NEW BRAUNFELS — A Bulverde woman filed a motion this week in Comal County asking a judge effectively to drop her lawsuit filed almost three years ago against the Church of Scientology and others involved with the religious organization.
The motion was waiting to be reviewed and possibly signed by District Judge Dib Waldrip, said Savannah Maurer, district court administrator.
“The judge hasn’t received the order yet,” she said Friday afternoon. Maurer said the motion was at the district clerk’s office from where it would be sent to Waldrip for his consideration.
In the motion, plaintiff Monique Rathbun requested the court accept her notice of nonsuit without prejudice. Rathbun on Thursday asked that the court order that all of her claims against the defendants be nonsuited, that each side pay its own court costs and that neither side shall collect fees from the other.
Attorneys for the defendants did not oppose the motion.
“However, subject to plaintiff remaining true to her stated intention of not reinstating this case in the future, defendants Church of Scientology International, Steven Gregory Sloat, Monty Drake, Dave Lubow a/k/a David J. Labow, and Ed Bryan agree to nonsuit without prejudice their claims for attorneys’ fees and costs under Texas Citizens Participation Act, and hereby do so,” according to a filing from the defendants made Thursday in the Comal County district clerk’s office.
According to documents filed in the case, Rathbun released her attorneys weeks prior to Thursday’s filing, which she entered pro se, or on her own. In filing for the nonsuit, Rathbun said she had achieved the goals she and her former attorneys set out to achieve, but she did not specify what those goals were.
“While performing its exit strategy from this lawsuit, my former lawyers made two things abundantly clear to me: a) my lawsuit is not worth it financially for former counsel or anyone to continue to litigate, and b) my husband and I have effectively achieved the primary purpose that the lawsuit was originally intended to serve by our own independent effort,” the motion reads. “Since former counsel’s January 2016 withdrawal, it has become evident that their own stated primary purpose for litigating the case has also been achieved.”
In Rathbun’s lawsuit filed in August 2013, she claimed that she and her husband, Mark Rathbun, a former leading Scientologist, were persecuted with “years of ruthlessly aggressive misconduct” by a department of the church specializing in attacking anyone who criticizes church leader David Miscavige.
Rathbun sought $1 million.
An attorney for the defense previously argued that a group of Scientologists known as the Squirrel Busters had protested peacefully — in an exercise of their First Amendment rights and in defense of Scientology — outside the Rathbun’s former home in Ingleside by the Bay.
The attorney for David Miscavige and the Religious Technology Center, Lamont A. Jefferson of San Antonio, declined comment when reached by phone Friday afternoon. Other attorneys involved in the case could not be reached immediately for comment.