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Second legal blow for TEC in South Carolina case: The Church of England Newspaper, February 20, 2013. March 15, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Property Litigation, South Carolina, The Episcopal Church.
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Lawyers for the Episcopal Church have conceded that Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s claim that while people may leave the Episcopal Church, dioceses and congregations may not, is without merit.

The concession, Canon lawyer Allan Haley reports, comes in their acquiescence to the filing of a Temporary Injunction issued in the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina court case, forbidding the national church or its allies from using the name, symbols or seal of the diocese.

Entered with the consent of attorneys representing the national church, the 31 Jan 2013 order by Judge Diane Goodstein replaces a 23 Jan Temporary Restraining Order, effectively making permanent the ban that forbid the national church and its surrogates from claiming to act on behalf of the diocese.

Mr. Haley noted the injunction remains in effect until Judge Goodstein agrees to modify it, or dissolve it, for good cause shown.

The injunction “maintains the status quo ante until the case can be tried,” he said, and “keeps the parties in the same position they were before the dispute between them arose — it is designed to prevent one of the parties from unilaterally moving the goalposts before the game can be played. At the end of the trial, the court will decide either to make preliminary injunction permanent, or else to dissolve it once and for all.”

Mr. Haley said the national church’s “capitulation”, by agreeing to the injunction, establishes “facts on the ground”.

“There is a legally cognizable “Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina,” whose legal existence began in 1785.”

“The remnant Episcopalian group may not either assume its name, or claim to be the same religious non-profit corporation under South Carolina law.”

The “Diocese has actually separated itself in law from the Episcopal Church. It exists, under its own State’s laws, wholly separate and apart from the Church of which it formerly was a member.”

The loyalist group will be a “brand-new religious entity, whose existence was not a legal reality until it met and organized itself on January 26, 2013.”

These “facts on the ground” are “fatal” to the argument put forward by the national church that people may leave, but dioceses may not, Mr. Haley said. “South Carolina is living proof of the fact that Dioceses and their associated parishes may indeed, as is their constitutional right under the First Amendment, leave.”

“We are gratified that The Episcopal Church has consented to a temporary injunction protecting the identity of our Diocese and its parishes,” said Jim Lewis, Canon of the Diocese. “We pray that sentiment fuels the prompt and reasonable resolution we all seek.

Thomas Tisdale, chancellor of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina – the faction in South Carolina loyal to the national church — did not respond to our queries.

TEC attorneys will not contest South Carolina restraining order: Anglican Ink, January 31, 2013 January 31, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Ink, Property Litigation, South Carolina, The Episcopal Church.
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A South Carolina court has made permanent the temporary restraining order entered on 23 Jan 2013 in the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina case.  On 31 Jan 2013 Judge Diane Goodstein issued a Temporary Injunction that supplanted her Temporary Restraining Order which forbade any person or entity from claiming to be or using the name, symbols and seal of the diocese save for Bishop Mark Lawrence and the officers of the diocese.

Attorneys for the Episcopal Church declined to contest the TRO at the hearing scheduled for 1 Feb 2013.  The Temporary Injunction will stand until the litigation is concluded, however, either party may petition the court to modify or remove the ban.

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

South Carolina loyalists defy ban on using diocesan name and shield: Anglican Ink, January 25, 2013 January 25, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Ink, Property Litigation, South Carolina, The Episcopal Church.
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The loyalist faction within the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina has unleashed a torrent of abuse against Bishop Mark Lawrence and the diocesan leadership as well as Judge Diane Goodstein following her order of 23 Jan 2013 blocking them from using the name, symbols or seal of the diocese.

Compliance with the court’s order has also been spotty. On Wednesday, Bishop Charles vonRosenberg told Anglican Ink the loyalist group would comply with the court’s order, and a spokesman for the South Carolina steering committee, Holly Behre, told the Associated Press they would honor Judge Goodstein’s ruling and will adopt a name that will comply with the spirit of the court order until the matter is resolved.

However compliance with the Order, which went into effect at 5:11 pm on Wednesday has been slow. The group’s website www.episcopalofsc.org did not remove the shield or the claim to be the Episcopal Dicoese of South Carolina until later Thursday.

As of our going to press, the loyalists group’s fundraising site, scstewardship.com, continues to display the diocesan shield and holds itself out to be the true Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, in apparent disregard of Judge Goodstein’s order which stated in part: “No individual, organization, association or entity, whether incorporated or not, may use, assume, or adopt in any way, directly or indirectly, the registered names and the seal or mark of The Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina.”

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

Court blocks loyalist convention for Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina: Anglican Ink, January 23, 2013 January 24, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Ink, Property Litigation, South Carolina.
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Diane Goodstein

Judge Diane Goodstein

The First Judicial Circuit Court in South Carolina has issued a Temporary Restraining Order forbidding any “individual, organization, association or entity” from using the name, symbols or seal of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina – save for Bishop Mark J. Lawrence and the trustees of the diocese.

The 23 January 2013 order handed down by Judge Diane Goodstein effectively blocks the Episcopal Church and its allies from electing a bishop and standing committee for the minority faction loyal to the national church for the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina.

However, canon lawyer Allan Haley notes the ruling does not prevent those in the diocese who wish to remain affiliated with the national Episcopal Church “from meeting, but they will have to adopt a different name.”

Read it all in Anglican Ink.