Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Federal Court Says S.C. Episcopal Diocese Controversy Should Be Resolved In State Court

In vonRosenberg v. Lawrence, (D SC, Aug. 23, 2013), a South Carolina federal district court declined to exercise jurisdiction over a trademark infringement case growing out of the ongoing 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 held that the trademark dispute is part of a larger dispute over ownership of the Diocese's property which is being litigated in state court (see prior posting), and concluded that it is "judicially impractical to retain jurisdiction over a fragmented claim that has been separated from the larger controversy." The State reports on the decision, and Anglican Curmudgeon blog comments at length on the decision from the perspective of the break-away congregations.