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Holy Stewardship - 2010 News of Legal Actions

Episcopalians Challenge Authority of Attorneys for Breakaway Factions
The Episcopal parties filed motions in the 141st District Court of Tarrant County to challenge the authority of the attorneys for the break-away Southern Cone factions. The motions seek to strike the pleadings of these attorneys who claim to represent the historic Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and historic entities of the diocese. (more...)

Court rules in favor of Episcopal Church in El Paso
On December 16, 2010 the district court in El Paso County, Texas signed a final summary judgment in favor of The Episcopal Church and its Diocese of the Rio Grande against a faction formerly with St. Francis Episcopal Church that attempted to control parish property after they left the Church in October 2008. (more...)

Additional filings in partial summary judgment case submitted
On December 21, 2010 the Local Episcopal Parties (Bishop Ohl and other diocesan officials) filed amended documents in preparation for the January 14, 2010 hearing on their Amended Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. (more...)

Update on Diocesan trademark case
On December 20, 2010 U.S. District Judge Terry R. Means issued an order staying the proceedings in the Diocesan trademark case, Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth v. Iker, pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division. As a result the court will consider the motions to intervene filed by the Iker-related Southern Cone factions calling themselves the "Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth" and the "Corporation of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth" before the court considers the Episcopal Diocese's motion for partial summary judgment. Read a copy of the order here.

Defendant Jack L. Iker Files Delay Motion in Federal Court
On Thursday, December 16, 2010, Defendant Jack L. Iker, former bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, filed a delay motion in United States District Court, Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division, attempting to put off answering the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth’s motion for partial summary judgment by seeking "an emergency stay." (more...)

Bishop Ohl Files Motion to Compel Southern Cone Faction to Produce Property Ownership Records
On Tuesday, December 16, 2010, counsel for Bishop C. Wallis Ohl filed a motion to compel the Southern Cone faction's production of documents related to ownership of diocesan and parish property in the case pending before Judge John P. Chupp, presiding judge of the 141st District Court of Tarrant County, Texas. (more...)

Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth Files Federal Motion for Partial Summary Judgment
On Monday, December 13, 2010, the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth filed a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment with the Hon. Terry R. Means, District Judge in the Northern District of Texas, to protect its federally-registered name and seal from infringement by former bishop Jack Iker. (more...)

Judge John P. Chupp Disposes of Motion to Disclose Potential Conflicts
On Thursday, December 9, 2010, the Hon. John P. Chupp, judge of the 141st District Court, disposed of the latest procedural motion filed by attorneys for former Bishop Jack L. Iker and other former diocesan officials. (more...)

California Appeals Court Recognizes Episcopal Church’s Determinations in San Joaquin Litigation – Decision Strongly Affirms Position of Fort Worth Episcopalians
On November 18, 2010, the Court of Appeal of the State of California, Fifth Appellate District, issued its long-awaited opinion on the appeal from the partial judgment rendered in the dispute between the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin and its former bishop. The decision strongly affirms the position of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth in its pending litigation with its former bishop and other former diocesan officials. (more...)

Episcopal Parishes and Missions Join Diocesan Litigation
On Friday, November 12, 2010, ten continuing Episcopal parishes and 38 continuing missions of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth were added as parties to the diocesan litigation pending in the 141st District Court of Tarrant County in Fort Worth. (more...)

New Filings Focus on the Merits
The Episcopal Church and local Episcopal parties recently filed updated pleadings and motions for summary judgment in the case pending against former diocesan leaders in the 141st District Court, Tarrant County, Texas. (more...)

Trademark Suit Filed in U.S. District Court
On September 21, 2010 the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Fort Worth against its former bishop, Jack Leo Iker, seeking damages and an injunction against his use of the name "Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth" and the diocesan seal, both continually in use by the Diocese since 1983. The case was assigned to U.S. District Judge Terry Means. (more...)

September 14, 2010
On September 14, 2010 the Southern Cone parties failed in their attempt to obtain a ruling that they, and not the Episcopal parties, were the continuing "Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth" and "Corporation of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth." (more...)

September 3, 2010
Two significant actions have occurred in the litigation in which the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth is involved. First, on August 13 and August 27, 2010, several amended pleadings were filed in the 141st District Court of Tarrant County, in part to comply with the June 25, 2010 Court of Appeals decision. (more...)

August 13, 2010
On August 13, 2010 The Episcopal Church and the Bishop, Standing Committee, Corporation Trustees, and Trustees for the Fund for the Endowment of the Episcopate filed a second amended petition, adding new parties to assert claims for declaratory relief against the Southern Cone officials, in their individual and official capacities, who still maintain possession and control of the real and personal property of the Diocese, Diocesan Corporation and Endowment Fund. As stated in earlier pleadings, church property accumulated in the 170+ years before these officials left The Episcopal Church must be used for the mission of The Episcopal Church, not their new church. Click here to read the petition.

July 4, 2010
San Diego Episcopalians reclaim church (read more...)

June 25, 2010
The Second Court of Appeals in Fort Worth issued an opinion late Friday, June 25, granting the Southern Cone parties' petition for writ of mandamus regarding the order of the 141st District Court ruling on the Southern Cone parties' Rule 12 motion. (more...)

June 10, 2010
Virginia Supreme Court rules for Episcopal Church and Diocese of Virginia. (read more...)

June 2, 2010
At a hearing on Wednesday, June 2, 2010, in the 355th District Court in Hood County, attorneys for the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and attorneys for the Southern Cone entities presented arguments on several procedural matters in the case regarding St. Andrews Episcopal Church and the Cynthia Brants Trust. The Honorable Ralph H. Walton, Jr., ruled in favor of the Southern Cone entities on two matters and agreed to hear motions for summary judgment from both parties at the same time. No date was set for that hearing.

April 27, 2010
The Second Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on the mandamus proceeding for the Tarrant County case on Tuesday, April 27. Both sides presented their statements with few questions from the panel of three judges. There is no deadline for the court to issue its ruling, which could come any time in the next few months. You can hear the entire proceeding here.

March 16, 2010
The Court of Appeals has set oral argument on the mandamus proceeding for the Tarrant County Case for Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 1:30 p.m. Click here to read a copy of the order.

March 12, 2010
The Court of Appeals has ordered oral argument on the petition for mandamus but has not yet set a date for that argument. When that information is available we will update the website.

March 3, 2010
A response was filed on March 3 in the Court of Appeals regarding the mandamus proceeding out of the Tarrant County case. Note that it includes in the appendix a copy of the summary judgment out of the San Angelo case. Click here to read the full text of the response.

March 1, 2010
U.S. Supreme Court denies petition to hear La Crescenta property case. (read more...)

February 10, 2010
SAN JOAQUIN: Diocese seeks return of property held by breakaway congregation. (read more...)

February 1, 2010
Judge orders property returned to Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh. (read more...)

January 19, 2010
Response to petition for writ of mandamus filed

On January 19, 2010 the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, the Corporation of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, and their attorneys filed with the Fort Worth Court of Appeals their response to the Southern Cone parties’ petition for writ of mandamus. Here is a copy of the response. The mandamus action arises out of the Tarrant County case in which the Southern Cone defendants challenged Judge Chupp’s September 16, 2009 order. The court of appeals can rule in the case at any time.




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