Scientology Leader Obtains New Judge in Leah Remini Civil Suit

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Attorneys for Scientology leader David Miscavige, a co-defendant in Leah Remini’s lawsuit against the church, won a round in court when the judge who was overseeing the case agreed to step aside in favor of another bench officer.

The court papers brought previously by Miscavige’s lawyers cited a section of the Code of Civil Procedure in which they claimed Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Randolph M. Hammock was prejudiced against their client, but did not require them to explain how.

On Tuesday, Hammock removed himself from the case and it was reassigned to Judge Holly J. Fujie. In a minute order, Hammock said he made his decision after reviewing briefs on the issue that he had requested from both sides.

Last October, Fujie dismissed Jennifer McBride’s lawsuit against Lady Gaga in which the plaintiff who returned the singer’s stolen French bulldogs in 2021 sought the $500,000 reward offered, plus $1.5 million in additional damages, alleging she suffered emotional distress.

Detectives determined that McBride was in a relationship with the father of one of the men accused of assaulting Gaga’s dog walker, Ryan Fischer, who was shot in the chest, choked and beaten during the dognapping. McBride was later arrested.

Hammock’s decision comes just weeks after the judge, in a mixed ruling on an anti-SLAPP motion brought by the church, allowed portions of Remini’s case to proceed to trial, but eliminated enough other parts of it to prompt the issuance of a church statement proclaiming the ruling a “resounding victory” and stating that its lawyers will seek attorneys’ fees. The church is appealing the ruling.

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