On Thursday, December 3, 2015, the Episcopal Parties filed their appellate briefs in the Fort Worth Court of Appeals. These briefs explain why the 141st District Court’s July 24, 2015 Final Judgment is error and unconstitutional, and why the court of appeals should render judgment in favor of the Episcopal Parties.
The 141st District Court’s Final Judgment violates the First Amendment and instructions from the Texas Supreme Court by effectively placing a bishop defrocked by The Episcopal Church in control of an Episcopal Diocese. Instead of applying Neutral Principles of Texas law—and deferring to The Episcopal Church on core ecclesiastical issues—the 141st District Court’s Final Judgment unconstitutionally overrides The Episcopal Church on who may lead an Episcopal Diocese and Congregations. The 141st District Court’s Final Judgment is error for additional reasons, including that it runs afoul of Texas associations law, Texas trust law, Texas corporations law, and principles of estoppel.
The brief filed by the Local Episcopal Parties and Local Episcopal Congregations is available here:
The brief filed by The Episcopal Church and the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori is available here:
Absent an extension of time, the appellate brief of the breakaway ACNA parties is due on January 4, 2016.