On January 6, 2012, the Texas Supreme Court noted probable jurisdiction of the breakaway defendants’ appeal from Judge John P. Chupp’s February 8, 2011 partial summary judgment in favor of The Episcopal Church and the local officials and congregations of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. The Texas Supreme Court will set a briefing schedule and date for oral argument.
While the Local Episcopal Parties believe that this case does not fit within the “very limited,” “strictly construed” requirements for a direct appeal, we welcome the chance to reach an expedited resolution of this matter. Judge Chupp’s Order is well-reasoned, correct on the facts and the law, and consistent with the vast majority of cases around the nation – including, in the last months alone, those of the Austin Court of Appeals (Mar. 16, 2011), the Georgia Supreme Court (Nov. 21, 2011), the Pennsylvania Supreme Court (Oct. 17, 2011), and the Connecticut Supreme Court (Oct. 11, 2011). All of these cases stand for the simple proposition that individuals may leave a Church, but they cannot take the Church’s property when they leave.