News concerning Diocesan Legal Matters
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Legal Update:
Iker Group Fails in Procedural Motion in Tarrant County Case

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."

The attorneys for former Bishop Jack Iker and other former diocesan leaders filed a "motion to correct style of case," asking Judge John Chupp to drop the names of the Diocese and Corporation as plaintiffs and to identify Iker's group as the "Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth" and the "Corporation of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth" in the style, or heading, of the case. Attorney Jon Nelson, for the local Episcopal parties, argued that the motion was moot, noting that the Judge's July 8 order and amended pleadings filed on August 13 and August 27 already dropped those entities as named plaintiffs. He also argued that granting the Southern Cone motion would imply a ruling on the merits, which the Court of Appeals expressly held was not the effect of its June 25 decision.

Judge Chupp encouraged the parties to move quickly to the substantive issues of the case by filing motions for summary judgment. The Episcopal parties plan to have their amended motion for summary judgment filed in early October and are prepared to show, as a matter of law, that it is the Episcopalians who remain in The Episcopal Church, and not the former Episcopalians who left the Church in 2008, who are authorized to use the property acquired for the mission of The Episcopal Church and to continue the work of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and its Diocesan Corporation.

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