Thursday, January 24, 2013

Deference vs. Neutral Principles

From The Living Church-

Plaintiffs who sued the Episcopal Church in January for control of South Carolina church properties could ride to victory on the coattails of a 2009 decision involving a breakaway parish, according to two attorneys experienced in church property cases.

Both Lloyd Lunceford of Baton Rouge and Martin Nussbaum of Colorado Springs cite the All Saints Church at Pawleys Island case, in which the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled in favor of a breakaway parish.

Parameters established in that case could now help a larger group of plaintiffs prevail in a South Carolina Circuit Court, the lawyers said. But Nussbaum cautions that any plaintiff victory might be short-lived since the U.S. Supreme Court would likely overturn it if the case were to go that far.

The suit, brought by congregations representing about 22,000 former Episcopalians, stems from the Diocese of South Carolina’s decision in September to leave the Episcopal Church. Exiting congregations are now suing to keep the Episcopal Church from gaining control of the diocese’s identity, as well as its property and that of its parishes.

More here-

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