Headline News: Washington Supreme Court Denies Coverdale Petition for Review

Washington Supreme Court

Washington Supreme Court Denies Coverdale Petition for Review

(Supreme Court Nos. 89193-1 / No. 92803-7)

Congratulations to JZ Knight for her long and sustained focus in her defense of the truth and the integrity of Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment, Ramtha’s teachings, and the Great Work of all the students of RSE worldwide!

[Read below the full Press Release by JZK, Inc. Posted September 6, 2016]

“YELM September 6, 2016 – The Washington Supreme Court has issued an order solidifying JZK, Inc.’s legal victories against Virginia Coverdale, a former student of Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment (RSE). A five-judge panel unanimously denied Coverdale’s request to review a 2013 trial court decision finding that Coverdale had breached two separate written contracts in which she agreed not to disseminate RSE materials without the school’s permission. A three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals, the state’s intermediary appellate court, affirmed the trial court earlier this year. The Supreme Court also ruled that Coverdale would be required to reimburse JZK, Inc. for the legal fees occasioned by her conduct—a sum now exceeding $1 million.

“The controversy began in 2012 when Coverdale paid a videographer to heavily edit footage from an RSE event and then posted that video online. JZK, Inc. sent Coverdale a letter reminding her that as an RSE student she had signed “Conditions of Participation” which prohibited her from misappropriating the school’s teachings. The letter asked Coverdale to take down the video and warned that JZK, Inc. would be forced to take legal action if she did not comply. Coverdale scoffed at the letter, stated her intent to post more of the school’s materials, and invited the lawsuit against her. In the months and years that followed, every judge that presided over this case—a half dozen before it reached the Supreme Court—unanimously rejected Coverdale’s many excuses for not abiding by her contracts.

“The Supreme Court’s refusal to accept the case also brings closure to an array of meritless counterclaims that Coverdale asserted against JZK, Inc. and its founder, JZ Knight. In both the original action and a subsequent lawsuit, Coverdale asserted over a dozen separate causes of action including defamation, misrepresentation, violations of consumer protection laws, and civil conspiracy. Despite being represented by at least four separate law firms over the course of the litigation, Coverdale failed to prove a single allegation. Her counterclaims were dismissed in 2013 and her subsequent lawsuit was dismissed by yet another judge in January of 2016.

“Nine strikes and you are definitely out,” said Mike Wright, Legal Affairs Manager for JZK, Inc. “Five justices, three appellate judges, and the trial judge all unanimously agreed with JZK, Inc.” Wright added, “JZK, Inc. is grateful for the Court’s decision to put this lengthy battle to rest. We are pleased that the courts have once again upheld our right to protect the unique spiritual message taught at RSE.” Now that Coverdale has exhausted all avenues for appeal, JZK, Inc. and Ms. Knight look forward to continuing to serve their students.

“This case was not about free speech. It was about theft. This case was only about Virginia Coverdale’s use of a private teaching from an event in February 2012 without permission from JZK, Inc. in breach of her agreement.

“This case was not about restricting Coverdale’s right to free speech. It was also not about restricting her right to petition. She has done a lot of speaking and petitioning about our organization and we did not intervene in any of those acts.

“Coverdale countersued JZK, Inc. with a host of claims (affirmative defenses), all of which the courts rejected. She also filed a separate lawsuit against JZ Knight and JZK, Inc. (14-2-00328-2) with more claims, which went nowhere. So not only did JZK, Inc. win but Coverdale lost big time: in cross-motions for summary judgment at the trial level, in the Court of Appeals, and in being denied review by the State Supreme Court on three separate petitions over the course of the case, and finally in having her case against JZK, Inc. dismissed.

“JZK, Inc. is not embarrassed by the original content of the February 2012 private event teaching. Coverdale’s heavily edited video completely changed the context to suit her agenda. Coverdale claimed she received a video in the mail from an anonymous source so she could not claim in court that it was an unretouched original. Neither Coverdale nor any of her supporters ever verified the original material. None of them ever produced a forensic analysis. With modern, video editing tools, no one can claim they are showing an unadulterated copy of an original recording without such efforts. The context of the original video was not relevant to the act of manipulating our private content without our permission. Nine judges and justices agreed.

“In addition to her court losses, Coverdale walks away with a large debt of court-awarded fees and costs. With accrued monthly interest, the total is presently over $860,000.

“On January 19 of this year, Division II of the Washington State Court of Appeals upheld the decisions of two separate Thurston County Superior Court judges validating JZK, Inc.’s Conditions of Participation agreement and determining that Coverdale violated her agreement.

“As a result, the lower court’s order directing Coverdale to pay JZK, Inc. $600,021 in attorneys’ fees and costs stands. This judgment against Coverdale has accrued interest at 12 percent since the July 19, 2013 fee award was entered.

“JZK, Inc. received an additional award of attorneys’ fees and costs in the amount of $83,625 for prevailing before the Court of Appeals.

“JZK, Inc. was also awarded attorneys’ fees and costs in the State Supreme Court Order in an amount to be submitted and finalized in the week ahead.

“Finally, Coverdale owes large sums to the two law firms that have represented her since 2013.

“Coverdale’s rehashing of the same arguments brought the same results. Wisdom comes with a steep price.”

RSE Students group photo

RSE Students group photo at the Yelm, WA Campus

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