North Texas trauma continues

The breakaway group in North Texas continues to be less than cordial in its legal actions.

Texas Standard – North Texas Episcopal factions divide money and property as divorce plays out in court:

Months after having to vacate six churches, a group of North Texas Episcopalians is back in legal limbo. A fight over money and church belongings has added more fuel to a court battle that has already lasted more than a decade.

Each side argued they owned the same five church buildings, occupied by national church congregations: four in Fort Worth and one in Wichita Falls.

In February, after 12 years in the courts, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear the case. That meant a lower court decision stood, giving the buildings to the conservative breakaway group.

The court [also] ruled that anything a congregation owned pre-April 2009 had to go to the conservative side. So the congregations that lost their church buildings catalogued everything they owned, going back decades….In addition to property, the national church-affiliated congregations were ordered to hand over whatever money was in their accounts as of April 2009.

E-mails exchanged between opposing legal counsel encapsulates the on-going antagonism between the two sides:

“I cannot believe how vengeful your clients are,” [Frank] Hill [attorney for the national-church side] wrote in an email to his opposing attorney. “We have been jumping through hoops to gather the items of which you are entitled, and we will continue to do so.”

R. David Weaver, the attorney representing the conservative side, accused his opponents of stalling.

“Frank, I can’t believe how dilatory and uncooperative your client has been. We have waited for many months to obtain what rightfully belongs to my client. Your client has delayed at every turn,” he wrote.


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