Saturday, January 04, 2014

A.S. Haley: Legal News Updates in South Carolina and San Joaquin

January 3, 2014

On Monday of this week, South Carolina Circuit Judge Diane Goodstein denied the motion by the ECUSA parties to expand their counterclaims against Bishop Mark Lawrence and certain of his clergy—a motion which I previously predicted would be denied in this earlier post. In ruling from the bench, Judge Goodstein noted that the counterclaimants had failed to show any good reason to single out specific members of the clergy for acting in accordance with the wishes of the Diocese they served—actions that were ratified and approved by literally thousands of its members.

The Diocese’s Canon to the Ordinary, the Rev. Jim Lewis, responded to the ruling with this statement: ““We are grateful that Judge Goodstein dismissed this most recent effort to harass our people with time-consuming, expensive litigation. Attorneys for both TEC and TECSC have tried to distract attention from the denomination’s efforts to seize our property by suing our clergy and pursuing our lay leadership.  The judge’s decision ends the legal fishing expedition and forces all to focus on the only issue that matters: whether our religious freedom is protected.” 

Judge Goodstein also denied TECSC’s motion to reconsider her earlier grant of a preliminary injunction (to which TECSC’s attorneys originally stipulated), which forbids that group from appropriating the name, trademarks and insignia of Bishop Lawrence’s Diocese. As a result, the injunction will remain in force until the conclusion of the trial of the case, now scheduled for July... the rest


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