Diocese of LA wins another legal decision in St. James dispute

The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles has been battling with former parishioners of St. James Episcopal Church in Newport Beach for years now over who should rightfully control the buildings. A decision in 2007 put the buildings under the control of the Diocese. That decision was appealed.

Earlier this year the US Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of that decision.

Late yesterday it looks as if there's been a final decision in the matter. At least we think it does. We're looking to have someone more familiar with the case explain the legal points to us.

Care to weigh in?

Canon Susan Russell of the Diocese of LA has the following posted here:

here's the bottom line:

Let a writ issue requiring the Superior Court of Orange County to vacate its order denying the motion of the Episcopal Church and Los Angeles Diocese for judgment on the pleadings, and to enter a new order granting that motion. Petitioners shall recover their costs in this proceeding.

I spoke with my bishop earlier today and he said a formal statement will be coming from the diocesan communication office -- probably on Monday

Comments (1)

It's not necessarily over yet. The defendants could ask the state supreme court to review the court of appeal's most recent decision, which is based on a disputed interpretation of the supreme court's earlier decision. If the state supreme court were to decide that the court of appeal has misinterpreted its earlier decision, that could result in the case being sent back to the superior court for a trial on the merits. Then whichever party lost at trial could appeal back to the Court of Appeal, and whoever lost on appeal could seek review again by the state supreme court.

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