News has just been received that Bishop Iker and his Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth are the victors in the separately-tried lawsuit to determine the ownership of the grounds and property of All Saints, Fort Worth.
Judge John Chupp of the Tarrant County District Court had severed off the All Saints case, because its facts were more dependent on documents and circumstances that were not shared with all the other parishes in dispute. As I wrote in an earlier post:
My understanding is that Bishop Iker’s diocesan corporation does hold title to the two parcels of real property on which the church and the main accessory buildings of All Saints are situated. However, the parish in the intervening years acquired several parcels of nearby property to make more room. Of these, three are held simply in the name of the parish itself, while one (used for a curate’s home) was acquired in the name of the parish corporation, despite the provisions of Canon 31 linked above. (The church also uses another parcel about 7 miles away for “All Saints School.” The school is run as a separate corporation, and its ownership of the property is not at issue in the lawsuit.)
The case ended up being resolved on a motion for summary judgment, instead of being tried to a jury. (Both sides filed motions, which meant that they agreed there were no disputed facts to be tried.) Bishop Iker’s motion and supporting papers are here; the opposition papers do not appear to be online, and the reply papers are here. At the hearing on the motion held today before Judge Chupp, he granted judgment to Bishop Iker and his Diocese.