Hannah Fry writes for Times Community News/Daily Pilot:
An Orange County Superior Court judge said Friday that a prior deed restriction on the St. James the Great Episcopal Church property in Newport Beach doesn’t bar the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles from selling the property for another use because the restriction was not renewed.
In the meantime, a developer that planned to buy the church site says it can’t proceed with the purchase because its investment partner has dropped out.
… Walter Stahr, a member of the St. James congregation, said attorneys for the Griffith Co. indicated they plan to appeal the ruling.
“It’s disappointing, but it’s not the end of the day,” Stahr said. “The case is still in court, the building is still there. We’ve lost a battle, but the war ain’t over.”
The Anglican Diocese of Quincy responds to a second ruling in its favor by the Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District:
While the Episcopal Church had claimed that prior Court rulings did not encompass “all” of the Diocese’s assets, the trial court of Adams County, Illinois ruled that it had in fact awarded all of the Diocesan assets to our Diocese free of any claim by the Episcopal Church.
The trial court noted that its original decision had been affirmed by the Fourth District Appellate Court and that the Illinois Supreme Court had declined the Episcopal Church’s Petition for Leave to file further appeal. Further, the Appellate Court affirmed the trial court’s sanction against the Episcopal Church, whereby the trial court had ordered the Episcopal Church to pay attorney’s fees for the Diocese.
While all of this is fantastic news and is a further answer to our prayers, it does not mean we are done with legal challenges. The Episcopal Church still has a lawsuit pending against us in Peoria County and another pending against us in Rock Island County. These lawsuits are essentially asking for the courts to award the assets of our individual congregations to the Episcopal Church.