CASE NO. 99-7430-CI-08

                      IN THE CIRCUIT COURT IN AND FOR
                          PINELLAS COUNTY, FLORIDA

                           CASE NO. 99-7430-CI-08

           ORGANIZATION, INC., a Florida           
           ROBERT S. MINTON, JR., ET AL.,          

                 BEFORE:       The Honorable THOMAS E. PENICK, JR.

                 PLACE:        Pinellas County Judicial Building
                               545 First Avenue North
                               St. Petersbrg, Florida

                 DATE:         January 21, 2001

                 TIME:         Commencing at 2:00 PA.M.

                 REPORTED BY:  JACKIE L. OSTROM
                               Court Reporter


                                                    Pages 1 - 50

                      ROBERT A. DEMPSTER & ASSOCIATES
                                P.O. BOX 35
                            CLEARWATER, FLORIDA
                               (727) 443-0992



           The Honorable THOMAS E. PENICK, JR.

           911 Chestnut
           Clearwater, Florida

           3055 Whilshire Boulevard, Suite 900
           Los Angeles, California  90010

           Attorneys for Church of Scientology Flag Ship

           2716 Herschel Street
           Jacksonville, Florida  32205

           5720 Central Avenue
           St. Petersburg, Florida  33707

           Attorneys for Robert Minton and
           Lisa McPherson Trust, Inc.

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       1                        PROCEEDINGS

       2            THE COURT:  No tape recorders.  We have

       3       an official court reporter taking them and if

       4       you're press or something we have a procedure

       5       where you come request or identify, the same

       6       that we have for the cameras.  Press?

       7            UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER:  I'm a reporter

       8       from the Times.  I'm sorry, I didn't realize

       9       your procedures, sir.

      10            THE COURT:  Yeah.  I don't care.

      11            UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER:  If you don't

      12       want me to, I won't.

      13            THE COURT:  No, but remember, remember,

      14       she's press now, okay.  That doesn't go

      15       for -- no, there's special procedures we

      16       follow and we have followed in all these

      17       cases, ma'am, and I'm not doing anything and

      18       I'm not singling you out.

      19            UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER:  I understand.

      20            THE COURT:  But that's okay.  I'll let

      21       you do it.  Go ahead.  Okay.  And Mr. Bunker,

      22       the same rules apply here.

      23            Remember, now, you've already had your

      24        one bite at the apple.  If those start

      25        making noises or, you know, then they're

.                                                                4

       1        mine.

       2            Okay.  All right.  All right.  Thank you

       3        for your patience.

       4            I think the court system has been

       5        patient with you all, and what looked like

       6        some simple show causes have consumed nine

       7        days of in-court proceedings.  Many

       8        witnesses and a lot of exhibits, a lot of

       9        videotaping, and it's now the Court's time

      10        to render its decision regarding the matters

      11        that were brought forward.

      12            Now, first let me do this.  I would like

      13        to thank the attorneys for an outstanding

      14        job of representing their clients.  The

      15        Court is not unmindful of the fact that in

      16        making oral arguments and presentations and

      17        cross-examining witnesses there comes a time

      18        some of the time when a little theatrics

      19        gets involved.

      20            I'm not trying to say that there wasn't

      21        some tension here at times between

      22        attorneys, but I do thank you for backing

      23        down rather than pressing the issue.  There

      24        was some times when I felt that I might have

      25        to intercede more than I wanted to, but on a

.                                                                5

       1        whole they were very eloquent arguments,

       2        excellent cross-examination, but a lot has

       3        come out during these nine days of

       4        proceedings.

       5            What started out with a temporary

       6        injunction actually started a year ago

       7        because we had a temporary last year and

       8        then again this year there was the necessity

       9        for a temporary injunction, the Court

      10        designed what we could call a loose and

      11        general injunction.  But I did go to what I

      12        felt were great length to color code it or

      13        make it visually understandable, knowing

      14        full well when I did that that with the

      15        intelligence level that was evidenced last

      16        year that it was going to be like the OSHA

      17        rules and regulations for safety at a

      18        construction site.

      19            You know, they say well, you have this,

      20        that and the other and you have a safety

      21        net.  If you don't spell out the size of

      22        holes in the safety net, they'll have a

      23        safety net with five feet between each hole

      24        so even a bulldozer falls through it.

      25            That's what happened here.  Both sides

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       1        found every loophole possible.  And you're

       2        going to have that when you have AB lawyers

       3        and you have people that comprise the

       4        parties that we have in this case.

       5            Ladies and gentlemen, the talent, the

       6        technology and the expertise on both sides

       7        is awesome.  Any good small business would

       8        love to have your talents available to them.

       9        Technicians in videography, technicians in

      10        electronics, technicians in mechanical

      11        design, technicians in computers, and you

      12        couple all of that with two sides that has

      13        strong feelings.  I mean, we're talking

      14        about super strong feelings here, folks.

      15            It was very clear to this court beyond

      16        any reasonable doubt that there is no love

      17        lost between either side and both of you

      18        will go to the ends of the earth to make

      19        your point.  So it's kind of hard for one

      20        little old judge sitting in St. Petersburg,

      21        Florida to close all of the holes in the

      22        dikes or the dike that's separating you two.

      23            Now, where is all this going?  Well,

      24        folks, you all have already agreed.  It's

      25        been said -- I mean how many times did I

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       1        hear it from the witnesses that both sides

       2        appreciated the injunction, they you were

       3        glad there was the ten feet and that you

       4        want a permanent injunction.

       5            Now, let me tells you was scares me.

       6        This permanent injunction is probably going

       7        to be thicker than the Random House

       8        Unabridged Dictionary Second Edition, and

       9        that thing is about ten inches high.  And

      10        with the diagrams that are going to be

      11        necessity just to encompass the danger

      12        zones, as I call them, that have come out in

      13        these proceedings, the diagrams will exceed

      14        the blueprints for the International Space

      15        Lab.  And I'm not being naive or sarcastic.

      16        I'm telling you facts of life.

      17            I didn't count them all up, but I

      18        imagine there were probably at least 25

      19        different allegations of contempt with all

      20        of the various defendants and all of the

      21        various events and all of that took place in

      22        less than a month of having the injunction

      23        in effect.

      24            Now, a lot of it was much ado about

      25        nothing.  Unfortunately, a lot of it was

.                                                                8

       1        adult nursery school antics, and I said it

       2        earlier and I'm totally convinced of it now.

       3        This calls for a professional nanny and not

       4        a judge.

       5            You know what's scary?  All of this has

       6        international flavor.  I mean several days

       7        we had the French media here, French

       8        lawyers, the German government has been

       9        here, representatives from of Hamburg

      10        government, and all of this is going on, not

      11        in Clearwater, not in St. Petersburg, but

      12        all over the word.  I mean name calling

      13        taunting, teasing, stalking, yelling,

      14        screaming, games of Hide and Seek, King of

      15        the Mountain, Blind Man's Bluff, Red Rover

      16        Red Rover, Picket Chicken.

      17            That's just the videotape that was

      18        entered into evidence.  I don't know who has

      19        the franchise to sell you all the videotapes

      20        but somebody is getting filthy rich.

      21            Now, what did we learn?  The first thing

      22        we learned is the battle lines are blurred.

      23        Each side has a different spin on what the

      24        injunction says.

      25            And I've asked the attorney for the

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       1        Clearwater Police Department to be present

       2        here today when I announced my findings and

       3        my decision because the Clearwater Police

       4        Department has tried to tell each of the

       5        sides what the injunction said and they have

       6        their own spin on what's involved.

       7            Unfortunately, the lines have become

       8        very blurred in exactly what is picketing,

       9        what is protesting, what is the exercise of

      10        the First Amendment Right, what is a picket

      11        device, what is a First Amendment device,

      12        etcetera, etcetera.  And this case has its

      13        own unique features.

      14            Usually, if there is a question about

      15        what an injunction or a document that's been

      16        drawn by a judge says, in the past it's been

      17        my experience that if you don't understand

      18        it, you come back and ask the judge.  But

      19        there was far too much street justice being

      20        meeded out by either off-duty or on-duty

      21        Clearwater police officers.

      22            Quite frankly, they led to a lot of the

      23        confusion here of which charges could not

      24        stick because these officers would tell the

      25        people one thing today and turn around the

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       1        tell the next thing tomorrow after somebody

       2        else has taken a course of action.

       3            Let give you some examples.  Mr. Henson

       4        is a good example.  He asked where can I

       5        picket.  I'm not with the LMT.  I need to

       6        know what's going on.  That's fine.  You can

       7        picket there in front of the hotel.  Have a

       8        ball.  Clearwater police tell him that.

       9            So, Scientology rushes into court, gets

      10        a show cause on him saying you can't picket

      11        on the sidewalk in front of the hotel.  He

      12        asks the police again.  They said woops, no,

      13        you've got to be on the other side of the

      14        street, so I waste a whole day on that show

      15        cause.

      16            What is a picket?  Well, if you turn the

      17        sign upside down and you march that way,

      18        it -- common sense would tell you that's not

      19        a picket.  But yet, we saw videos and there

      20        is a video there where somebody is leaning

      21        on a sign turned upside down and the police

      22        officer walks over and pats it on the butt

      23        end of the thing sticking up in the air with

      24        the words down saying this is a picket.  I

      25        waste more time.

.                                                                11

       1            Now, the other thing that bothered me

       2        immensely is that all good -- you know, no

       3        good deed goes unpunished, seriously, and

       4        you've just got to love the Clearwater

       5        police.

       6            They're trying has hard as they can and

       7        they're caught in middle of this just like I

       8        am and something for the good of the masses,

       9        a chance for the off-duty officers to make

      10        some extra money and they're trying to do

      11        their job, but it's become obvious to me

      12        that they're getting a little more help than

      13        they need from the people that are paying

      14        their bill.  And they're coming very

      15        dangerously close to being a private

      16        security force for the Church of

      17        Scientology.

      18            Now, that's something that's got to be

      19        worked out by both side together with the

      20        police department of Clearwater, their

      21        attorneys.  I think all lawyers need to sit

      22        down and hammer this out because there have

      23        been instances where the independents, if

      24        that's why they're there, is shaky at best.

      25            And, you know, it became obvious that

.                                                                12

       1        this side has this police agency and the

       2        other side is over here and they want to use

       3        a police agency to protect their protest

       4        zones, what's to keep them from getting the

       5        sheriff's office or the Florida Highway

       6        Patrol off duty?  What are they going to

       7        have to do, go get FDLE?  I'm serious about

       8        this folks.

       9            Another example of the blurred line,

      10        process servers.  Process server is supposed

      11        to be an officer of the court serving

      12        documents of the court.  When I was asked to

      13        make that modification to the injunction

      14        that said that process servers, and let me

      15        get that quote.  Any process server retained

      16        by any party to this action pursuant to the

      17        laws of the State of Florida and the

      18        applicable rules of court, is free to

      19        legally  -- I wrote that in and put my

      20        initials out there, serve process on any

      21        person notwithstanding the terms of

      22        temporary injunction number two inasmuch as

      23        such process server would be an agent of

      24        this court for the purpose of serving

      25        process.

.                                                                13

       1            Now, folks, I had some severe heartburn

       2        about the independence of so-called arms of

       3        this court.  When we get around to

       4        redrafting and working on this permanent

       5        injunction and I'll talk about that in a few

       6        minutes, there needs to be some special

       7        provisions that the process servers are

       8        going to have to come from a pool of process

       9        servers somehow determined by the three of

      10        you or this court included and they can't

      11        work at any other time for anybody.  But

      12        when I see so-called process servers forming

      13        armed chains so the people can get in and

      14        out of the Church of Scientology, which was

      15        caused by disruptions of other side, I

      16        question the independence of the process

      17        server.  I'm not that gullible.  That

      18        doesn't cut it, folks.

      19            Now, let me make it real clear that when

      20        we come up with a permanent injunction, I

      21        want language in there that basically says

      22        that it will be independent process servers

      23        and they well serve process legally and

      24        professionally so that they don't violate

      25        any rules or statute in the State of

.                                                                14

       1        Florida, and also I want it worked into the

       2        injunction that when these independent

       3        process servers duly certified and appointed

       4        attempt to serve process pursuant to the

       5        laws, that any shenanigans as far as not

       6        taking it, throwing it on the ground and

       7        everything else will be deemed a hinderance

       8        of the progress of justice, that the

       9        applicable a statutes of laws will be

      10        applied and that regardless of what the law

      11        says can be meeded out for punishment, it

      12        will be a per se contempt enforceable by

      13        contempt.  Because, I'm telling you, that's

      14        got to stop.  And that's going to be part of

      15        the injunction.

      16            Self help:  I am amazed at the quality

      17        of technology that both sides have available

      18        to themselves.  Folks, like I said, I am but

      19        a pebble of sand on this mountain or a

      20        molehill, whichever you want to call it, but

      21        when I look at the technology and the

      22        knowledge on the internet alone and all of

      23        these websites and everything you were

      24        showing me and the stuff that's posted, not

      25        posted and the graphics and all that, you

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       1        leave me way behind.

       2            As Technology Chairman for this circuit,

       3        I keep trying to tell the Chief Judge and

       4        Mr. Lockhart and all of his computer people,

       5        listen to me this.  There is all this stuff

       6        out there and I thought we were on the

       7        cutting edge.  Man, you all got the

       8        computer.  We got Nintendo.

       9            Now, something else that concerns me,

      10        folks and it puts this in proper

      11        prospective.  For this court to try and

      12        draft a workable injunction is really scary

      13        when you consider the international

      14        implications that are going on here, when

      15        you consider the technology that's involved,

      16        when you consider the local governments.

      17            Now, let me talk about technology a

      18        little bit further.  I'm concerned that

      19        Picket Chicken is but a rouge to hide the

      20        moving of the shell with a pea under it.

      21            Let's talk about the spy camera.  Let's

      22        talk about self help.  Ladies and gentlemen,

      23        as the judge on this case and after

      24        listening to everything, nine days worth, I

      25        understand now, I have a much better grasp

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       1        for the seriousness of the feelings between

       2        both sides and I have a far greater grasp of

       3        the seriousness that the Clearwater police

       4        find themselves in out there in the

       5        trenches.  Because both sides having

       6        videographers sitting around at alert, ready

       7        to rush out with a video camera for the

       8        least little thing to film the other side, I

       9        harken to back to my days when I spent

      10        thousands of hours on alert stranded in a

      11        mole hole halfway around the world and you

      12        all make like you have your videographers

      13        and cameramen on bicycles respond to the

      14        incidents and everything else.

      15            To place a camera in the down spout on

      16        the building, I'm missing the point here.  I

      17        hope someone will let us know when the great

      18        invasion is coming.  Give the citizens a

      19        head start.

      20            Sophisticated cameras hidden in the

      21        shrubbery around the apartment houses;

      22        taking pictures of people going up and down

      23        Saturn to go to the little league ball park.

      24        I'm missing something.

      25            I don't know how we're going to handle

.                                                                17

       1        it.  I understand that it's a sticky wicket.

       2        How do you come into court and say, Judge, I

       3        mean obvious cameras and hidden cameras and

       4        everything else we know they're there and I

       5        say, okay, prove it and you say we can't put

       6        the ladder up and we can't go there because

       7        it's going to be in a no go zone or

       8        something.

       9            But I don't see this coming to an end.

      10        I'm concerned.  You know, the great attorney

      11        Jerry Spence in introduction to his latest

      12        book talks about the fox slowly eating

      13        everybody around that's in the outer circle

      14        and then the next circle and the next circle

      15        and the next circle until they finally get

      16        into everybody in the middle.  When is all

      17        this going to stop?

      18            Transitional movements:  Okay, not all

      19        the picket areas are adjacent to each other.

      20        And I knew when I drafted the injunction and

      21        I sat there and I looked at that and I said,

      22        you know, right now all the different ways

      23        that something can happen as they go from

      24        one area where they can picket to the next

      25        area, how they going to cross Ft. Harrison?

.                                                                18

       1        How are they going to go across Cleveland?

       2        And you know, after I had written about two

       3        pages of this yellow tablet it suddenly

       4        dawned on me.  Leave it alone.  You couldn't

       5        plug those holes if you tried and you've

       6        proved me right.

       7            Now, the thing that concerns me is

       8        really and truly, you know, in a lot of the

       9        pickets and a lot of the protest around our

      10        country there is a message or you're trying

      11        not only to reach the people that might be

      12        coming or going from a particular facility,

      13        but you also have a message for the public

      14        as a whole.

      15            Quite frankly, everything I've heard

      16        here and everything I saw, this is a feud

      17        between the parties.  I haven't seen any

      18        messages for the general public.

      19            These were messages to people within

      20        Scientology to get out, you know, what's

      21        wrong here, what's wrong there, come to us,

      22        help us and this was a fight to the other

      23        side to stifle the people exercising their

      24        First Amendment Rights trying to reach the

      25        people inside the Church.  But the taxpayers

.                                                                19

       1        and the public as a whole have been burdened

       2        with this.

       3            Now, knowledge:  I see a problem.  We

       4        have a problem.  How do you reach somebody

       5        who just comes into town and is not a named

       6        defendant or doesn't know what's going on.

       7            Now, fortunately this hasn't reached the

       8        size of the masses that that's been a major

       9        problem.  The legislatures a long time ago

      10        came up with those catch all phrases that

      11        are in the rules and the statutes regarding

      12        injunctions.

      13            That works up to a point, but in the

      14        permanent injunction there's going to have

      15        to be something worked out so that you don't

      16        have one group across the street in the

      17        orange zone where they can legally protest

      18        and a whole bunch of other people blocking

      19        traffic claiming ignorance because it's only

      20        going to get worse and it's going to get

      21        messy.

      22            Now, fortunately we had some real close

      23        instances where the water could have broken

      24        through the dike and this could have gotten

      25        real bad and I'm talking about the so-called

.                                                                20

       1        neutral zones.

       2            If this weren't criminal proceedings and

       3        it required specific documents and specific

       4        pleadings, there were several instances

       5        where some of the OSA agents for the Church

       6        were in violation of the injunction, i.e.

       7        riding a bicycle in and out of the orange

       8        zone within ten feet of the protesters,

       9        rushing out into neutral zone to get the

      10        video camera in the policeman and

      11        Mr. Minton's face; instances like that.

      12            That's something we're going to address

      13        in the permanent injunction, but if

      14        something's going on there is a little

      15        tete-a-tete between say Mr. Minton and the

      16        so-called off-duty police officers, there is

      17        no need for the Scientology OSA agent to be

      18        in there with that camera in everybody's

      19        face.  They're only asking for trouble and

      20        it will only be a matter of minutes until

      21        you get it from them and then we'll be all

      22        back here again and here we go again.  Like

      23        I said the other day, I know there are

      24        things bigger and better that you can put

      25        your energies to.

.                                                                21

       1            Now, a couple of instances; video

       2        cameras, spy cameras or not video, spy

       3        camera incident:  Let me just suffice it to

       4        say there was a winner going there until we

       5        got into that rebuttal.  When we went back

       6        and revisited everything, that was

       7        embarrassing.  That's all I'm going to say.

       8        You know what I'm talking about.  The bread

       9        went in, the bread came out.  There was no

      10        hinderance, nothing else.  That's over.

      11            Sitting in the Santa Claus chair:  You

      12        know, that was a classic example of the

      13        injunction not being eight inches high.

      14            You can't have a definition for

      15        everything.  When you're dealing with clear

      16        and convincing and you have to consider what

      17        it will look like when it goes through the

      18        appellate hopper, it wasn't there.  But I

      19        hope in the future when it's spelled out

      20        enough that that's taunting, teasing,

      21        rubbing their nose in it, whatever you want

      22        to call it, that's got to stop.

      23            Now, let's talk about something else.

      24        The use of megaphones, horns, other noise

      25        makers, screaming, yelling, etcetera.  Where

.                                                                22

       1        this is headed folks that concerns me is

       2        that a court is not going to be prepared to

       3        deal with this.  I can't draw an injunction

       4        to say that you can't honk the horn that

       5        many decibels, that you got -- you can't

       6        scream except only so loud, etcetera.

       7            That's going to be government's job.

       8        That's the local municipalities.  They've

       9        got to establish their noise ordinances.

      10        They've got to establish their littering.

      11        If you're going to take documents and throw

      12        them down, if you're going to hand out

      13        documents and people are going to throw them

      14        down, that's going to be up to either the

      15        local city, the town, the county or the

      16        state or the feds.

      17            Now, we can humbly try, but that goes

      18        back to the source and that goes back to the

      19        law enforcement officers for the source.

      20        That if they're out there and they know

      21        their ordinances, that's where I question

      22        can an off-duty policeman do something as

      23        opposed to hearing it and having to call the

      24        on-duty to come over and by the time he gets

      25        there you could hear two roaches talking and

.                                                                23

       1        I mean pests.  I'm not talking about

       2        anything else.

       3            It concerns me, so a lot of this, what I

       4        feel is necessary to keep peace, that's

       5        going to have to be worked out at a lot of

       6        levels.

       7            Now, we've gone down the various events

       8        pretty much with the judgment of acquitals

       9        and those arguments thereto and it actually

      10        comes down to two events and two instances.

      11            After all of this was said and

      12        done -- now, let me go at this one at a

      13        time.  The first one that I have involves

      14        Ms. Bezazian.  And it involves the incident

      15        on the 7th of December the year 2000.  And

      16        it involves the walking down the east side

      17        of Ft. Harrison on the north side of the

      18        Bank of Clearwater Building in a no picket

      19        zone carrying two picket signs upright so

      20        that everybody can read them.

      21            Let's do this.  Ms. Bezazian, would you

      22        and your attorney come to the rostrum?

      23            Ms. Bezazian, you were charged by an

      24        order to show cause violating this court's

      25        injunction on the 30th of November, the year

.                                                                24

       1        2000 as amended on December 1, the year

       2        2000, by willfully and intentionally

       3        picketing in an injunction prohibited zone,

       4        i.e. that area next to the Ft. Harrison

       5        Hotel by walking through that area with two

       6        picket signs held high.

       7            Now, I do find you guilty of violating

       8        the injunction or of contempt of court for

       9        that action.  Is there any reason why

      10        sentence should not be imposed at this time?

      11            MS. BEZAZIAN:  Your Honor, I'm very

      12       sorry that I had those signs up, but I was

      13       walking from the Trust to the Ft. Harrison

      14       and the policewoman did say, as soon as she

      15       said and she did say I know you're not

      16       picketing but it might look like it because

      17       your signs are up.  Would you please put them

      18       down and I did put them down.

      19            MR. MERRETT:  The only other thing that

      20       I would add for the Court is that as the

      21       Court mentioned there had previously been a

      22       police lieutenant telling Ms. Bezazian that

      23       holding them upside down was picketing,

      24       leaving a set of facts where it was

      25       impossible to move from the Lisa McPherson

.                                                                25

       1       Trust to any orange zone if both of those

       2       officers were to be believed.  However, as to

       3       legal cause why sentence should not be

       4       imposed, there is none.

       5            THE COURT:  All right.

       6            MR. MERRETT:  Judge, I would ask rather

       7       that the Court enter a judgment of not guilty

       8       notwithstanding the verdict.

       9            THE COURT:  In this particular case I

      10       will do that and the sentence will be $100

      11       fine.  That concludes this as far as that is

      12       concerned and as far as Ms. Bezazian is

      13       concerned.

      14            MR. MERRETT:  That is a withhold of

      15       adjudication?

      16            THE COURT:  Yes, sir.

      17            MR. MERRETT:  Thank you, Your Honor.

      18            THE COURT:  Now, I know that there is a

      19       question to whether in contempt you can

      20       withhold.  Now, in this incident I'm going to

      21       withhold and impose the $100 fine.

      22            MR. MERRETT:  Yes, sir.  Is that $100

      23       costs or $100 fine together with the

      24       statutory addition?

      25            THE COURT:  No.  Fine, period, end of

.                                                                26

       1       ball game.

       2            MR. MERRETT:  Yes, sir.

       3            MS. BEZAZIAN:  Thank you, Your Honor.

       4            THE COURT:  That's it.  Now, I want this

       5       clear.  Legally every attorney in here knows

       6       that nuances and the problems that the Court

       7       had to face in light of the allegations and

       8       the charges based on the evidence.  And when

       9       you've got to go beyond a reasonable doubt

      10       there are only two instances that I was about

      11       to go beyond a reasonable doubt and find.

      12       But I don't want anybody to think that with

      13       this whole big pile, the next time around I

      14       think both sides know how to make a case and

      15       I figure it won't take me nine hours to

      16       listen to the testimony and make a ruling

      17       that will probably include jail, so hear me

      18       out.  Thank you, ma'am.

      19            Now, the other matter that I have

      20        involves Robert S. Minton and this one I

      21        want to make real clear.  A judge has to do

      22        what a judge has to do.

      23            I was deeply concerned on this one,

      24        because no matter what I did there would be

      25        comments made that well, you were biased,

.                                                                27

       1        you were prejudiced, you were wearing your

       2        feelings on your robe, but quite frankly,

       3        when you look at the video and you look at

       4        that video and you look at that video, the

       5        Court does find, as to Robert Minton the

       6        Court finds that Mr. Minton willfully and

       7        intentionally violated the injunction of

       8        January 6 in the year 2001 by walking into

       9        the injunction's prohibited zone from the

      10        west sidewalk abutting Waterson Avenue in

      11        Clearwater, Florida and protesting or

      12        otherwise engaging in First Amendment

      13        activity.

      14            Specifically, the defendant went to

      15        within one or two feet of the Scientology

      16        building known as the Clearwater Bank

      17        Building and vertically extended and waved a

      18        fishing pole with a copy of the injunction

      19        attached to the end of the pole referred to

      20        throughout the proceedings as the "Threep",

      21        in front of the windows of the building in a

      22        taunting manner likely to provoke.

      23            I find Robert Minton therefore guilty of

      24        contempt as charged in Paragraph 1F, the

      25        order to show cause regarding contempt dated

.                                                                28

       1        January 10 in the year 2001.

       2            Mr. Howie, Mr. Minton, is there any

       3        reason why sentence should not be imposed?

       4            MR. HOWIE:  No legal cause, Your Honor.

       5       We wish to be heard in mitigation.

       6            THE COURT:  You may, sir.

       7            MR. HOWIE:  Your Honor, again, although

       8       the Court has stated that there is some legal

       9       concern over adjudication or withhold of

      10       adjudication, we would request a withhold of

      11       adjudication in this case.

      12            I would also point out that in imposing

      13        any sentence the offer of two concerns for

      14        the court.  One is the penalty imposed for

      15        violation of the Court's injunction.

      16        Another concern is the extent to which harm

      17        or damage was caused as a direct result or

      18        even an indirect result of that violation.

      19            I would point out as the Court is well

      20        aware, that there is no allegation, no

      21        evidence presented that any actual harm rose

      22        out of this.  I think if anything the Court

      23        should do is by way of affirmatively stating

      24        for all concerned, no just Mr. Minton but

      25        for all concerned, that there are going to

.                                                                29

       1        be certain activities that are going to be

       2        completely barred and that this is an

       3        example of them.

       4            I think it's more significant the Court

       5        has made this ruling and that people have

       6        heard this ruling than any penalty that can

       7        be imposed.  I ask that the court limit its

       8        contempt power to the imposition of a fine

       9        and that that fine clearly reflects the

      10        extent of the damage caused.

      11            THE COURT:  Mr. Minton, do you want to

      12       say anything other than what you've said so

      13       far or do you want to stand on what your

      14       attorney said?  I'm not forcing to it.  I'm

      15       giving you an opportunity to if you wanted to

      16       avail yourself of it.

      17            MR. MINTON:  Yes, Your Honor, I would be

      18       happy to say a few words if you wouldn't

      19       mind.

      20            You know, I am sorry that you have

      21        chosen to view this in the way that you

      22        have.  I, certainly judging by the -- on the

      23        basis of the comments that you've made

      24        throughout the course of today's events I've

      25        certainly learned a lot about how you view

.                                                                30

       1        this injunction and how everybody else

       2        should view this injunction.

       3            I apologize for appearing in any way to

       4        hold the court in any contempt with respect

       5        to this incident which was done as

       6        carelessness at the worst and that's really

       7        all I have say, sir.

       8             (Whereupon, a pause in the proceedings took

       9        place.)

      10            THE COURT:  Here's what I'm going to do

      11       in this case.  Mr. Minton, you certainly are

      12       a moving force in the protest movement of the

      13       Church of Scientology.  You have obviously

      14       many good ideas and thoughts on how legally

      15       and peacefully the message can get out.

      16            I've thought about this quite a bit.

      17        What I will do is I'll withhold

      18        adjudication, I'm going to place you on

      19        probation for six months.  The conditions of

      20        probation is that you pay a fine of $500,

      21        that you live and remain at liberty without

      22        violating any laws or any other injunctions,

      23        temporary or permanent entered by this

      24        court, that you pay any costs of probation

      25        that may be lawfully imposed by the

.                                                                31

       1        administration of probation, and that you,

       2        in cooperation with your attorney, work to

       3        draft the permanent injunction that will

       4        make this peacefully be a viable document

       5        for your side, the other side and the City

       6        of Clearwater.

       7            MR. MINTON:  Yes, Your Honor.

       8            THE COURT:  I see talent there.  I don't

       9       want to say it's misguided.  I just want it

      10       directed the right way.

      11            MR. MINTON:  Yes, sir.

      12            THE COURT:  And I want you to understand

      13       that everything would have been fine,

      14       probably, I don't know, if you had kept that

      15       Threep out horizontal, but when you raised it

      16       vertical you and I know good and well that

      17       that was a symbol of your exercising your

      18       First Amendment Rights in the wrong area and

      19       I might just throw this out also.

      20            If you take a look at the law of, which

      21        a member of my staff reminded me.  Thank

      22        you, Mr. Bailiff, by holding that Threep in

      23        your hand, it's an extension of your body so

      24        the ten feet actually starts at the end of

      25        the pole.  Am I not right, Mr. Howie?

.                                                                32

       1            MR. HOWIE:  Your Honor, I recall

       2       something in tort law about that and I

       3       figured that may not include criminal law, so

       4       I didn't mention it.

       5            THE COURT:  Well, of course, if you hold

       6       a baton in your hand and you strike somebody

       7       that's a battery.  You don't have to use your

       8       fist, so I'm wondering if that thing -- where

       9       does the ten feet really start?  It may be a

      10       20 foot pole before you know it, but anyway,

      11       my point I want to make here is that we've

      12       got to, after all this we've come down to

      13       this and I admonish, beseech and beg both

      14       sides, please -- I'm scared to say this.  I

      15       want to say graduate from kindergarten. but

      16       my gosh, if your expertise at the

      17       kindergarten level has been this great,

      18       what's it going to be if I say act like high

      19       school students.

      20            Please, now, we've come a long way.  I

      21        don't have anything.  Is there anything else

      22        that anybody wants to say for the good of

      23        the Court?

      24            MR. HOWIE:  Your Honor, for purposes of

      25       clarification, I take it that given the

.                                                                33

       1       nature of the sentence you would want

       2       Mr. Minton to report to Salvation Army?

       3            THE COURT:  Yes, yes, yes, and let's

       4       just get this on down the road, okay.

       5            MR. HOWIE:  And we request 24 hours in

       6       which to do that.

       7            THE COURT:  You have it and if you --

       8       I'll come out with a new written order and

       9       get the attachments and I will sign it today

      10       in both cases.  And also -- now, wait a

      11       minute.  There's another one I've got to do.

      12       That's all with you all.  Thank you very

      13       much.  Yes, Mr. Minton?

      14            MR. MINTON:  You asked if there was a

      15       comment to make --

      16            THE COURT:  Yeah.

      17            MR. MINTON:  In the interest of the

      18       Court and it does have to do with a very

      19       heated argument I had a couple nights ago

      20       with Mr. Merrett on the injunction itself and

      21       rather than go and drawing anything, I'll

      22       just say --

      23            THE COURT:  What's your question?

      24            MR. MINTON:  With regard to the four

      25       corners at the intersection of Cleveland and

.                                                                34

       1       Ft. Harrison Avenue.

       2            THE COURT:  Yeah.

       3            MR. MINTON:  The southeast corner is the

       4       only orange zone.  Obviously, the northeast

       5       corner of the Clearwater Bank Building is a

       6       prohibited picketing area.

       7            THE COURT:  Right.

       8            MR. MINTON:  But my contention based on

       9       the injunction before the clarification that

      10       you made was that the northwest corner and

      11       the southwest corner were, because they're

      12       not around Scientology buildings that those

      13       are permitted picketing areas and that's what

      14       I'm asking you for at least minor

      15       clarification from the Court on because those

      16       areas that are not around Scientology

      17       buildings that do appear in some form or

      18       fashion on these maps due to the second

      19       clarification of the injunction has now cause

      20       some additional confusion.

      21            THE COURT:  Those are open zones.

      22            MR. MINTON:  Right.

      23            THE COURT:  Probably Mr. Merrett is

      24       going to say, but Judge, you didn't stick by

      25       me, but quite frankly when I drew those up I

.                                                                35

       1       saw that and I knew but what would apply

       2       there is ten feet away from everybody.

       3            Now, I don't know, then you get into the

       4        King of the Mountain routine that if you're

       5        there first and then they come and want to

       6        cross, do you have to back up ten feet or do

       7        they have to back up ten feet and I'm not

       8        prepared to answer that right now.

       9            That's one of the dilemmas we've got and

      10        they've got to be able to get from the Bank

      11        of Clearwater Building to the Church and you

      12        got to be able to get from the Church or

      13        from your building back and forth.

      14            MR. MINTON:  Right.  Obviously, my

      15       question in that respect and I appreciate

      16       that comment that you made, was that by

      17       positioning someone on the southwest corner

      18       and somebody -- no, not the southwest, the --

      19            THE COURT:  Southeast corner.

      20            MR. MINTON:  Southeast corner and the

      21       northwest corner you would be playing games

      22       by putting people there and I understand

      23       that.

      24            THE COURT:  I realized when I drew this

      25       up and I looked at that and I thought, you

.                                                                36

       1       know, if you read all those abortion clinic

       2       cases and I don't give you one street corner

       3       somewhere, I don't think the appellate courts

       4       would back me up.  And I looked at one where

       5       there was no entrance way or anything else

       6       and I gave you a street corner and that was

       7       the southeast street corner.

       8            MR. MINTON:  Right.

       9            THE COURT:  Now, that's enough.

      10            MR. MINTON:  Yes, sir, and I think that,

      11       you know, judging from what you said

      12       extending that to the north side of Pierce

      13       Street which I believe is the one that runs

      14       along the side of the Ft. Harrison that

      15       wouldn't be prohibited there when it's

      16       obviously prohibited on the south side or

      17       permitted on the south side.

      18            THE COURT:  Well, you know, what do you

      19       do walking across that block from Pierce up

      20       to, up there where you -- the south side of

      21       the Coachman Building, the parking lot.  And

      22       quite frankly, you know, like I said, I can't

      23       cover everything.  And you've been given a

      24       big picket area and from the numbers I've

      25       seen so far, you can't -- there's not even

.                                                                37

       1       any way that there is going to be any

       2       crowding or so many people in those areas

       3       there that you need the other area.  That's

       4       all I can say.

       5            MR. MINTON:  Right, and then one final

       6       point on this and a very important point I

       7       think that you made is you haven't seen in

       8       these videos a message to the general public.

       9       Now, the reality of that is that the message

      10       is --

      11            THE COURT:  Bear in mind, I'm not asking

      12       for a message to the general public.

      13            MR. MINTON:  Right.

      14            THE COURT:  I'm just telling you --

      15            MR. MINTON:  You haven't see it.

      16            THE COURT:  -- that this is between you

      17       all.

      18            MR. MINTON:  Right.

      19            THE COURT:  But you're tying the public

      20       up.

      21            MR. MINTON:  Well, I understand that and

      22       I appreciate that the Court has spent

      23       considerable time over the last 12 or 14

      24       days.

      25            THE COURT:  Not just the court, but when

.                                                                38

       1       I look out there and I think of all the

       2       off-duty policemen and the on-duty policemen,

       3       I won't ever forget that one video where I

       4       counted 11 police cruisers suddenly called

       5       and then the police get out with their

       6       videographers.  I mean what did that cost the

       7       taxpayers?

       8            MR. MINTON:  Yes.  Well, the reason that

       9       you don't see any videos with the message

      10       that we are trying to get to the general

      11       public is because those protests are

      12       perfectly straightforward and normal and

      13       there are plenty of videos of those events.

      14            THE COURT:  I'm not sure that's your

      15       mission either.  I'm not asking -- I'm just

      16       saying that I think -- I guess what I was

      17       trying to say is that I feel the mission is

      18       different here.  It is a very, very unique

      19       situation.

      20            MR. MINTON:  Yes, sir.

      21            THE COURT:  This does not fall purely

      22       into the abortion clinic mold.

      23            MR. MINTON:  Right, and I can honestly

      24       say, Your Honor, that you know, I am the

      25       guiltiest party of --

.                                                                39

       1            THE COURT:  Maybe you better talk to

       2       your attorney here.

       3            MR. MINTON:  I mean in terms of sort of

       4       getting out there and being a little bit

       5       aggressive, too aggressive and you know.

       6            THE COURT:  Well, I put you on probation

       7       for six months.  I don't know why, but

       8       Mr. Minton, am I going to see you again in

       9       six months?  Good-bye.  That's enough.  Thank

      10       you.

      11            MR. MERRETT:  Your Honor, excuse me.

      12             (Whereupon, the Judge left the bench and

      13        then after a moment returned.)

      14            THE COURT:  Mr. Merrett?

      15            MR. MERRETT:  Yes, Your Honor.

      16            THE COURT:  In regards to the spy camera

      17       thing, I made my comment earlier.

      18            MR. MERRETT:  Yes, sir.

      19            THE COURT:  But I find you not guilty.

      20            MR. MERRETT:  Thank you.

      21            THE COURT:  And I find Mr. Merrett not

      22       guilty.

      23            MR. MERRETT:  Mr. Minton, as well.

      24            THE COURT:  Or Mr. Minton.

      25            MR. MERRETT:  Thank you.  Your Honor,

.                                                                40

       1       one matter I wanted to address.

       2            THE COURT:  Sit down everybody.

       3            MR. MERRETT:  Your Honor, I assumed that

       4       counsel, both for Mr. Minton and for

       5       Scientology would stipulate that in the event

       6       that an appeal is taken the Threep itself is

       7       not a necessary item for review by the

       8       appellate court.

       9            I would ask ore tenus that the court

      10        release it and if I should fail to pick it

      11        up by five o'clock this afternoon, dispose

      12        of it in some appropriate manner.

      13            THE COURT:  Okay, and what I will do is

      14       request that for the purposes of the file put

      15       a photograph of it in there or so that there

      16       is at least in the file.

      17            MR. MERRETT:  Yes, sir.

      18            THE COURT:  And I guess I'm already on

      19       the record previously as saying that boy, I

      20       see a future there for somebody if they can

      21       figure out the law on whether that's an

      22       extension of the body or not for other

      23       situations.

      24            MR. MERRETT:  As I say, Your Honor, I

      25       would be gratified if the Court would

.                                                                41

       1       undertake to dispose of it should I fail to

       2       retrieve it this afternoon.

       3            THE COURT:  I understand what you're

       4       saying and let the record be clear on that.

       5       I'll come around the room.  Let me get

       6       Mr. Pope first.

       7            MR. POPE:  I had the impression that

       8       with regard to Ms. Bezazian there was an open

       9       issue about that blocking of the parking lot.

      10            THE COURT:  Yes, and I found her not

      11       guilty there.

      12            MR. POPE:  Okay.

      13            THE COURT:  And I'll tell you why.  Let

      14       me tell you what shot you down big time; UPS.

      15            MR. POPE:  All right.

      16            THE COURT:  Hey, if you can't drive your

      17       van through a space that a UPS truck gets

      18       through, what's blocked?

      19            MR. POPE:  Okay.

      20            THE COURT:  Yes, sir.

      21            MR. SURETTE:  Your Honor, may I address

      22       the Court on behalf the Clearwater Police

      23       Department?

      24            THE COURT:  Sure.  Yeah, I asked you to

      25       come.  Go ahead, yes, sir.

.                                                                42

       1            MR. SURETTE:  It's really my concern

       2       based on the videotape that Mr. Bunker --

       3            THE COURT:  No, now let me make

       4       something real clear on that.  I recognize

       5       that videotape for what it is, biased

       6       propaganda.

       7            Now, when I go look at these over here

       8        with footage galore of Clearwater police

       9        officers telling these people what they can

      10        and can't do and some of the other

      11        instances, it doesn't take a rocket

      12        scientist to know what's going on.

      13            Now, you want to address that, that's

      14        fine.  Don't talk to me about that video.

      15        That's junk.  Sorry, Mark, but that as far

      16        as in a court of law, that's exactly what it

      17        is.

      18            MR. SURETTE:  May I approach, Your

      19       Honor.  I just wanted to make sure that the

      20       court has a complete view of some of the

      21       background leading up to that videotape and

      22       basically --

      23            THE COURT:  That videotape?

      24            MR. SURETTE:  That videotape.

      25            THE COURT:  You can talk all you want,

.                                                                43

       1       but I ain't going to sit and listen to it.

       2            MR. SURETTE:  Well, it's --

       3            THE COURT:  I told you, I don't have

       4       anything to do with that videotape.  Well,

       5       wait a minute.  I'll tell you what I will do.

       6       I did allow them the show it.  I'll give a

       7       forum, but I want the record clear that I'm

       8       not -- I'm more concerned about other

       9       matters.

      10            MR. SURETTE:  Well, I think the

      11       videotape, however, is a representation of

      12       those concerns and that is the number of

      13       off-duty --

      14            THE COURT:  That's their concern.

      15            MR. MERRETT:  -- who have been working,

      16       and what I wanted to do, Your Honor, Chief

      17       Klein after he received a copy of

      18       Mr. Bunker's videotape and again I would

      19       mention that as a representation of the

      20       concerns that you've expressed in a memo

      21       dated November 9, which I've included in the

      22       packet of information, prior to the

      23       November 9 memo, the Chief shared that

      24       videotape with all the members of his command

      25       staff which I was attending the monthly

.                                                                44

       1       meeting.

       2            Subsequent to that videotape, the Chief

       3        went ahead and sent a copy of that videotape

       4        to the City Manager and all of the

       5        commissioners as well as the press and in

       6        that letter he expressed his, basically some

       7        of the concerns regarding the videotape and

       8        again stated that he recognized that there

       9        was friction and confrontations that had

      10        been basically continuing, seemingly

      11        indefinitely, between the two parties and

      12        believed it was in the best interest of the

      13        Clearwater citizens and taxpayers to

      14        continue allowing off-duty officers to work

      15        to maintain the public peace and order.

      16            The proverbial rock and the hard place

      17        the Clearwater police have found themselves

      18        in is trying to deal with two contentious

      19        sides that in the past were repeating

      20        calling police officers were on duty out to

      21        respond to the confrontations.

      22            Usually that necessitated a sergeant to

      23        respond to the scene and then subsequently

      24        the lieutenant, tying up at least three

      25        officers from important calls, serious calls

.                                                                45

       1        that taxpayers and the citizens of this

       2        community --

       3            THE COURT:  Let that record be real

       4       clear that's why I started holding these

       5       hearings on the weekend, which cost money to

       6       the sheriff's office, because of the

       7       shenanigans that are going on here and I was

       8       also scheduled to start last week a four to

       9       eight week trial, the second known as Son of

      10       Pipeline and you know what that means in this

      11       county, which had to do with the pipeline

      12       bringing water to everybody in this circuit

      13       or at least in Pinellas County and my concern

      14       was to get this heard.  And when my regular

      15       trial calendar was such that I could move

      16       some of those jury trials and do this, I gave

      17       you number one attention to get this taken

      18       care of for the good of the policemen and

      19       Clearwater.

      20            Now, I'm trying to tell you that what I

      21        saw on some of this other stuff, it appears

      22        that some of your officers are being duped.

      23        And if they don't understand exactly how the

      24        ordinances or how the junction applies, you,

      25        as their attorney, ask for a court hearing.

.                                                                46

       1            Now, I know in the past when Mr. Merrett

       2        entered the scene there were telephone

       3        conferences or question and things were

       4        worked out with Paul Johnson, etcetera and

       5        Mr. Pope.  That was lacking this time.  You

       6        know it as well as I do.

       7            MR. SURETTE:  Your Honor, subsequent to

       8       the presentations of that tape I had two

       9       telephone conversations with Mr. Merrett in

      10       which I expressed to him on behalf of Chief

      11       Klein the Chief's basic sensitivity to the

      12       representations and the allegation that were

      13       contained in Mr. Bunker's tape and my

      14       specific words were the intent of the

      15       telephone call was to open the door, that the

      16       Chief did not want numerous officers working

      17       off-duty.

      18            The Chief already found himself in a

      19        position where he provided such services to

      20        numerous other churches, Sears and Roebuck,

      21        other organizations that he had an

      22        obligation to taxpayers, an obligation to

      23        treat the Church as he would treat any other

      24        organization, however if there was something

      25        what Mr. Minton and his organization could

.                                                                47

       1        do to limit the activities that were

       2        occurring out there that necessitated police

       3        response, Chief Klein was prepared to

       4        withdraw all of those officers immediately.

       5            Now, I presented a packet, Your Honor,

       6        and the only purpose of that was to try to

       7        demonstrate that there has been an

       8        extraordinary effort on behalf of the Chief

       9        of Police to ensure the officers acted

      10        impartially.

      11            There is a training bulletin that I

      12        included in the packet, one of which by the

      13        way was triggered by the incident contained

      14        on that videotape regarding a incident

      15        involving an Officer Kelly who told a

      16        videographer to go ahead and turn off that

      17        and had some confusion regarding

      18        interception of oral commmunications,

      19        etcetera.

      20            The police department is willing to work

      21        with both sides in some way to extricating

      22        the officers from that situation.  It is a

      23        no-win situation and I just --

      24            THE COURT:  I've already put that in the

      25       record.

.                                                                48

       1            MR. SURETTE:  And you're suggesting,

       2       Your Honor, that you made regarding attorneys

       3       should meet trying to work out some sort of

       4       agreement whereby the officers could reduce

       5       their presence out there.  I think it's an

       6       extremely conducive and constructive

       7       suggestion.

       8            I'm more than willing to meet with both

       9        sides and try to work out some solution to

      10        reduce the presence of it.  But the only

      11        purpose of my being here, Your Honor, was to

      12        try to ensure that any adverse impression

      13        you got based on the representations

      14        contained in those tapes in not a complete

      15        picture.

      16            The officers who work out there --

      17            THE COURT:  Well, let the record be real

      18       clear.  I've had both sides telling with

      19       these tapes and they've been showing where

      20       they're been spliced, doctored, put together

      21       upside down, sideways and everything else.

      22       So, you know, I fully understand what you're

      23       telling me.  And I had to deal with them with

      24       what they showed and snippets from here and

      25       snippets from there and the record is

.                                                                49

       1       replete, nine days, where's the whole tape;

       2       where's this, where that, but the thing that

       3       I am deeply concerned about is that last time

       4       things were worked out there seemed to be

       5       more of a -- if there was a question, and I

       6       mean I went to great lengths to color code

       7       this thing and to personally Xerox each copy

       8       of my home -- my own cost.

       9            Let this record be clear, so that your

      10        people in the trenches wouldn't have any

      11        questions as far as the designated color

      12        areas.  And make it clear, but the phone

      13        calls and the cooperation that was existent

      14        last year was nonexistent this year.  And I

      15        was here ready willing and able that answer

      16        any questions and nobody asked me.  Thank

      17        you all very much.

      18             (Thereupon, the proceedings were

      19        concluded.)







.                                                                50

       1                  CERTIFICATE OF REPORTER

       2   STATE OF FLORIDA      )

       3   COUNTY OF PINELLAS    )

       4             I, JACKIE L. OSTROM, in and for the

       5        Sixth Judicial Circuit, State of Florida:

       6             DO HEREBY CERTIFY that the foregoing

       7        proceedings were had at the time and place

       8        set forth in the caption thereof; that I was

       9        authorized to and did stenographically

      10        report the said proceedings and that the

      11        foregoing pages, numbered 1 through 50,

      12        inclusive, is a true and correct

      13        transcription of said stenographic report.

      14             IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto

      15        affixed my official signature and seal of

      16        office this 22nd day of February, 2001 at

      17        Clearwater, Pinellas County, Florida.



      20                         컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴
                                 JACKIE L. OSTROM
      21                         Notary Public, State of Florida,
                                 at Large