288-0 Plaintiff's Brief in Support of Motions for Sanctions
November 6th, 2023
PLAINTIFFS’ BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF THEIR MOTION FOR SANCTIONS RE: WTNY’S NON-COMPLIANCE WITH COURT ORDER (ECF No. 85)
Plaintiffs Tracy Caekaert and Camillia Mapley submit the following Brief in Support of their Motion for Sanctions re: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society’s (“WTNY”) non-compliance with this Court’s prior order requiring it to provide “full and complete” answers to Interrogatories Nos. 9 and 15. Ord. at 11–12, ECF No. 85 (hereinafter referred to as “Order”).
Plaintiffs have been trying to learn how the Jehovah’s Witnesses Organization’s various corporations and unincorporated bodies, offices, committees, and departments (the “Organization’s Entities”) were structured and related to one another during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. This structure, and these relationships, are directly material to important issues in the case, including, inter alia: (1) which entities various Jehovah’s Witnesses officials were acting on behalf of at different points in time; and (2) which entities had knowledge (actual or constructive) of information about child sex abuse.
WTNY hopes to rely on confusion over the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ organizational structure to defend against Plaintiffs’ claims. For instance, it wants to argue that notice of child sex abuse received by certain Jehovah’s Witnesses officials does not constitute notice to WTNY. But this argument can only be sustained if WTNY is able to conceal the degree to which the Organization’s Entities were centrally controlled, worked together, and shared agents.
In furtherance of its litigation strategy, WTNY refuses to provide candid and complete information in discovery about the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ organizational structure. WTNY is now in open contempt of this Court’s Order that it provide Plaintiffs’ “full and complete” interrogatory answers about the Organization’s Entities. Instead, it has provided only a recitation of its litigation position followed by a series of vague, meaningless statements.
The time for WTNY to comply with its obligation to provide complete and accurate information is long overdue. The record in this case and others establishes that WTNY openly spites these obligations until – and even after – truly meaningful sanctions are imposed. WTNY will surely pay the “costs and fees” of discovery motions for the opportunity to stifle Plaintiffs’ cases by hiding material information. More orders to compel will only result in more word games and more delays.
WTNY’s refusal to provide candid and complete discovery answers stands to significantly prejudice Plaintiffs’ cases and must be addressed. Accordingly, Plaintiffs request an order prohibiting WTNY from relying on purported distinctions between the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ organizational components as part of its defense.
1 Exhibit A Pls’ Interrog. Nos. 9 & 15 to WTNY 8 pages
2 Exhibit B Campbell Declaration 7 pages
3 Exhibit C Ashe Deposition Transcript 4 pages
4 Exhibit D Defs.’ Answer – Rodriguez 25 pages
5 Exhibit E Lovett Deposition Transcript 16 pages
6 Exhibit F Declaration of Jefferson 15 pages
7 Exhibit G COA Opinion – Padron 40 pages
8 Exhibit H Affidavit of Don Adams 11 pages
9 Exhibit I WTNY Ltr to Hardin Congregation -2 pages
10 Exhibit J Branch Organization -4 pages
11 Exhibit K Letter from Shaffer to Wilson -3 pages
12 Exhibit L Letter from Wilson to Shaffer -3 pages
13 Exhibit M Use Theocractic War Strategy -3 pages
14 Exhibit N 2016-06-24 Minute Order – Padron -5 pages
15 Exhibit O 2014-06-04 Notice of Ruling – Lopez -20 pages
16 Exhibit P 2015-02-06 PL’s Mt. for Sanctions – J.W. -8 pages
17 Exhibit Q 2021-07-29 Order Warning of Sanctions – Nunez -5 pages