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Holy Stewardship - 2009 News of Legal Actions

November 18, 2009
Court Filings in Fort Worth by Southern Cone Parties

In a continuing effort to delay a hearing on the merits of the case, Defendant Jack Iker and other former diocesan leaders on November 13 filed a petition for writ of mandamus with the Second Court of Appeals in Fort Worth, seeking a review of Judge John Chupp’s October 2 ruling on their Rule 12 motion. The court issued a temporary stay of the proceedings in the trial court. The Episcopal plaintiffs and their counsel will file responses. Click here for the complete story and for copies of related documents.

November 10, 2009
Superior Court of California rules in favor of Episcopal Diocese. (more...)

October 28, 2009
Georgia Court rules for The Episcopal Church regarding Christ Church Savannah (more...)

October 20, 2009
Texas court in San Angelo decides in favor of the Episcopal Diocese of Northwest Texas. (more...)

October 5, 2009
U.S. Supreme Court declines to review California property decision. (more...)

October 2, 2009
Judge's ruling on Oct. 2 hearing

The Hon. John P. Chupp, judge of the 141st District Court of Tarrant County, Texas on Friday Oct. 2, 2009, granted the request of attorneys for former Bishop Iker and others who left the Episcopal Church [defendants] for a continuance in the hearing on the motion by the Episcopal Church, the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and the Corporation of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth [plaintiffs] for a partial summary judgment. The hearing is now scheduled for 9 a.m. on Friday, January 22, 2010. The plaintiffs did not oppose the motion.

The judge granted the defendants’ motion to add the Rt. Rev. Edwin F. [Ted] Gulick Jr., members of the Standing Committee, and Chancellor Kathleen Wells as third party defendants to the litigation.

Finally, the judge denied defendants’ motion to reconsider his September 16 decision on the defendants’ Rule 12 motion challenging the authority of attorneys Jon Nelson and Kathleen Wells. He thus reaffirmed his ruling that the plaintiffs’ attorneys do not represent the entity associated with Jack Iker. No one has ever claimed that they did.

To read a transcript of the hearing, click here.

September 17, 2009 - What the legal language of the order means
What the legal language of the order (click here to read it and note that the hand-written portions of the order are in the judge's own hand) means is this: essentially the court refused to strike the pleadings i.e. it ruled that the reorganized Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and the Corporation had the right to continue to sue the defendants and establish our right to seek declarative judgment. The defendants lost on their main argument that we should not be able to sue the defendants because they are the rightful diocese. This was the main objective of former Bishop Iker's attorneys, and they did not achieve it. The court left that determination for a later hearing.

The order also barred our attorneys from appearing on this suit as attorneys for the entities associated with Jack Iker. Our attorneys have, of course, never asserted that.

As is clear in the order, no other rulings were made. The judge did make comments and he did ask questions, but he made no other rulings.

We now await the October 15 hearing.

September 16, 2009
Statement on hearing that concluded on September 16
The Hon. John Chupp, judge of the 141st District Court of Tarrant County, Texas today ruled that attorney Jon Nelson and Chancellor Kathleen Wells are not authorized to represent the diocese or the corporation that are associated with Jack L. Iker. These attorneys have never claimed to do so. The judge denied the motion by Bp. Iker’s attorneys to remove the diocese and the corporation from the lawsuit filed April 14, 2009.

While the judge did make some off hand remarks in court and asked many questions, he made no other rulings.

A hearing is set for Oct. 15 on the motion for partial summary judgment in this same court.

September 9, 2009
Attorneys present arguments in hearing, new date set

Attorneys for the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and the Corporation of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth presented arguments today in the 141st District Court of Tarrant County, Texas in opposition to two motions filed by former diocesan leaders challenging the authority of the attorneys and leaders of reorganized Diocese. The hearing was continued until 2 p.m. on Wednesday, September 16, at which time both sides will present short briefs on questions from the judge, the Hon. John P. Chupp.

September 4, 2009
The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth files motion for a partial summary judgment in effort to recover property and assets of the Episcopal Church

Attorneys for the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, the Corporation of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, and the Episcopal Church have on Sept. 3, 2009 filed a motion for a partial summary judgment in the 141st District Court of Tarrant County, Texas as a step to recover property and assets of the Episcopal Church. more...

September 3, 2009
St. George’s Episcopal group (Quincy) to hold service (more...)

September 3, 2009
Bishop nominated to lead Pittsburgh Diocese. (more...)

September 2, 2009
FORT WORTH: Breakaway bishop seeks challenge to authority of Episcopal bishop, others

By Pat McCaughan, September 2, 2009
[Episcopal News Service] Attorneys for Jack Iker have asked a Texas court for permission to challenge the authority of Provisional Bishop Ted Gulick Jr. and the standing committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. Iker, who left The Episcopal Church in 2008 but refused to relinquish church property or assets, is responding to a pending lawsuit filed by The Episcopal Church and the continuing Diocese of Fort Worth in April to establish the authority of the new diocesan leadership and to recover diocesan assets, according to chancellor Kathleen Wells. more...

August 28, 2009
The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth responds to motions filed by former leadership

Attorneys for the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, the Corporation of the Diocese of Fort Worth, and the Episcopal Church are preparing a response to motions filed by attorneys for former bishop Jack L. Iker and former members of the corporation’s board. A hearing has been set for September 9 in the 141st District Court in Tarrant County. more...

July 25, 2009
Presiding Bishop's statement on the legal issues in litigation in the Diocese of San Joaquin. (more...)

July 21, 2009
Superior Court of California grants summary adjudication to the continuing Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin. (more...)

June 17, 2009
The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth files response to motion to dismiss suit to recover property and assets of the Episcopal Church

Attorneys for the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, the Corporation of the Diocese of Fort Worth, and the Episcopal Church have filed a response to the motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction filed on May 8, 2009 by attorneys for former bishop Jack L. Iker and former members of the corporation’s board. more...

April 17, 2009
ENS update concerning Pittsburgh. (more...)

April 14, 2009
A statement from the Office of the Presiding Bishop concerning actions in Fort Worth

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori issues statement concerning petition filed on April 14, 2009. more...

April 14, 2009
The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth files suit to recover property and assets of the Episcopal Church

On Tuesday, April 14, 2009, the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, the Corporation of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and the Episcopal Church filed suit in the 141st District Court of Tarrant County, Texas in part to recover property and assets of the Episcopal Church. The defendants are former members of the corporation’s board and the former bishop of the diocese, all of whom have left the Episcopal Church. The petition seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, damages, an accounting, and attorney fees and costs. more...




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