Friday, July 10, 2009

Judge to rule in Episcopalian dispute on Monday

From Iowa

Judge James Mesich said he will rule by Monday on whether to grant a preliminary injunction that would allow Christ Church of Moline to retain access to its bank account.

Last week, the church filed suit in Rock Island County Circuit Court against the Episcopal Church, which it split from in January, in a dispute about who should have access to the church's account at First Midwest Bank of Moline.

The disagreement began when the Episcopal Church sent a letter to the bank in June claiming it was the rightful owner of church assets and the bank decided to freeze the account, which prevented the members of Christ Church from withdrawing funds to pay bills and restricted their access to the church property at 1717 8th Ave., Moline, the suit stated.

After the suit was filed, a temporary restraining order was issued by the judge July 2, giving Christ Church access to the account for 10 days. He's now deciding whether to grant a preliminary injunction to the church before later issuing a permanent ruling.

Attorneys involved in the case told Mesich that the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Quincy, which split from the church last fall, are now engaged in a legal dispute in Adams County, Ill., which could have some impact on church assets, including those disputed in the Rock Island case. That suit is in the early stages.

At Thursday's hearing, Mesich heard testimony from Stephen Dembosky, the manager of the church's account at First Midwest Bank, as well as past and current members of the church.
Dembosky testified that the bank froze the account as a conservative step because there was a legal dispute presented.

Ron Harroun, who remained with Christ Church after the split, said he made two withdrawals from the church's account of $11,000 and $20,000 in recent months to pay bills. He said without access to the account they don't make enough money through pledge donations and other gifts to pay all of the church's bills.

More here-

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