Story Highlights

On March 31, 2011 Judge John P. Chupp heard arguments on the Southern Cone Parties’ Motion to Sever and Stay Proceedings. The judge declined to rule from the bench and announced that he wanted to review new filings before ruling.

The Southern Cone Parties argued that the Judge should sever out the claims addressed in the partial summary judgment granted on February 8, 2011 for an immediate appeal and stop all further action in the case.

In their Response to the Southern Cone Parties’ Motion, the Local Episcopal Parties pointed out that all parties had already agreed before Judge Chupp that there were remaining issues not yet addressed by the Court’s preliminary February 8, 2011 Order. The Episcopal Parties argued that, before severing out any of the declaratory and injunctive claims, the Court should first enter an order disposing of the remaining declaratory and injunctive claims and thus not split those causes of action for appeal. These claims could be resolved within 30 days through the Local Episcopal Parties’ and Local Episcopal Congregations’ pending Supplemental Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, meeting the parties’ and Judge Chupp’s desire to get the main issues in the case on appeal. The Episcopal Parties also objected to a stay of any proceedings against potential third-party defendants who may also be liable to the Episcopal Parties.

Judge Chupp also considered what sort of restrictions he will impose on the use of the disputed church property and funds while the case is on appeal. A copy of the Episcopal Parties’ March 29, 2011 response to the motion is here.