Paulette COOPER, Plaintiff,
CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY OF BOSTON, INC., Church of Scientology of California,
Inc., L. Ron Hubbard, Mary Sue Hubbard, and Boston Safe Deposit and Trust Co.,
Civ. A. No. 81-681-MC.
United States District Court, D. Massachusetts.
Jan. 27, 1982.
Church raised objections to orders of a magistrate providing for substitute
service of an individual for whom church was allegedly acting as agent. The
District Court, McNaught, J., held that magistrate's order allowing substitute
service of process on individual by serving Commonwealth Secretary of State,
publishing notice in newspaper, serving church which allegedly acted as
individual's agent, and ordering church to send notice via its telex system to
all terminals of church throughout world through which church could communicate
with individual and ordering church to send copy of summons and complaint to
individual was not clearly erroneous or contrary to law.
Order allowing substitute service affirmed.
 FEDERAL CIVIL PROCEDURE
Magistrate's order allowing substitute service of process on individual by
serving Commonwealth Secretary of State, publishing notice in newspaper,
serving church which allegedly acted as individual's agent, and ordering church
to send notice via its telex system to all terminals of church throughout world
through which church could communicate with individual and ordering church to
send copy of summons and complaint to individual was not clearly erroneous or
contrary to law. 28 U.S.C.A. s 636(b)(1)(A); Fed.Rules Civ.Proc. Rule
4(e), 28 U.S.C.A.; U.S.Dist.Ct.Rules D. Mass., Magistrates Rule 2(b);
M.G.L.A. c. 223A, ss 3, 4, 6.
 FEDERAL CIVIL PROCEDURE
Church lacked standing to challenge order for substitute service on individual
for whom church was allegedly acting as agent based on its interest in
protecting its reputation from being impugned by allegations in complaint where
injury to its interest was merely speculative and whatever impact case would
have on its reputation would not be result of service of process but would be
due to charges brought by plaintiff.
 CONSTITUTIONAL LAW
Church's First Amendment rights were not violated by order for substitute
service on individual which required church to send copy of summons and
complaint to individual and to send notices throughout world in its telex
system to terminals through which it could communicate with individual where
order did not impinge upon church's religious beliefs or interfere with or
burden relationship between church members and those who provided spiritual
guidance, and plaintiff was willing to pay cost of sending telex messages.
*784 Michael J. Flynn, Thomas M. Greene, Boston, Mass., for plaintiff.
Roger Geller, Geller & Weinberg, Boston, Mass., for Church of Scientology of
Boston, Inc., L. Ron Hubbard and Mary Sue Hubbard.
Norman S. Zalkind, Elizabeth A. Lunt, Robert Sheketoff, Zalkind & Zalkind,
Boston, Mass., for Church of Scientology of Calif.
Michael Lee Hertzberg, New York City, for defendant pro hac vice.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
McNAUGHT, District Judge.
This matter came on to be heard on the objections of the Church of Scientology
of Boston, Inc. (Church-Boston) to two of the orders of Magistrate Princi
issued on July 31, 1981.[FN1] One of those orders allowed a motion by the
plaintiff for approval of a real estate attachment and the other granted a
motion approving substitute service on L. Ron Hubbard (Hubbard). At the
hearing on these two objections, this court denied plaintiff's motion for a
real estate attachment without prejudice to its renewal at a later time.
FN1. The other objections of Church-Boston were disposed of in an order
issued by this court on September 1, 1981.
Magistrate Princi's order regarding substitute service was as follows:
It appears that L. Ron Hubbard has continuously attempted to avoid service of
process and pursuant to M.G.L.A. C. 227 Sec. 7 and pursuant to M.G.L.A.
C. 223A, Sec. 6, service may be made on the defendant outside the Commonwealth
as directed by the Court.
Therefore, the following Order is issued, namely that service of process may
be made on L. Ron Hubbard in the following manner:
1. Service of a summons and a copy of the complaint on the Secretary of State
for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts;
2. Service on the Church of Scientology of Boston, Inc. as an agent of
Hubbard transacting his affairs, and conducting his business and holding 10% of
its gross revenues for him;
3. Service by publication in the Boston Globe, for three successive weeks the
Notice is hereby published and made that a Complaint has been filed by
Paulette Cooper of New York City against Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, a. k. a. L.
Ron Hubbard, and others in the United States District Court for the District of
Massachusetts, Civil Docket No. 81-681-MC. The said Lafayette Ronald
Hubbard is hereby directed pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, to
file an Answer or other responsive pleading to said Complaint on or before
twenty (20) days following the third successive publication of this Notice.
4. Service by ordering the Church of Scientology of Boston, Inc. to send via
its telex system the Notice set forth in Item 3 to all telex terminals of the
Church of Scientology throughout the world, and to all telex terminals through
which it may communicate with Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, a/k/a L. Ronald
5. The Church of Scientology of Boston shall send, pursuant to its Standing
Order No. 1, a copy of the Summons and a copy of the Complaint in Civil Action
81-681-MC to Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, a/k/a L. Ronald Hubbard.
Non-dispositive pretrial orders of a magistrate are reviewable under the
"clearly erroneous or contrary to law standard". 28 U.S.C. s 636(b)(1)(A);
Rule 2(b) of Rules for the United States Magistrates for the District of
Massachusetts. Since I find, as set forth hereinafter, that the order allowing
substitute service is not clearly erroneous or contrary to law, that order must
In a federal diversity action, which this action purports to be, service of
process is *785 accomplished according to the law of the state in which the
federal district court sits. See Rule 4(e) F.R.C.P. The applicable state
law in this case is the Massachusetts Long-Arm Statute, M.G.L. c. 223A.
That statute provides in part:
s 3. Transactions or conduct for personal jurisdiction
A court may exercise personal jurisdiction over a person who acts directly or
by an agent, as to a cause of action in law or equity arising from the person's
(c) causing tortious injury by an act or omission in this commonwealth;
s 4. Service outside commonwealth
When the exercise of personal jurisdiction is authorized by this chapter,
service may be made outside this commonwealth.
s 6. Mode of service outside commonwealth; proof of service
(a) When the law of this commonwealth authorizes service outside this
commonwealth, the service, when reasonably calculated to give actual notice,
may be made:
(1) by personal delivery in the manner prescribed for service within this
(2) in the manner prescribed by the law of the place in which the service is
made for service in that place in an action in any of its courts of general
(3) by any form of mail addressed to the person to be served and requiring a
(4) as directed by the foreign authority in response to a letter rogatory; or
(5) as directed by the court.
Accordingly, if personal jurisdiction over Hubbard is authorized by s 3,
service may be made upon him by order of this court in any manner reasonably
likely to provide notice of this suit to him. In this regard, two issues must
be resolved: (1) Is personal jurisdiction over Hubbard authorized by M.G.L.
c. 223A, s 3 and (2) Is the manner of service provided in the July 31, 1981
order by the magistrate reasonably likely to provide to Hubbard notice of this
Plaintiff's allegations regarding Hubbard sufficiently state claims of
tortious acts committed by Church-Boston and others at the direction of Hubbard
to allow this court to assert its jurisdiction over him and to permit service
on him outside of Massachusetts.
I recognize that the burden of proving jurisdiction over a defendant rests
with the plaintiff; however, at this point in the proceedings, in determining
whether or not service can be made upon Hubbard outside of Massachusetts, I
accept as true the allegations contained in the complaint and find them
sufficient to permit the exercise of jurisdiction over Hubbard.
The second question, the efficacy of the substituted service in providing
notice, is more difficult. I accept plaintiff counsel's representations
regarding the practical impossibility of serving Hubbard by any of the manners
usually employed in effecting service. There is conflict among the affidavits
provided by both parties concerning the alleged service-dodging techniques
employed by Hubbard and others on his behalf. I do not rely on those
affidavits in reaching my determination to allow substituted service. For
support for the conclusion that regularly employed methods of service of
process would be ineffective here, I need only point to the efforts of Judge
Krentzman, of the Middle District of Florida, to arrive at a means of serving
the Hubbards in proceedings in that district. After extensive hearings on the
issue, Judge Krentzman has decided [FN2] that constructive service may be made
upon the Hubbards by service of process upon the Secretary of State of Florida.
FN2. This information was provided by plaintiff's counsel in the form of
an order issued by Judge Krentzman on January 8, 1982 in the case of
Burden v. Church of Scientology of California, 526 F.Supp. 44. I have
relied also on excerpts from a deposition taken before Judge Krentzman and
provided to the court by plaintiff's counsel.
(1) The method of service ordered by Magistrate Princi does appear to be
"reasonably calculated to give actual notice" to Hubbard. Again, I note the
opposing contentions *786 concerning the likelihood of Hubbard's receiving
the proposed service of process which are contained in the affidavits provided
by both parties and propounded by counsel at the hearing on this matter. I
find that procedures ordered by Magistrate Princi, while extraordinary, are
reasonably likely to provide notice to Hubbard.
(2) Church-Boston has objected to the order on a number of grounds. I find,
however, that unless Church-Boston is acting as an authorized agent for
Hubbard, it has no standing to object to those portions of the order which do
not require action by Church-Boston. Church-Boston's argument that its
interest in protecting its reputation which is derivatively impugned by the
allegations of the plaintiff and that, therefore, it has standing to challenge
the order is without merit. Such injury is merely speculative and cannot
provide the defendant with standing to challenge the order. Whatever impact
this case has on the reputations of Hubbard or Church-Boston will not be the
result of the act of service of process but will be due to the charges brought
by the plaintiff.
(3) The arguments of Church-Boston that requiring it to perform service of
process violates the First Amendment and would unduly burden Church-Boston lack
The plaintiff has stated that she is willing to pay the cost of sending out
the telex messages. Indeed, she says she will send the messages herself if she
is provided with the telex addresses of the various Churches of Scientology.
Since that is so, there is no burden placed on the Church by requiring it to
send the messages or to provide plaintiff with the telex addresses.
The order of Magistrate Princi does not impinge upon the religious beliefs of
the members of the Church of Scientology. There is no issue of religion
whatsoever involved in the service of process in a civil case. Such service
will not interfere with nor burden the relationship between the members of the
Church and those who provide spiritual guidance. The order merely requires
Church-Boston to send notice through channels established by the Church of
Scientology to provide access to Hubbard. As such, the ordered mode of service
does not constitute an infringement of any rights guaranteed by the First
For the foregoing reasons, the order allowing substitute service on L. Ron
Hubbard is affirmed in the form issued by Magistrate Princi. Additionally,
plaintiff must bear the cost of the sending of telex messages to the Churches
of Scientology throughout the world.