November 20, 2015 – For immediate release – Union of Churches of Scientology of France
The Spiritual Association of the Church of Scientology – Celebrity Centre (ASES-CC) and two of its members brought the UNADFI Association (National Union of Defense Associations of Families and the Individual against sectarian deviances) before the Paris court, arguing that the association had abused the legal process by acting as plaintiff against the Church in a trial that took place in 2009 for the first instance and in 2011 for the appeal. The Church of Scientology felt that this abusive application as a plaintiff had contaminated the court proceedings, and that the bad faith of UNADFI was evidenced by the fact that it knew very well that it was inadmissible and that its sole purpose was to harm the Church and illegally influence the judicial proceedings in progress.
In its judgment of 20 November 2015, the Paris Court of Appeal agreed with the Church of Scientology acknowledging that it was “certain that the presence of UNADFI influenced the proceedings of the trial and the content of the debates” and ruled that the bad faith of UNADFI was established both in its initial application as a ‘victim’ in order to be a civil party before the Court of First Instance as well as during its presence before the Court of Appeal in 2011.
Thus the Court of Appeal of Paris ruled that:
“UNADFI has shown evident bad faith by filing a civil action on the grounds of Article 2-17 of the code of criminal procedure in the proceedings before the trial court and has committed an abuse of process. (…)
Therefore by choosing such grounds that it knew would inevitably be rejected, UNADFI showed its bad faith and abused its right to act in court. Its bad faith is also perfectly illustrated by the statements made by Mrs Picard during a conference on 26 November 2009 where she confirmed that UNADFI would appeal the judgment of 27 October 2009 ‘even if its application will be rejected because the acts occurred prior to the About-Picard Law. A priori we cannot bring a civil action in the criminal proceedings. But to set an example and be seen as a symbol, we will appeal.’”
UNADFI was ordered to pay 21,000 euro to the Church and its members.
For the President of the Union of Churches of Scientology in France, Eric Roux: “This decision is not only very fair, but it has implications on several levels. First, it shows that the illegal presence of UNADFI in a lawsuit that led to the conviction of the ASES-CC has distorted and contaminated the debate, thus raising the issue of the fairness of the procedure. Then it shows UNADFI that it is not above the law, and marks the end of an impunity which UNADFI thought it could benefit from forever. Finally, this decision raises the question of the waste of public funds representing hundreds of thousands of euro paid to UNADFI annually by the State. This taxpayer money can be used illegally (as here) in order to harm peaceful spiritual and religious movements, instead of being given to associations that deal with the real problems of our society.”