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Local Episcopal Parties Prepare for Hearing on Southern Cone Motion to Set Supersedeas Bond and Motion for Additional Protection

On 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 19, 2011, Judge John P. Chupp of the 141st District Court of Tarrant County, Texas will hear evidence and legal arguments on (1) the breakaway Defendants' Motion to Set Supersedeas Bond and (2) the Local Episcopal Parties' Motion for Additional Protection, both filed April 25, and (3) the Local Episcopal Parties' Motion to Strike the Affidavits of Jane R. Parrott, filed May 16.

On Tuesday, May 17, the Local Episcopal Parties filed their response to the defendants' motion to set supersedeas bond. A copy of the response and accompanying exhibits are listed to the right.

After considering the evidence and arguments, Judge Chupp will set the monetary amount of the supersedeas bond that all of the defendants will be required to post in order to stop the turnover of the church property to the plaintiff Episcopalians and the other relief, ordered in the February 8, 2011 partial summary judgment. A copy of the summary judgment order being appealed is listed to the right. In addition the court will determine what injunctive relief will be required to protect the Episcopal property from being further dissipated, transferred, and encumbered by the defendants if they post an adequate bond in order to remain in possession of any of the Episcopal property while the defendants appeal from the trial court's adverse summary judgment.

  1. The breakaway defendants' motion asks the court to set a $0 dollar supersedeas bond so that, while the case is on appeal, they may continue to possess, use, and spend Episcopal money and property that the court has already declared to belong to the Episcopal parties. A copy of the defendants' motion to set supersedeas bond is listed to the right.
  2. The Episcopal motion for additional protection asks the court, in addition to requiring a legally adequate monetary bond, to enjoin the defendants in order to protect any Episcopal property that may remain in the possession of the defendants during the appeal. A copy of the Local Episcopal Parties' motion for additional protection is listed to the right.
  3. On Monday, May 16, the Local Episcopal Parties also filed a motion to strike the affidavits of Jane Parrott, Director of Business and Financial Affairs of the Iker-led diocese. A copy of the motion to strike is listed to the right. The motion contends that the affidavits are legally inadmissible as evidence. As cited in the detailed motion, Ms. Parrott admitted the following facts in her sworn deposition, taken on May 10, that directly contradict the sworn statements contained in her affidavits, filed with the 141st District Court on April 25 on behalf of the Southern Cone defendants, including:
    • Defendants opened a bank account in Louisiana and transferred some undisclosed amount into that account in order to make these funds harder for the Court to reach. This account was not mentioned in her affidavit or fully disclosed in the Defendant Diocese's books.
    • More than $500,000 is missing from operating accounts of the Diocese despite Ms. Parrott's affidavit testimony that "the funds in these accounts generally roll over monthly as new contributions replace withdrawals."
    • Defendants' representations to the Court that the accounts "haven't gone down, they've gone up" were based on balances dated after the schism and were limited to only six of 18 Diocesan accounts.
    • Ms. Parrott has made no effort to ascertain what amount could be posted by the Defendant Diocese or the other Defendants as a supersedeas bond. As far as she knows, nobody else has done so on behalf of the Defendants, either.
    • The Defendant Diocese has ten new congregations that they assert are not subject to the judgment, each with its own real and/or personal property.
    • Defendants have diverted funds from restricted accounts and otherwise depleted Diocesan funds outside the ordinary course of business.

Location of the 141st District Court: Fourth Floor in the Family Courts Building at 200 E. Weatherford, just east of the County Administration Building. Be prepared to go through metal detection security upon entry. A public parking garage is located directly across Calhoun Street to the east.