Friday, March 30, 2012

Cert Petition Filed In Ecclesiastical Abstention Dispute

In February, a petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court (full text) was filed in Lutzer v. Duncan. The petition seeks review of an Illinois state appeals court decision, Duncan v. Peterson, which refused to apply the ecclesiastical abstention doctrine to a clergyman's false light invasion of privacy claim against the church that ordained him as a minister.  It defrocked him and circulated letters to board members of plaintiff's current congregation accusing him of marital infidelity, misusing church funds and abusing alcohol. [Thanks to Eric Rassbach for the lead.]