Scientology's request for postponement,
three days before the court session would serve
December 11, 1995
1. Nauta Dutilh's letter to the President of the Court in The Hague
1007 JC Amsterdam
Prinses Irenestraat 59
1077 WV Amsterdam
The honourable President
of the District Court in The Hague,
Mr. A.H. van Delden,
PO Box 20302,
2500 EH 's-GRAVENHAGE.
FAX 070 - 381 3460
Number of pages: 3
Amsterdam, december 11, 1995
RH/acw/50011089 - lawsuit between Church of Spiritual Technology c.s. and foundation XS4ALL c.s. on December 14, 1995, 10.00 AM.
With regards to the lawsuit that will serve in Your Honours presence on coming Thursday, December 14 at 10.00 AM, I am forced to ask your attention for the following.
One of the problems with with the attorneys of Church of Spiritual Technology ("CST") are confronted, originates from CST's desire that the originals of the documents it refers to in the lawsuit are not shown in public, i.e. not submitted during the lawsuit. Therefore the attorneys have been looking for a method that would guarantee the secrecy of the originals and at the same time prove the infringing documents to be identical to the original documents. During this comparison (conducted by a notary) however, it became clear that this literal concurrance could not be ascertained for a number of the documents mentioned in the subpoena. Considering that in the time available before serving the lawsuit I cannot have investigated, let alone have ascertained, to which measure the not identically copied parts are infringing adaptations in the sense of the Copyright Law, I feel compelled to motion for a postponement.
Moreover it has been meanwhile been found that other works, of which CST also holds the copyright, are being published on the Internet.
Also, notice has been received that Planet Internet B.V. is planning to join the side of defendants 1 - 4 in the underlying case. [They had known this for weeks already - KS]
In view of the complications these developments will bring about, plaintiffs are considering to not submit to the court the questions at hand in a short-term lawsuit, but to do so in a procedure without counter-plea and rejoinder. In this consideration, the question in which term the date for a plea in such a procedure can be set, plays an
You will be contacted about this matter shortly on behalf of the plaintiffs.
I therefore request you to set a formal date in the second half of this month, in order to give plaintiffs the possibility to speak about either continuing the short-term lawsuit, or to start a procedure without counter-plea and rejoinder.
I will send a copy of this letter to the lawyers of the accused and to the joining party, Mr. Bakker Schut en Pros.
With the highest respect,
2. Bakker Schut's letter to the President of the Court in The Hague
By telefax: 070-381 34 60
The honourable Sir
President of the 'Arrondissementsrechtbank'
in 's-Gravenhage (The Hague),
Mr. A.H. van Delden,
PO Box 20302,
2500 EH 's-GRAVENHAGE.
Bakker Schut & Van der Plas, lawyers,
Number of pages : 2
1017 LA Amsterdam
Amsterdam, December 12, 1995
Concerns: Lawsuit of December 14, 1995, 10.00 AM
Foundation XS4ALL c.s. / Church of Spiritual Technology c.s.-
Our ref.: X 4.0017.BS/hj
Last night, I was informed of Mr. R. Hermans' fax-letter of December 11. I was highly amazed by its contents. After deliberation with my clients, I therefore inform you as follows.
Clients are of the opinion that the lawsuit should serve as announced, and I will therefore in principle request my prosecutor to file the case at your Court today.
In short, we have the following reasons for doing so.
On June 12, 1995, my client XS4ALL received the first summons by the plaintiffs lawyers, after which I have corresponded about this case with colleague Hermans.
In spite of this correspondence, plaintiffs saw fit to ask the President of the Court in Amsterdam to give permission for a seizure at XS4ALL. Therefore plaintiffs were at that time already that sure about their case, that they used this permission to surprise my client with a raid on September 5, 1995, this with the participation of several officials of the accusing party.
Since then, several months have gone by in which there was correspondance and even deliberation. After all this didn't lead to a conclusion that was satisfying for the plaintiffs, you granted their request and set - in a long term - a date for a lawsuit.
Now, three days before the court session, plaintiffs wish to postpone the lawsuit, respectively cancel it definitely, based upon reasons of which I fail to see the validity, especially in view of the events disclosed above.
In my opinion, it is highly irregular to postpone such a lawsuit that has been prepared for quite some time already, on such a short notice, now that plaintiffs apparently - but too late - understand that they stand a good chance to lose the procedure.
The accused have done a lot of work and have had considerable expenses in preparing this case; moreover, some clients have been very unpleasantly confronted personally with expressions by third parties, because of their position in the lawsuit.
Therefore clients wish - and it's my opinion that this wish is understandable and legitimate - this procedure to be ended as soon as possible, even though they realise that this might not pay enough respect to the adagium attributed to Ron Hubbard, founder of the plaintiffs: "The primary purpose of a lawsuit is to harass and to discourage, not to win."
I would very much like to hear your opinion about these matters, personally or through my prosecutor, who will try to reach you by telephone after you have received this letter.
P.H. Bakker Schut.
3. Attorney's letter to the President of the Court in The Hague
De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek,
Lawyers & notaries,
PO Box 90851,
2509 LW Den Haag.
The honourable Sir
President of the 'Arrondissementsrechtbank',
Mr A.H. van Delden,
c/o Mrs. T.H. Widmar.
Den Haag, December 12, 1995
Our ref.: 297\10323678\B19.297
Regarding: Planet Internet (petitioner)/ Religious Technology Centre (plaintiff);
XS4ALL c.s. (defendant)/ Church of Spiritual Technology c.s. (plaintiff)
Mr Hermans, lawyer of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit to be served on December 14, 1995 at 10.00 AM, late yesterday afternoon sent you a request to formally suspend the case. Now I adress you as prosecutor for the defendants and as lawyer of the petitioner to rule in that lawsuit. The defendants as well as the petitioner strongly object mentioned suspension. Concerning those objections, I firstly refer to the adjoining copy of a fax by Mr Bakker Schut, lawyers of the defense, which was sent to you this morning.
I would like to add the following to this. At my initial request that petitioners be added as defendants, I produced sommations by Mrs. Helena Kobrin, dated September 21, 1995 and by Mr Hermans, dated September 28, 1995, that were sent to petitioner. I have informed Mr Kobrin once and Mr Hermans four times that I haven't been able to ascertain the stated infringement of copyright. Moreover, my associes Mr Van Manen, Mr Kuijpers and myself have conferred at the office of Mr Hermans on October 16, 1995. On that occasion, we have also not been convinced of the stated infringement of copyright. Nevertheless, after that meeting, Mr Hermans informed me in writing that Religious Technology Centre had no doubt that they would be able to provide evidence in a possible procedure.
As you can read in this morning's fax by Mr Bakker Schut, plaintiffs have been preparing actions against the defendants and the petitioner since June of this year. Therefore plaintiffs should have realised they were expected to prove their statements.
In this case, petitioner is relatively neutral as far as the nature of the Church of Scientology is concerned. Defendants have however given me to understand that it is common tactics of the Church of Scientology to unnessecarily increase the costs for the counterparties in legal procedures. I cannot but say that it is my impression that this is indeed the case in the lawsuit at hand.
Therefore, defendants and petitioner can not agree with any suspension in the underlying lawsuit. When plaintiffs do not appear at the court session, defendants will file a lawsuit themselves and ask for a ruling without the plaintiffs' presence.
I will send a copy of this letter to Mr Laret, prosecutor for the plaintiffs and to Mr Hermans, lawyer of the plaintiffs.