On Friday, February 8, 2019, the Texas Supreme Court said it would like to consider briefing on the merits before deciding whether to take up the breakaways parties’ petition for review of the Fort Worth Court of Appeals April 2018 opinion in favor of the loyal Episcopalians of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and our conditional cross-petition for review. The conditional cross-petition asserted additional grounds to prevail in the litigation. The petitions for review are still under consideration by the Supreme Court.
The court laid out a timeline for filing of the briefs:
- Parties shall file their opening briefs by March 11, 2019
- Responses are due by April 1, 2019
- Replies are due by April 16, 2019.
“This was not an unexpected development,” said Bishop Scott Mayer. “Our attorneys are well prepared to respond to the court’s request for briefing before a decision is made on reviewing the case. In the meantime, let us continue to hold all involved in prayer, to love our neighbor, and to do the work God has called us to do.”
On 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.
The breakaway group appealed that ruling to the Texas Supreme Court, and the loyal Episcopal parties’ conditionally cross-appealed, seeking additional relief.