A lawsuit aimed at guaranteeing ownership of church property by the largest Presbyterian Church (USA) congregation will be tried at the state level rather than federal, ruled a U.S. District Court.
Judge Jane Boyle of Dallas ruled Monday that the Highland Park Presbyterian Church congregation’s lawsuit will be held in Texas state court.
Monty Montgomery, an elder and Session-appointed spokesman for Highland Park Presbyterian, told The Christian Post about the reasoning behind Judge Boyle’s ruling.
“HPPC filed the case in state district court, the proper court in which to file, because the issues involved – control and use of the HPPC property – are governed by Texas property, corporate and trust law,” said Montgomery.
At present, a Temporary Restraining Order is keeping the property under the possession of Highland Park Presbyterian, which shall continue through next Monday.
“The lawsuit filed by HPPC’s Board of Trustees seeks a declaration clarifying the property rights of the parties under Texas law for the property owned and maintained by HPPC for 87 years,” said Montgomery.
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/largest-presbyterian-churchs-pc-usa-property-ownership-case-headed-to-court-106312/
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Now that the case is back in state court, I assume victory is all but assured for HPPC because of the Texas Supreme Court’s recent ruling in the Masterson case. Then what will Grace do? Will they try to appeal? To a US District Court, or US Supreme Court, or where? That could stretch out the conflict for months or years. In the meantime, HPPC’s members will vote in 17 days to leave the PCUSA (no, I don’t know that for sure, but I’m expecting it will happen and the vote won’t be close). It’s my hope that Grace will live up to its name, and take the truly gracious, and morally correct, path of ceasing its efforts to claim HPPC’s property.