Texas Supreme Court to rule on historic church land dispute
The Texas Supreme Court will decide who owns 52 Fort Worth-area church properties valued at more than $100 million in a case being hailed by lawyers as one of the largest church property disputes in state and U.S. history ...
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“... truth will out.”
Since: May 08
#1 Dec 29, 2012
from Wisconsin Gazette:
"The Fort Worth diocese is led by conservative Bishop Jack Iker. When he led his groups split, Iker claimed his diocese held the deeds to all church properties, including the 48 congregations that joined him and the eight that remained loyal to the national church. Eventually, some of the local disputes were settled. But in 2009, the national Episcopal Church filed suit arguing all the properties belonged to the denomination.
"A state district judge sided with the national church, giving Iker 30 days to surrender the properties. That was put on hold as Iker appealed to the state Supreme Court. The high court is not under a deadline to issue a ruling.
"The breakaway faction claims the court needs to view the properties under a 'neutral principles' standard created by the U.S. Supreme Court. That standard determines ownership by looking at property records and has been used in most states to resolve church disputes.
"The national Episcopal Church, though, argues the court should resolve the dispute based on the 'deference' standard, also developed by the U.S. Supreme Court. This asks the court to consider the church hierarchy and who it has chosen to lead it. The national Episcopal Church argues, based on this, that Iker is not an official church leader."
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