashion by imposing criminal
20 penalties on those who violated these laws.
21 The rule is that equity has no
22 jurisdiction to enjoin the commission of a
23 crime or prevent an illegal act. Cases in
24 support of that include Weiner v. Kelly, 82
25 So.2d 155, 1955 Florida Supreme Court case
1 and Renick v. Million, 403 So.2d 545, Fourth
2 DCA case, 1981. There were admittedly
3 certain statutory exceptions to this,
4 domestic violence being one of them, which
5 the Court is well aware there are very
6 special consideration in imposing
7 injunctions in domestic violence cases where
8 there is no other remedy at law. And the
9 statute addresses it. No such statute
10 addresses this particular situation where
11 there is a locus of activity and in order to
12 protest that activity effectively one must
13 be at or near the locus.
14 The Court needs to consider that
15 detriment to Respondent in this case. The
16 trial court, this court, should take a
17 balancing approach, which is what we are
18 proposing here in considering the benefit to
19 the Petitioner, in granting the injunction,
20 and the detriment to the Respondent. And I
21 would bring the Court's attention to Cordis
22 Corp. v. Prooslin, 482 So.2d 486, a Third
23 DCA case 1986 on this point.
24 We are asking for the Court to take a
25 balancing approach in addressing the
1 respective First Amendment rights of those
2 members of the Church of Scientology who are
3 exercising their First Amendment rights and
4 Mr. Minton, who likewise is exercising his
5 First Amendment rights.
6 Mr. Minton is exercising these rights
7 on a sidewalk, a sidewalk in Downtown
8 Clearwater, a sidewalk, as the Court is well
9 aware is, a traditional public forum and as
10 U.S. Supreme Court cites in Frisby v.
12 The Petitioner has made much concerning
13 the issue of fighting words. And I think
14 that before I address specific First
15 Amendment cases I need to address a misuse
16 of the term "fighting words" in their
17 argument. Fighting words can be used as a
18 means of determining fault when harm
19 actually results from the fighting words.
20 Fighting words in certain cases under the
21 common law can even be used as a defense
22 against certain criminal charges. But
23 fighting words cannot be enjoined
24 effectively where no harm results. Here we
25 have been -- it has been argued that there
1 are certain fighting words that were used,
2 and yet the Petitioner has not been able to
3 demonstrate a single harm which has arisen
4 as a result of the so-called fighting words.
5 As for vulgarity, it's been suggested
6 that vulgarity is not protected speech.
7 That is a misstatement of the law. And,
8 yes, I would point out to the Court that
9 there are cases where vulgarity is protected
10 speech. It depends upon -- as the Court is
11 well aware, it depends upon the context in
12 which that vulgarity is used. And if the
13 vulgarity is used for purposes of advancing
14 an opinion, then -- or a position, then it
15 is protected speech. So there is no blanket
16 rule here that says that vulgarity is not
17 protected under the First Amendment. That
18 is simply a misstatement of the law.
19 Speaking of which, I'd like to move to
20 Madsen v. Women's Health Center, Inc. The
21 parallel site on that is 114 Supreme Court
22 2516. Now in Madsen you had a situation
23 which is both similar and different to the
24 situation we have here. You had a locus.
25 You had what is referred to by the
1 Petitioner as focused picketing. That is
2 anti-abortion protesters went in women's
3 clinics in order to make their position
4 known. They did, in fact, have two targets.
5 One was the public and the other was the
6 class of clients going in to use the women's
7 clinic. The Supreme Court said that's okay.
8 You can have such a thing as focused
9 picketing. You are allowed to go to the
10 locus. You are allowed to exercise First
11 Amendment rights in that regard.
12 Where there is a distinction, and a
13 distinction which is substantial in this
14 case, is that the Supreme Court was
15 concerned about the ability of a woman to
16 approach a women's clinic without being so
17 harassed and so intimidated that she turned
18 around and walked away and did not take
19 advantage of the services that were
20 available to her as a matter of her legal
21 and constitutional rights.
22 In this particular case we don't see
23 that. We don't have a single instance of a
24 personal who is intimidated or turned away
25 from any of the facilities operated by the
1 by the Church of Scientology. We don't have
2 a single instance in which a person's
3 entrance into one of these facilities or
4 exit from one of these facilities was barred
5 in any way by the Respondent, Mr. Minton.
6 So in that regard, there's a distinction
7 here. But there's much to be learned from
8 in Madsen.
9 And I believe I need to set the record
10 straight concerning this issue of buffer
11 zone. In Madsen there were several
12 injunctive remedies that were imposed upon
13 the protesters outside the women's clinics.
14 And, again, this was because these
15 protesters were barring entrances, standing
16 in front of patients, uttering statements
17 such as you're going to murders your baby
18 and so on, where they confronted people who
19 were trying to use these clinics.
20 So the Court in that case, and this of
21 course was right here in Florida, enjoined
22 by establishing a 36-foot buffer zone around
23 the women's clinics entrances which actually
24 intruded onto adjoining private property
25 which was used with permission of the owners
1 by the protesters. It also imposed noise
2 restrictions. Because of the nature of the
3 services being rendered to the women's
4 clinics, they wanted to keep the noise down.
5 It restricted the display of images.
6 Apparently very graphic images of aborted
7 fetuses were being shown to women as they
8 entered. And finally it placed a 300-foot
9 no-approach zone around residence of the
10 clinic staff members at places far removed
11 from the clinics themselves. Now, the
12 Supreme Court.
13 Now the Supreme Court held that the
14 36-foot buffer around the entrances and the
15 noise restrictions were okay because they
16 did not burden protesters' free speech, but
17 the Court found that the buffer zone onto
18 adjoining private property, the restrictions
19 on the showing of images and the 300-foot
20 no-approach zone burdened free speech more
21 than necessary to serve a government
23 In this case we have imposed, not a
24 300, but a 450 foot buffer zone by the
25 Court's temporary injunction, clearly a zone
1 which goes onto private property where if
2 the owner gave permission, Mr. Minton would
3 otherwise be allowed to stand and protest
4 without any undue interference with the
5 activities of the Church of Scientology, and
6 yet this has been imposed upon him. I
7 submit to the Court respectfully that the
8 Court's order, in fact, would not be upheld
9 under Madsen v. Women's Health Center.
10 Now the Court in Madsen went into its
11 rationale. It said that -- first of all
12 that the situation was not subject to a
13 prior restraint analysis and that the usual
14 time-place-manner analysis that we normally
15 use when a Court asks to restrict First
16 Amendment rights is not sufficiently
17 rigorous enough for these kind of
18 situations. They said that the proper
19 standard in these cases, and this is the
20 nugget that we get from Madsen is whether an
21 injunction burdens no more speech than
22 necessary in order to serve a significant
23 government interim -- interest. And the
24 Court found that having such a substantial
25 buffer zone, a 300-foot buffer zone unduly
1 burdened the free speech rights of the
2 protesters and that it did not serve a
3 significant government interest.
4 Now it's my understanding from
5 Mr. Hertzberg that the 300-foot ban was
6 dispensed with because there were no
7 fighting words in the case of the abortion
8 clinics. Frankly, Your Honor, having read
9 the decision, I'm not aware that the court
10 made any distinction about vulgarity or
11 fighting words or anything else in reversing
12 the 300-foot zone, and I ask the Court to
13 analyze that.
14 But my point is that in the present
15 case before the Court we don't have any
16 evidence that Mr. Minton barred anybody from
17 entering or leaving or that he interfered
18 with them in any way to compel them not to
19 go in. He held a picket sign, he marched
20 back and forth, people could read it, people
21 could make their own decisions, but no one
22 was intimidated from going in and using the
23 services of the Church of Scientology or
24 otherwise exercising their First Amendment
1 To establish any kind of buffer zone
2 around entrances in this case, I submit,
3 would be a burden upon Mr. Minton's free
4 speech that serves no significant government
5 interest. Further, the 450-foot buffer zone
6 placed around all of these buildings in
7 Clearwater, and there are enough of them
8 that I wish the Court had available to it a
9 chart, if you will, of what this buffer zone
10 looks like in Downtown Clearwater. But I
11 think the Court from its own can take
12 judicial notice of how much Downtown
13 Clearwater was covered by such an extensive
14 buffer zone.
15 Finally, the Supreme Court Madsen said
16 there must be a precision of regulation in
17 the injunction. It must be couched in the
18 narrowest terms possible in order to serve
19 the significant government interest.
20 Admittedly injunctions do not require as
21 stringent an application of the First
22 Amendment rights as to say local ordinances
23 but nonetheless they have to be done with
24 precision. We're asking the Court to have a
25 injunction that does meet this requirement
1 of precision of regulation. Under Schenk v.
2 Pro-Choice Network of Western New York, 519
3 U.S. 357, 117 Supreme Court 855, 19 --
4 THE COURT: Whoa, whoa, whoa. 519
6 MR. HOWIE: 519 U.S. 357, 117 Supreme
7 Court 855, 1997 case. There were -- it was
8 a very similar case to Madsen. There were
9 fixed buffer zones requiring the protesters
10 to remain at least 15 feet from the clinic
11 entrances. And they said this was necessary
12 to ensure access, and the Supreme Court
13 upheld that. But then they have the
14 floating buffer zones, the floating 15 fat
15 buffer zones or bubbles, if you will, around
16 persons entering and leaving clinics. The
17 Supreme Court found that that would violate
18 the First Amendment by burdening more free
19 speech than was necessary to serve a
20 significant government interest.
21 The government interests in assuring
22 public safety and order and promoting the
23 free flow of traffic, protecting property,
24 and privacy rights justified what they
25 referred to as an appropriately tailored
2 It may have been suggested that a
3 certain distance be kept between Mr. Minton
4 and members of the Church of Scientology,
5 they avoid each other at a certain ruler's
6 length distance. Mr. Minton has testified
7 that from his experience that would not be
8 workable, and the Supreme Court has told us
9 in Schenk that, in fact, such a proposal
10 causes more trouble than it's worth. I
11 would submit to the Court that in forming
12 any injunction in this case that the Court
13 avoid any measured distance that is to be
14 maintained between one individuals and
15 another as simply not workable.
16 In conclusion, Your Honor, we are
17 requesting an injunction that supports the
18 First Amendment rights of everybody. In a
19 perfect world we would all be out there
20 exercising our First Amendment rights to the
21 full and not interfering with each other.
22 Here we have a situation where apparently
23 people are interfering with each other. The
24 Church of Scientology, the members of the
25 Church of Scientology, are interfering with
1 Mr. Minton, and they are alleging that he is
2 interfering with them. I think the Court in
3 issuing it's order could effectively tell
4 everybody to back off and to allow each
5 other to exercise their First Amendment
6 rights. And by doing so, the Court meets
7 that balance of interests, which is
8 fundamental to the very nature of equity.
9 Thank you.
10 THE COURT: All right. Thank you very
11 much. Just a moment. Mr. Hertzberg -- or
12 Mr --
13 MR. DENIS DEVLAMING: I'll let him go
14 because it has to do with law right.
15 MR. HERTZBERG: I'll wait.
16 THE COURT: Just give me a minute.
17 Just take Mr. Devlaming.
18 MR. DENIS DEVLAMING: Judge Penick when
19 we filed our motion to modify the injunction
20 request by the Petitioner it was in the form
21 of a suggests in the event that you do -- if
22 you do grant an injunction -- Mr. Hertzberg
23 continues to say we are in agreement, we're
24 in agreement. We're not in agreement. We
25 feel as if the Court is going to grant an
1 injunction that we certainly have
2 modifications which we would suggest the
3 Court take into account in making sure that
4 the First Amendment rights of Robert Minton
5 are protected. However, I'm here to tell
6 you that there's no injunction needed in
7 this case, that this hearing has nothing to
8 do, absolutely nothing to do, with the
9 request for an injunction because anybody
10 has fear that Robert Minton, because anyone
11 believes that he's going to do anything to
12 them or cause them any harm.
13 Let's make no mistake about this
14 hearing. This hearing is for them to
15 silence a critic. That's what this hearing
16 is all about, is to take that one voice,
17 that one loud voice, that they want to
18 silence, and to silence it and one-by-one,
19 one-by-one, they're going to gain
20 injunctions around this country. And we
21 heard the statements made in Boston, we
22 heard them in Los Angeles, call the police,
23 let's get an injunction, let's silence them.
24 Let's put them so far away, as Mr. Howd, I
25 asked him, is it all right for him to stand
1 in Largo because you own so much property in
2 our town that he can hold his picket sign in
3 that city, and he said that would be fine
4 with me.
5 But when I asked Mr. Howd would there
6 be any problem for Mr. Minton to walk along
7 the sidewalk in front of the Church of
8 Scientology with his sign in protest, would
9 that bother you? No, it wouldn't. It shows
10 you, Judge, he has no fear of this. He has
11 no fear that he needs your protection, your
12 permanent protection that they're
13 requesting. But one-by-one just like 16
14 years ago one-by-one the critics will be
15 silenced because they are fair game.
16 Because they are fair game. And that's
17 exactly what they want you to do.
18 As Mr. Howie pointed out if there's a
19 remedy at law, no injunction is necessary,
20 no injunction is needed. Well they have the
21 office of the prosecution to perform that
22 remedy at law, they have a civil suit, as he
23 indicated, and they have other remedies.
24 The injunction should be absolutely the last
25 thing the Court makes a determination that
1 is necessary in order to protect somebody,
2 unless truly there's repeat violence. And
3 there has to be repeat.
4 And I find this interesting. Each time
5 Mr. Johnson objected to the Chicago (sic)
6 tape, to the Los Angeles tape, said that it
7 was remote in time and irrelevant, and yet
8 in his closing statement he uses that to
9 establish the repeat nature of the
10 harassment of Robert Minton. Well you can't
11 have it both ways. You can't have it both
13 Judge, I agree with Mr. Howie. It's
14 not going to work if you form an injunction
15 and you tell somebody they have a certain
16 amount of feet to stand away. Because we
17 all know that the Church of Scientology has
18 a very narrow -- very narrow sidewalk. So
19 what's going to happen in front of that
20 church is exactly this: If there's a
21 seven-foot sidewalk right here, let's say
22 you fashion you stay away five feet just,
23 like you did when you were little kids. All
24 right, you stay away five feet, you stay
25 away five feet and behave yourself. If you
1 do that, what's going to happen is there's
2 going to be Church of Scientology members
3 just like that, and they're all going to be
4 holding this little yardstick, and
5 Mr. Minton is no way in the world is going
6 to be able to negotiate that. And that's
7 exactly what's going to happen if you do
9 And that's why Mr. Hertzberg is so
10 strong in saying, oh, we're in agreement.
11 He's agreed to stay away, we'll stay away.
12 It's not going to work. He knows it's not
13 going to work. Because what they'll get out
14 of this is is not anything about this man
15 being frightened. Nothing about that. It's
16 to silence that man. It's to make sure that
17 his voice is not heard and to do it on a
18 permanent basis. And I'm willing to stake
19 my reputation that they will spend any
20 amount of money to make sure that that
21 remains permanent whatever you do, and
22 whatever you do is made permanent.
23 And, Judge, we don't want to keep
24 coming back here, you don't want to see us
25 back here; I know you don't. But what's
1 going to happen is this: If you fashion an
2 injunction like that to stay away, it's not
3 necessary, there's remedies at law. The
4 Clearwater Police Department, the State
5 Attorney's Office, can take care of this.
6 And what's more important, this is Howd vs.
7 Minton. There are no repeat acts. It's as
8 simple is that. And under the statutes in
9 our statute there has to be repeat violence
10 and it has to be repeated. And they can't
11 have their cake both ways by saying ignore
12 Chicago, ignore L.A., stay in St. Pete, in
13 Clearwater. And there ain't nothing in
14 Clearwater. But what happened around that
15 building when Mr. Howd broke his sign and
16 Mr. Minton walked out and said, I had
17 enough, I'm calling the police.
18 The only reason somebody would call the
19 police is if they were assaulted, if they
20 were assaulted around that corner out of
21 camera. And that's why we brought in
22 Chicago. That's why we brought in Los
24 THE COURT: You mean Boston.
25 MR. DENIS DEVLAMING: Boston. I'm
1 sorry. Boston, is to show you that's
2 exactly how the operation works. Is you
3 knock the camera away, you don't let them
4 get film on it, they yell things that aren't
5 accurate on it, then they yell for the
6 police, the police come, and they try to get
7 the courts, they try to get the judges to do
8 their bidding. And I'm here to ask you,
9 Your Honor, not to you allow that to happen.
10 Mr. Hertzberg said in quoting from one
11 of the Internet postings, and I might add,
12 if that's the best they can come up with of
13 harassment to present to Your Honor on the
14 Internet of this harmless bantering, of this
15 man's belief of how Scientology is not a
16 valid religion and his criticisms and so
17 forth, there's not one thing in there unless
18 you tremendously want to read into it that
19 suggests that he is trying to get somebody
20 to harm another individual. If that's the
21 best they have, they have nothing.
22 But to say -- for Mr. Hertzberg to make
23 the quote that no one is off limits, that
24 Mr. Minton says no one is off limits. It
25 makes you wonder, if no one is off limits,
1 no one is off limits, is that like fair
2 game? Can we turn -- flip the coin over and
3 say, no one is off limits, Minton is not off
4 limits, Minton's kids are not off limits,
5 Minton's personal life, his financial life
6 is not off limits. Sounds familiar to me.
7 They're gonna get him, Judge, and they
8 want you to get him. We're saying don't let
9 them do it. They haven't proven an
10 injunction, an injunction is not warranted,
11 dismiss it, let Bernie McCabe take care of
12 this if necessary, but don't do their
13 bidding. Thank you.
14 MR. HERTZBERG: Your Honor, I guess the
15 Judge, will judge in the end what's harmless
16 bantering and --
17 THE COURT: Mr. Hertzberg. A moment
19 MR. HERTZBERG: Sorry, Your Honor.
20 THE COURT: All right.
21 MR. HERTZBERG: I'm sorry.
22 THE COURT: That's all right.
23 MR. HERTZBERG: I think clearly the
24 Court is going to decide in the end whether
25 what it saw spewed by Mr. Minton and what he
1 saw being posted, both in the individual
2 postings and cumulatively as harmless
3 bantering. And perhaps one word on that,
4 though, when one considers whether it's
5 harmless bantering, don't consider just the
6 words of Mr. Minton voicing his own
7 feelings. Also consider what impact those
8 words may have on others such as the person
9 who made the posting who said something to
10 the affect why can't we get one of those
11 nuts who goes in and shoots places up.
12 There can be repercussions like that.
13 There was, in fact, frankly many years ago
14 in Portland, Oregon such an incident where a
15 deranged person came into one of the church
16 facilities and shot -- and I don't know
17 whether they killed anyone, but they
18 seriously injured some people. The Court
19 should take that into consideration -- and
20 when counsel Howie says maybe they're
21 fighting words, but no harm results from
22 them, harm can result from them. And the
23 kind of harm that this Court has equity and
24 jurisdiction to prevent. And a harm has
25 occurred from them most directly manifesting
1 themselves in the assault and the one that's
2 squarely before Your Honor. But also Your
3 Honor can make conclusions about the harm
4 that occurs, the chilling affected it has on
5 people from out of town who save money to
6 come to their religious retreat and what it
7 feels like to have their sleep disturbed
8 their religious practice disturbed. I think
9 there are several layers of depth that go
10 beyond the superficial analysis, if I may,
11 what I consider the superficial analysis of
12 opposing counsel on that subject.
13 Just to -- I don't know what these
14 diagrams are, Your Honor. They're not
16 THE COURT: Do me a favor. Somebody
17 please don't smash one of those permanent
18 markers on these rugs. The chief Judge,
19 gets real unhappy.
20 MR. DENIS DEVLAMING: There you go.
21 THE COURT: Very well. Thank you.
22 MR. HERTZBERG: I don't know what these
23 diagrams, Your Honor, what their meaning is,
24 and I actually couldn't follow what counsel
25 was saying. What does confuse me, Your
1 Honor, is the following: That
2 counsel -- that papers were filed with this
3 Court on behalf of Mr. Minton by his
4 undersigned counsel in which they suggested
5 to the Court what they thought would be a
6 sound balancing of interests. And what they
7 said in their wherefor clause, where for the
8 Respondent requests this honorable court,
9 and there's a colon. It begins at the
10 bottom of Page 7.
11 And then, one, they ask that the
12 150-yard restriction be done away with. And
13 I understand what they're saying there. And
14 then in two they're saying, let's dispense
15 with the stay-away language. And I told
16 Your Honor, and I'm sticking to my word. We
17 will not press, and we have not pressed, for
18 the stay-away language which is presently in
19 one of the paragraphs of the restraining
20 order that Your Honor entered. I'm not
21 sure. I think it was -- well it's in one of
22 the paragraphs. It stands alone in
23 Paragraph 2 of the restraining order. They
24 said, well it's too vague and they want to
25 replace it. They said in the wherefor
1 clause. By replacing the order in Paragraph
2 2, well it says here, I didn't have to go to
3 mine, directing the Respondent stay away.
4 Well, you know, if the rest of the
5 language holds, we'll agree to that. We
6 don't see why the Court should be put
7 through some gymnastics here to have to make
8 a decision. And they say replace it with an
9 order. And I'm quoting now here from Page 8
10 of their own papers where this is the
11 pleading they filed in this case, with an
12 order that the Respondent, that's
13 Mr. Minton, have no intentional, willful
14 physical contact with the Petitioner, that's
15 Mr. -- that's Mr. Howd, staff, parishioners
16 of the Church of Scientology, that the
17 Respondent, that's Mr. Minton, again, not
18 harass or commit acts of violence against
19 these same persons.
20 And when Mr. Howie got up and argued,
21 he didn't say, oh, I was joking or I wasn't
22 serious about this or I didn't mean it. But
23 now Mr. Devlaming has argued, if I
24 understand him correctly, he's saying we
25 don't need it, we're retreating from it.
1 And, frankly, I'm surprised to hear that.
2 And I don't think there's any basis to
3 retreat from if that's their collective
4 position, and I'm still confused about it
5 because it's inconsistent with your
6 proceeding and inconsistent with Mr. Howie's
7 argument, then I urge Your Honor not to let
8 them retreat from it. Because we think
9 that's an appropriate remedy given the
10 record that's been introduced before this
12 And then with respect to the property
13 line and the 150 yards, I do think I
14 understand Mr. Howie to be saying that they
15 don't think there should be any zone of
16 separation. And I'm going to address that
17 in a moment. But just so I don't forget, I
18 wanted to dispense with two of the initial
19 arguments he made in the legal section,
20 because they can be clearly refuted, in one
21 instance by a case, and in one instance by a
22 statute. He talks about equity and remedies
23 of equity and remedies of law. Well, the
24 remedies, the remedies that Your Honor can
25 impose here can include all the remedies
1 that we ask for and the one that they
2 believe should be in place, at least in
3 their papers. That's more than clear. It
4 doesn't matter that there may also be
5 criminal prosecution. That doesn't mean
6 that Your Honor cannot vindicate the
7 significant government interest, the
8 government interest at stake, including the
9 peace in this town that I identified in my
10 closing, my first closing presentation.
11 And there's a case that speaks to this.
12 And it's a Fifth DCA case called Travelers
13 Insurance Company vs. Conley, C-O-N-L-E-Y.
14 And it's reported at 637 So.2d 373. And I
15 think it's a one-page case, Your Honor. The
16 decision's 1994 and I'd just quote from the
17 Court from the DCA. Simply because an act
18 is illegal does not mean it cannot be
19 proscribed by an injunction if grounds for
20 at that injunction otherwise exist. It's
21 right in the Fifth DCA, Your Honor. So even
22 if there's a criminal prosecution, even if
23 he brought a lawsuit, which he hasn't, the
24 courts in this state say you can grant
25 exactly the kind of equitable relief that
1 we're asking for.
2 And then the gentleman referred to that
3 statute, Mr. Howie, referred to the statute
4 that I quoted to Your Honor, the one about
5 enhanced penalties, the one found in
6 775.085. He may have overlooked subsection
7 2 of that statute which says that when a
8 person or organization which establishes by
9 evidence here that it has been coerced
10 intimidated or threatened to be in violation
11 of this section shall have a civil cause of
12 action for treble damages and injunction or
13 any other appropriate remedy at law. So the
14 very statute that I quoted to Your Honor
15 earlier explicitly by its terms allows
16 injunctive relief of exactly the kind that
17 we're asking for here, Your Honor.
18 And sure, you know, the abortion -- the
19 people who protested abortion and in cases
20 may have gotten arrested and did get
21 arrested --
22 THE COURT: Let me -- just a moment
23 hold on.
24 MR. HERTZBERG: I'm sorry.
25 THE COURT: That statute you were
1 referring to is 775.085?
2 MR. HERTZBERG: Yes, Your Honor. And
3 in (2) there's a variety of forms of relief
4 that can be granted, and they include an
5 injunction in addition to civil remedies.
6 And the first part, of course, is the
7 criminal statute enhancement. So you got
8 every element in there. There can be an
9 enhanced criminal prosecution, there can be
10 civil suit, there can be injunction. Treble
11 damages, attorneys fees. It's all in that.
12 That's what the Florida legislature thinks
13 effectively of hate -- of hate directed
14 against religion.
15 Now, Your Honor, we're left to -- oh,
16 and, of course, and the last point I want to
17 make on this aspect of it is, of course in
18 those abortion case which are legion, the
19 protesters were frequently arrested and they
20 were prosecuted. That doesn't mean that
21 there couldn't be an injunction to prevent
22 future unprotected activity. And that's all
23 we're talking about. So I believe my
24 brother here, Mr. Howie, is flat wrong about
25 his suggestion that we can't get injunctive
1 relief just because one of the affects of
2 them might be to prevent future assaults.
3 Now what does this boil down to? It
4 boils down to, it seems to me, should this
5 be a restriction of some number of yards of
6 a distance to keep Mr. Minton away from the
7 property lines of various church properties.
8 They say -- they're very clear on this.
9 They don't think there should be any.
10 They've rejected the other suggestion about
11 a floating zone. We won't go into that.
12 We're talking now about a fixed distance,
13 the kind of fixed distance that has been
14 imposed in any number of cases including the
15 Madsen case, which counsel relied on, and
16 other cases, some of them larger than 36
18 And Your Honor I'm not going to repeat
19 the arguments I made earlier, but where the
20 Madsen court expressed some reservations,
21 and counsel said he didn't know where that
22 came from, that comes from Page 774 of the
23 Madsen case where the Court talks about
24 absent evidence -- they won't impose the
25 hundred yard restriction without evidence
1 that protesters' speech is independently
2 proscribable i.e. fighting words or threats
3 or is infuse with violence. Well we've had
5 I mean, I'm not suggesting to this
6 Court that this case stands on all squares
7 with Madsen. It doesn't. It's different.
8 No, he's not standing directly in front of
9 the entrance to Fort Harrison and linking
10 arms, although that wasn't even what was
11 going on in the abortion cases either. They
12 were near. But it's not on all four squares
13 factually, Your Honor. In some senses this
14 is more compelling because we did have the
15 violent acts not in the Madsen case that we
16 have here. We don't have the assaults.
17 What justifies the remedy here is different
19 And there's something else different
20 from the Madsen case. Everything that was
21 upheld in the Madsen case was upheld against
22 an entire group of people. That would apply
23 to all the anti-Scientology protesters that
24 Mr. Minton will either pay or muster up in
25 some way over here in Clearwater. But we're
1 not asking for that. We're not asking for
2 that. Not a single other person will be
3 affected by the relief that we're asking
4 for. Only one person. One person, who by
5 his conduct we're asking gets a different
6 treatment. And we're not trying to shut him
7 down completely.
8 And counsel's suggests, I've got to say
9 frankly, counsel's prediction that we're
10 going to use this Court to parlay this into
11 something else, you know, I mean, Your
12 Honor, that's rhetoric. Plain and simple,
13 it's rhetoric. I don't want to deal with it
14 more than that. There are other ways I can
15 position it, but it's rhetoric. It's not
16 evidence in this case.
17 What is if the rhetoric is that the
18 police here arrested Mr. Minton for hitting
19 this man. That's not rhetoric. Okay?
20 That's not rhetoric. And so if we're
21 entitled to this remedy, we're entitled to
22 this remedy not withstanding counsel's
23 self-serving speculation about what might
24 happen in the future.
25 And we're talking here about
1 protecting, as Your Honor, I think,
2 recognized this morning, we're talking about
3 protecting the next person. And that's a
4 valid governmental interest. It's the next
5 person. Yes, I think the likelihood,
6 although I wouldn't rule it out that
7 Mr. Minton would hit Mr. Howd again, it's
8 un -- it's somewhat unlikely. But he
9 hit -- he's the second person he hit or
11 So Your Honor is well within your
12 discretion to find that Mr. Minton has to be
13 removed somewhat from the vortex of the
14 action because he has shown a state of mind
15 and a course of action that shows he cannot
16 control himself under certain circumstances
17 when he comes and puts himself as he says in
18 Scientologist's face. We didn't make that
19 up. He did; not us.
20 And for that reason, Your Honor, none
21 of these other elements -- none of the other
22 elements that counsel suggested apply here.
23 He doesn't -- I don't think he's
24 arguing -- he's arguing -- he's arguing that
25 Mr. Minton somehow will be impeded from
1 getting his messages out. He will not be
2 impeded. He can still hold his signs. He
3 can still shout the shouts. And Your Honor
4 knows the press will be there wherever he's
5 situated, no matter how many yards away he
6 is. But this is the kind of remedy which
7 can be controlled by the court. And he's
8 got to be separated out from the rest of
9 them. This record supports that.
10 Lastly, Your Honor, with respect to the
11 reciprocity that they seem to still be
12 pursuing regarding the church, Your Honor, I
13 will say again, I don't believe that that
14 application was properly posed to the Court
15 in the contention of their motion to modify
16 our injunction. I think that Your Honor
17 should view this as perhaps to the extent
18 that they brought elements of this into this
19 case, I urge Your Honor to find them to be
21 It's an irrelevant defense to what he
22 ultimately did. It's remote in time, it's
23 remote in place. It's not relevant. But
24 moreover, I don't think that Your Honor can
25 properly enter some kind of counter-relief
1 against Scientologists. They did not hit
2 Mr. Minton. No Scientologist has been
3 arrested in connection with Mr. Minton. We
4 don't have these Internet postings, these
5 threats of the same kind that Mr. Minton has
6 invoked here. I don't know how the
7 relief -- the relief that they're proposing,
8 which is very unspecified. And more if you
9 say to begin with could ever be implemented.
10 It would stigmatize all Scientologists. And
11 I would urge the Court not to do that. I
12 don't know how -- how the Court could decide
13 because of something that somebody may or
14 some Scientologist may have acted in some
15 other city at some other time that all
16 Scientologists must be stigmatized in some
17 way and ordered in some fashion not to deal
18 with Mr. Minton.
19 Now I would suggest there's
20 no -- procedurally it would be defective for
21 this Court to enter any such order that
22 there's in any event, no record to support
23 that here. There's no record to support it.
24 I believe it would be unconstitutional. And
25 I believe that if the Court is even thinking
1 much of doing that, it requires absolutely
2 to have a separate hearing. And I think it
3 would have to be -- I think there would have
4 to be separate counsel, not just counsel who
5 came into this court representing Petitioner
6 here today on his application for relief, to
7 adjudicate extremely complex legal and
8 actually factual issues that would emanates
9 from the kind of counter-equitable relief
10 that they're proposing. And I would suggest
11 to Your Honor that is not a road for us to
12 travel down now.
13 And I close by thanking the Court for
14 admitting me from out of town and listening
15 to me as long as you did. Because I know
16 that it's been a long, hard day and I
17 appreciate the Court's indulgence and
18 hospitality. Thank you.
19 THE COURT: Mr. Hertzberg, let me ask
20 you a question.
21 MR. HERTZBERG: Yes, Your Honor.
22 THE COURT: You saw those videos and I
23 saw those videos. If I entered -- this is
24 just a thought, but if I were to say, okay,
25 150 yards is unreasonable but we'd set up a
1 zone where and Mr. Minton could walk with
2 his sign, say what he wants to say as you
3 proposed. We've seen, and Mr. Johnson has
4 certainly argued, that we have prior
5 instances that don't consider those prior
6 instances. Well that's a double-edged sword
7 there that I recognize it for what it is.
8 What I'm concerned about is if I build,
9 let's say an area for Mr. Minton which he
10 could operate within, I'm concerned that
11 both sides seem to have a fetish to get
12 within two feet of each other. And if I put
13 Mr. Minton in a zone, what am I
14 accomplishing? Because how do I know that
15 Mr. Howd's not going to get into that zone
16 with his camera because I didn't tell him to
17 stay out of it?
18 In other words, I saw video after video
19 after video that you couldn't get a piece of
20 paper between these people with their
21 cameras. And that concerns me. And I'll
22 tell you now, that's something that I'm
23 going to take a look at. I'm not going to
24 come out with a decision right tonight. You
25 all have thrown me some cases and nobody so
1 much as handed up a case to me. So that
2 means I gotta to the library and look them
3 up. Now you all don't want to sit here
4 tonight while I do that. I don't think so.
5 Not keeping the media.
6 So we're going to have to have a little
7 come-back date here. I'm going to go look
8 at my calendar and see when I bring you all
9 back when I announce my decision.
10 But that's something that concerns me,
11 it really does. This whole matter concerns
12 me, quite frankly. I see propensities here
13 for this could be just the tip of an
14 iceberg. I can see where these could be
15 one-man operations or one-person operations
16 where each side throws one person into the
17 breach and when those two have got a zone,
18 then the next two come in, and this could go
19 on -- I could make a living out of this
20 doing just these type of injunctions and
21 these kind of cases and this concerns me.
22 And do I do in a case like that?
23 MR. HERTZBERG: Well, Your Honor,
24 before I --
25 THE COURT: Just let it happen, see
1 what happens, build a cage around him and
2 then see if anybody ventures into a cage
3 because they know he has a propensity to be
4 violates, quote-unquote?
5 MR. HERTZBERG: Well, you know, that
6 may not be a bad solution. I think
7 that -- I've not spoken to counsel and
8 Mr. Howd, but, you know, I think perhaps if
9 we had a situation where he had to stay away
10 from that immediate provocative area things
11 would be different. Because all the trouble
12 starts when he comes in and he's right on
13 that sidewalk parading right up in front
14 there. That's when we've had the problem.
15 THE COURT: Are you telling me that if
16 I told him he had to march up and down on
17 sidewalk in front of the old Grey Moss in
18 that isn't there anymore that nobody would
19 come across the street and get in his face?
20 MR. HERTZBERG: Well, Your Honor --
21 THE COURT: You can't do at that.
22 MR. HERTZBERG: Maybe after I speak
23 with the Petitioner and after I speak with
24 co-counsel, perhaps we'd have a more
25 definite response to that. Because I -- I
1 want to help the Court reach a resolution
2 here, Your Honor, that -- that's a good
3 resolution. But I do think that the idea
4 that you had, that one, I can agree with
5 that, I think. But let's see what happens.
6 THE COURT: What concerns me is you
7 say, well, it's Mr. Minton. Well I've
8 already seen several other people so I say
9 Minton stays here and they go there and then
10 I've got it going on on both sides of the
12 MR. HERTZBERG: We haven't asked for
14 THE COURT: I recognize that, but I
15 figure that's tomorrow. I mean, I saw the
16 videos and you saw the videos.
17 MR. HERTZBERG: Sure.
18 THE COURT: And so that concerns me
19 here, too.
20 MR. HERTZBERG: I don't think so, Your
21 Honor. I'll be candid with Your Honor. I
22 think what -- the conduct which got
23 him -- which got Mr. Minton special
24 attention was being arrested twice. And the
25 other people haven't been arrested.
1 And, you know, I gotta tell you, they
2 think there's all this wild speculation
3 about agenda. I tell you, the fact that we
4 not seek relief against Mr. Prince who
5 threatened right in front of that sidewalk,
6 I'm going to come -- I'm not going to repeat
7 the words. You saw it three times with
8 that -- it wasn't just vulgarity. And, by
9 the way, Mr. Howie said vulgarity is
10 protected by the First Amendment, it depends
11 on the context. That was more than
12 vulgarity. It's a threat. If somebody said
13 to me, I'm going to come after you with
14 a -- I'm going to knock your goddamn spine
15 out, I would view that as a threat, on top
16 of -- of the worst street vulgarity. But we
17 didn't go seek relief against Mr. Prince.
18 He didn't get arrested. If he doesn't get
19 arrested -- we're not going to be here with
20 respect to Mr. Prince. We're just not going
21 to be here. I think I can give you that
22 assurance. This is the one case here. This
23 is what we're dealing with.
24 And I apologize for not giving you the
25 cases that I cited. Unfortunately, in my
1 enthusiasm, I marked mine up. And if Your
2 Honor wishes we can make submissions to your
3 chambers, just have them hand-delivered.
4 THE COURT: That's all right. That's
5 okay. All right. Let me check my calendar
6 to make sure that my judicial assistant
7 didn't book something that I wasn't aware of
8 at the last minute. She was here way past
9 5:30 tonight also. She may have updated my
10 calendar. Let me just look at it. But what
11 I'm thinking about is I would announce my
12 decision on Thursday afternoon at 1:30.
13 Now, you know, I'm looking out here and
14 everybody's digging through their calendars.
15 But I see a whole bunch of lawyers. One
16 lawyer on each side is all that's required.
17 I don't need all of you for that. Let me go
18 look at had I calendar and I'll be right
20 (THEREUPON, A BRIEF RECESS WAS TAKEN.)
21 THE COURT: Please be seated.
22 MR. HERTZBERG: Your Honor, may I make
23 a proffer before we know whether we have to
24 be here? Because I have a compromise
1 THE COURT: I'll let you. Just a
3 MR. HERTZBERG: Thank you.
4 THE COURT: Both of you, yes, I see
5 everybody's eager. Mr. Howie?
6 MR. HOWIE: May it please the Court? I
7 would just like to approach with the case
8 law, most of the case law that was cited,
9 although it's not a complete set.
10 THE COURT: Thank you. Proffer?
11 MR. HERTZBERG: Yes, Your Honor.
12 THE COURT: I don't like that word
13 "proffer". That means you're probably
14 putting something on the record. I
15 shouldn't be hearing it because I've already
16 ruled. You have a suggestion?
17 MR. HERTZBERG: I have a suggestion
18 that would obviate, if its accepted, would
19 obviate the need for us to all come back
20 here. And it's made with the comments that
21 Your Honor -- your observations right before
22 the break, with those observations in mind.
23 After consulting with Mr. Howd and with
24 co-counsel, we're prepared to suggest that
25 with respect to the distance provision, not
1 changing our position on anything else, but
2 the 150-yard provision, that an appropriate
3 modification of that would be that
4 Mr. Minton is for now enjoined from
5 appearing or engaging in activities on the
6 immediate -- on the sidewalks immediately in
7 front of the designated facilities, just
8 those sidewalks that are part and parcel of
9 those facilities, without a reciprocal
10 provision for the moment.
11 We're not in agreement with
12 reciprocity, but again, with Your Honor's
13 comments in mind with my representation to
14 the Court that I believe that that would
15 obviate the problem. The other aspect of
16 the problem that Your Honor's concerned
17 about and articulated to me, and that if I
18 turn out to be wrong about that, that
19 clearly we know we would be hearing from
20 Respondent's counsel immediately, that they
21 would apprise the Court of that, and that we
22 would know that the Court had in mind that
23 that's something that you might remedy at
24 some future -- that you might have a
25 judicial remedy for in the future.
1 But it would not be appropriate to do
2 that now. But we suggest that we think the
3 sidewalk, the immediate sidewalk provision
4 would be an appropriate resolution of
5 the -- of that only real issue that I think
6 remains in this matter. It's the sidewalks
7 immediately adjoining the properties, just
8 so it's clear what we're talking about, what
9 we're offering or suggesting, Your Honor.
10 THE COURT: Did I hear you to say that
11 you -- I heard the word "reciprocity".
12 MR. HERTZBERG: We're not agreeing to a
13 reciprocal provision at this time.
14 THE COURT: I see.
15 MR. HERTZBERG: We're not agreeing to
16 it, but we're mindful of the comments Your
17 Honor made. My client is mindful of that.
18 I think the Court's concern will be
19 communicated by Mr. Howd, and I know that if
20 the concern that would require a reciprocal
21 provision were ever to manifest itself with
22 our solution in place, that this Court would
23 be immediately involved by the opposing
24 side. And I can almost guess at what the
25 consequences would be. So, you know, I
1 think there's a -- I think that without
2 invoking reciprocity right now,
3 because -- and we don't feel it's deserved
4 at this moment, the Court ask you give a try
5 to our solution and see if that doesn't
6 result in what the Court contemplates the
7 proper result will be.
8 THE COURT: All right. That's
9 something to think about. I'm not inviting
10 further comment. If somebody feels that
11 they really want to get up and say something
12 right now, you can.
13 MR. DENIS DEVLAMING: Well I don't want
14 you to think Judge, that by sitting here and
15 not saying anything we agree with that.
16 THE COURT: I know you all too well.
17 How many times have you and Mr. Johnson been
18 in my court? And we hashed that out the
19 other day. And so you're not saying
20 anything. I just take it that you're
21 thinking about it.
22 MR. DENIS DEVLAMING: Well, I'm not
23 even thinking about it, Judge. The
24 sidewalks are public. This one-sided thing
25 ain't gonna work. And we all know its not
1 going to work. And by them standing up
2 saying, I'll be real quick, it's not
3 reciprocal, tells us it's not going to work.
4 Because they're going to get in our face
5 knowing that we cannot protest. It's not
6 gonna work, Judge. And it's a wolf in
7 sheep's clothing.
8 THE COURT: All right.
9 MR. HERTZBERG: I think frankly, Your
10 Honor, I think that I said much more than
11 that. We don't want reciprocity at this
12 time. I think Your Honor got the full
13 import of my remarks and what I knew or
14 anticipated the consequences would be if our
15 solution doesn't work out.
16 And Your Honor, you know, Your Honor
17 retains jurisdiction to take whatever action
18 at that time is necessary. But I made my
19 proposal in good faith, Your Honor, and I
20 had certain assurances from Mr. Howd, which
21 I -- which were good enough for me to make
22 the representation to the Court. And, you
23 know, it's almost in line with the
24 suggestion that you made out loud that you
25 were thinking about out loud. And I tried
1 to give it the concrete form that I thought
2 would be fair. And all we're saying is no
3 reciprocity now and let's see how it works.
4 And we know what the consequences will be if
5 that -- if the solution we propose is not
6 sufficient to solve this entire problem.
7 THE COURT: Well let me do this for the
8 record. Let me thank counsel for an
9 enlightening nine hours. And I heard
10 everything everybody had to say. I've got
11 my notes. I've got the files. I've got the
12 evidence. And I'll see you all back here
13 Thursday afternoon at 1:30, at which time
14 I'll announce my decision. Thank you all
15 very much.
16 THEREUPON, THE PROCEEDINGS WERE CONCLUDED.)
17 * * * * * * * * * * * * *
CERTIFICATE OF REPORTER
STATE OF FLORIDA )
COUNTY OF PINELLAS )
I, DONNA M. ANDERSON, Registered
Professional Reporter, Sixth Judicial
DO HEREBY CERTIFY that the foregoing
proceedings were taken before me at the time and
place set forth in the caption thereof; that I was
authorized to and did stenographically report the
said proceedings; and that the foregoing pages,
numbered 1 through 319, inclusive, constitute a true
and correct transcript of my said report.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto affixed
my official signature this 30th day of November,
1999, at Clearwater, Pinellas County, Florida.
DONNA M. ANDERSON, RPR
Sixth Judicial Circuit
Notary Public, State of
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