Legal News

Legal News

Keep up to date with legal news.

In addition to news articles below, the Texas judicial system maintains a list of each action on the case related to our diocese on their page, along with links to documents.

Click here to view the court’s records related to this case.

Second Court of Appeals opinion favors Episcopal parties

On Thursday, April 5, 2018, the Fort Worth Court of Appeals issued a 178-page opinion in favor of the loyal Episcopalians of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.  In a decision authored by the Chief Justice, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s 2015 judgment for the breakaway parties and held that the loyal Episcopalians are entitled to control both the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and its Corporation. Noting that the parties agreed that the Corporation held legal…

Bishop asks legal team to respond to misinformation

As you may know, last week the Supreme Court of South Carolina ruled against the former bishop and others attempting to take a diocese out of The Episcopal Church while claiming Episcopal Church property. And while we rejoice with the Episcopalians there, we also hold all involved in our prayers. We, better than most, understand that all litigation takes a toll on all involved. Our legal team notes that South Carolina was one of the few states cited by the breakaways…

South Carolina Supreme Court rules property belongs to Episcopal Church

The South Carolina Supreme Court has said that nearly all the property involved in litigation between a breakaway group and The Episcopal Church belongs to The Episcopal Church. The Court heard the case nearly two years ago. Read several stories here. Read the South Carolina Supreme Court opinion here. Bishop Skip Adams of South Carolina said, “We are grateful for this decision and for the hard work of the court in rendering it. We also give thanks to God for the…

Court of Appeals hears arguments

On Tuesday, April 19, 2016, the Fort Worth Court of Appeals heard oral argument in Episcopal Church v. Salazar. An audio recording of the argument may be found here. A decision is expected in the coming months. Provisional Bishop J. Scott Mayer and assisting bishops Rayford High and Sam Hulsey were present in the packed courtroom, along with many other people from the diocese. Bishop Mayer said, “I was very impressed with the depth and clarity of the case as…

Episcopal Parties file appellate briefs in the Fort Worth Court of Appeals

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…

Update regarding Supersedeas Order

On August 18, 2015, the Hon. John P. Chupp signed an agreed supersedeas order in the diocesan case pending in the 141st District Court. The terms of the order are HERE. The required cash deposit was timely made by the Episcopal parties on Thursday, August 27. The case proceeds on appeal to the Fort Worth Court of Appeals.

Judge grants breakaway parties’ motion

On Wednesday, June 10, 2015, the Hon. John P. Chupp granted the Third Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (All Saints’) of the defendant breakaway ACNA parties and denied the Supplemental Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (All Saints’) of the plaintiff Episcopal Parties. In the next few days the parties will confer on a final judgment to be signed by the judge, to include the rulings on March 2 and June 10. The entry of that judgment will set the stage for appeals by the plaintiff…

Court hearing rescheduled

The hearing scheduled for Wednesday, June 3, on the supplemental motions for partial summary judgment dealing with All Saints Episcopal Church, Fort Worth, has been rescheduled for 10am Wednesday June 10 in the 141st District Court.  

Episcopal Parties file motion in All Saints’ case

On Wednesday, May 6, 2015, the Plaintiff Episcopal Parties and the Defendant breakaway parties filed motions for partial summary judgment addressing only the claims relating to All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Fort Worth. A hearing on the motions is set for Wednesday, June 3, 2015, in the 141st District Court, Tarrant County, Texas. Plaintiffs’ Motion Partial Summary Judgment 05-06-2015  

Response to Bishop Iker’s letter to All Saints’

Tom Leatherbury, attorney for the Episcopal Parties and a lifelong Episcopalian, has responded to David Weaver, attorney for the breakaway group, regarding former Bishop Jack Iker’s March 6, 2015, letter to All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Fort Worth, demanding that All Saints’ submit to a so-called Canon 32 procedure. Leatherbury’s letter also lays out a “procedural roadmap” for most efficiently resolving the case for appeal. The full text of the letter is below. Taking note of the letter, the Rt. Rev.…

Bishop High’s statement on decision of 141st District Court

On Tuesday, March 2, 2015, the Hon. John P. Chupp of the 141st District Court, Tarrant County, Texas, denied the Local Episcopal Parties’ and The Episcopal Church’s Motions for Summary Judgments. He granted the breakaway parties’ Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, except as to the claims of All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Fort Worth. Order on Motions for Partial Summary Judgment “We are disappointed with this decision but quite hopeful for the future. This sacred property was built up over 170…

Bishop High issues letter following court hearing

The Rt. Rev. Rayford B. High, Jr., issued this letter after the Friday, February, 20, 2015, hearing in the 141st District Court, Tarrant County. Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, In August 2013, you may remember, the Texas Supreme Court returned our case to the 141st District Court, Tarrant County, to be tried on different principles than in the previous hearing. Our hearing before the Honorable Judge John P. Chupp on both sides’ motions for partial summary judgment was today.…

Episcopal parties file reply to response on motion for summary judgment

On January 23, 2015,  the Episcopal Parties filed their final objections to the arguments and evidence cited by the ACNA parties and a reply to the arguments the ACNA parties raised in opposition to the motion for summary judgment. Objections to and Motion to Strike Defendants’ Supplemental Summary Judgment Affidavits 012415 Reply in Support of Plaintiffs’ Motion for Partial Summary Judgment 012315 The schedule for the summary judgment motions in the 141st District Court of Tarrant County is as follows: December…

Episcopal Parties file Response to Defendants’ Motion for Partial Summary Judgment

On Monday, December 22, 2014, Plaintiffs The Episcopal Church and the Local Episcopal Parties and Congregations filed their Response to the breakaway Defendants’ motion for partial summary judgment in the 141st Civil District Court of Tarrant County, the Honorable Judge John P. Chupp presiding. Read the Response to Defendants’ Second Motion for Partial Summary Judgment – PDF The Rt. Rev. Rayford B. High, Jr., bishop of the diocese and one of the named plaintiffs in the case, expressed his confidence that…

Episcopal Parties File Motion for Partial Summary Judgment Under Neutral Principles

On December 1, 2014, Plaintiffs The Episcopal Church, Local Episcopal Parties, and Local Episcopal Congregations filed a joint motion for partial summary judgment in the 141st District Court, the Honorable John P. Chupp presiding. As the motion states: “Defendants are former Episcopalians who served as officers of The Episcopal Church’s Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. They gained access to more than $100 million of property in that capacity. They committed to use that property only for the benefit of the Church…

Local Coverage of Legal News

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Fox4 News have given local coverage to the legal news of the U. S. Supreme Court’s November 3, 2014 decision not to review the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth’s legal claim at this time. Bishop Rayford High was interviewed and quoted in both stories. Read the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Monday, November 3 story by religion writer Jim Jones: U.S. high court declines to hear Fort Worth Episcopal dispute The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to review a Texas…