Friday, January 17, 2014

Federal Court Refuses To Reconsider Abstention In South Carolina Episcopal Church Dispute

In vonRosenberg v. Lawrence, (D SC, Jan. 15, 2014), a South Carolina federal district court denied a motion for reconsideration of its August 2013 decision to abstain and decline jurisdiction over a trademark infringement case growing out of the controversy between a large break-away portion of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina and the smaller number of parishes that remain loyal to The Episcopal Church.  The court there held that the trademark dispute is part of a larger dispute over ownership of the Diocese's property being litigated in state court.  In denying reconsideration, the court said that the motion is based merely on disagreement with the court's earlier abstention ruling. TitusOneNine blog discusses this week's decision from the perspective of break-away churches. [Thanks to John Chilton for the lead.]