A hearing in the case of Barbara Anne Larson, the Silver Spring Md., woman whose father claims she has been kidnapped by the Unification Church, was postponed today after her case was unexpectedly moved to federal court from the state court here.
The switch of courts, although not an unusual procedure, provoked an angry exchange between state Judge Alvin Klein and Barbara Larson's lawyer, Jeremiah Gutman, after Larson did not appear in court as expected.
"Certain aspects of this proceeding have had a tendency to thwart the true administration of justice," Klein said. He called the conduct of Gutman and of Len Rubin, an attorney for the Unification Church, "intolerable" in saying they had promised to produce Barbara Larson in court this morning.
"It is clear to this court," Klein said, "that the lawyers don't want this woman to come into this court for a full and open hearing."
Bruce Brown, an official of the Unification Church headed by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, said the case was moved to federal court because "federal courts are known for the higher quality of their judges."
The verbal fireworks inside the courtroom came just after a lawyer with an anti-Unification Church group called Freedom of Mind, which is seeking to aid Louis Larson in taking his daughter from the Unification Church, was arrested in the hallway outsise the courtroom.
The lawyer, Clifford Capellini, was charged with kidnaping Unification Church member Mitchell Dixon from the street outside the Empire State Building in May and taking him to Pennsylvania.Unification Church officials charge that it is Cappellini and other so called "deprogrammers" and not the church that uses coercion in tryingto keep young people thinking their way.