Monday, June 11, 2018

Supreme Court Denies Review In Two Church Property Cases

Today the U.S. Supreme Court denied review in two unrelated cases involving disputes over church property after the break away of a congregation from its parent body..  It denied certiorari in Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area v. Eden Prairie Presbyterian Church, Inc., (Docket No. 17-582, cert. denied 6/11/2018) (Order List).  In the case, the Minnesota Court of Appeals held that it was proper to apply the "neutral principles of law" approach, rather than applying the ecclesiastical abstention doctrine, to decide ownership of property of a congregation which had disaffiliated from the Presbyterian Church USA. (See prior posting).

The court also denied certiorari in Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina v. The Episcopal Church, (Docket No. 17-1136, cert. denied 6/11/2018) (Order List).  In the case, the 5-member South Carolina Supreme Court in 5 separate opinions resolved a property dispute that arose after a split in the Episcopal Church in South Carolina. (See prior posting.)