Today, thanks to The Episcopal Church Diocese of Fort Worth, the actual ruling of Judge John Chupp made on September 16, 2009 has been released. TEC -DFW assures us that this is the only ruling made at this hearing. Please note, the highlighted words were added by the judge in his own hand.
THE EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF § IN THE DISTRICT COURT
FORT WORTH, THE CORPORATION OF §
THE EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF FORT §
WORTH, and THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH, §
v. § TARRANT COUNTY, TEXAS
FRANKLIN SALAZAR, JO ANN PATTON, §
WALTER VIRDEN IH, ROD BARBER, §
CHAD BATES, JACK LEO IKER, and THE §
ANGLICAN PROVINCE OF THE §
SOUTHERN CONE'S "DIOCESE OF FORT §
WORTH," holding itself out as "THE §
EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF FORT WORTH," §
Defendants § 141ST JUDICIAL DISTRICT
ORDER GRANTING RULE 12 MOTION
On 9th day of September, 2009, came on to be heard Defendants' Motion Challenging the
Authority of Attorneys to Prosecute This Suit on Behalf of The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth
and The Corporation of The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. Movants appeared by and
through their counsel of record along with Jonathan D. F. Nelson and Kathleen Wells. All
parties announced ready for the hearing, which began and recessed until September 16, 2009.
Movants once again appeared by and through their counsel of record along with Jonathan D. F. Nelson and Kathleen Wells and announced ready for the resumption of the hearing. Upon
conclusion of the hearing, the Court finds that the attorneys cited to appear have not discharged their burden of proof that they were hired by individuals holding positions at the time of the hiring within The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and The Corporation of The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth - that one associated with Bishop Iker.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Jonathan D. F. Nelson and Kathleen Wells are
barred from appearing in this suit as attorneys for The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and The Corporation of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth that is associated with Bishop Iker.
SIGNED this 16 day of September, 2009."
The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth issued this clarification:
"What the legal language of the order (click here to read it and note that the hand-written portions of the order are in the judge's own hand) means is this: essentially the court refused to strike the pleadings i.e. it ruled that the reorganized Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and the Corporation had the right to continue to sue the defendants and establish our right to seek declarative judgment. The defendants lost on their main argument that we should not be able to sue the defendants because they are the rightful diocese. This was the main objective of former Bishop Iker's attorneys, and they did not achieve it. The court left that determination for a later hearing.
The order also barred our attorneys from appearing on this suit as attorneys for the entities associated with Jack Iker. Our attorneys have, of course, never asserted that.
As is clear in the order, no other rulings were made. The judge did make comments and he did ask questions, but he made no other rulings."
TEC Diocese of Fort Worth stated, "no other rulings were made. The judge did make comments and he did ask questions, but he made no other rulings."
In a previous blog I stated,
"...either the Press Release from the Iker camp is a misrepresentation of the facts or the statement from the TEC Diocese is. I also asked, "What is going on here?"
We now have a clearer answer. The Press Release from the Province of the Southern Cone/ ACNA Diocese of Fort Worth so misrepresents the facts as to constitute a falsehood.
The basis for this assessment is this simple false statement made in that Press Release: "The judge also ruled that neither the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church nor the Constitution and Canons of this diocese prohibit withdrawal from TEC and realignment under another province."
There was no ruling concerning the Constitution and Canons, therefore the press release was a falsification of the facts. That's how it seems from here.
If there was any such ruling, let Bishop Iker or his press assistant supply it. If not, he should retract his statement.