Sunday, October 04, 2009

Fort Worth Case Summary Part 1

On Friday, October 2, 2009, the 141st District Court, Fort Worth, issued its ruling on three pre-trial motions. The results are not alll surprising, and should not be taken as any landmarks concerning the ultimate outcome of the case. These are merely the initial follies from the first skirmishes. The results, however, were, by and large, quite favorable for Bp. Iker's side.

The court had three issues before it. One issue was Bp. Iker's side's request for a continuance on the faux diocese's motion for partial summary judgment. The court granted the continuance, which is normal, especially when such a motion is filed so early in the proecedings as to make discovery impossible before the hearing.

The second issue was Bp. Iker's side's request to broaden the playing field to include the individuals who allegedly hired Nelson and Wells to represent the faux diocese and who, themselves, claim to be the representatives of the faux dioocese. The court allowed these individuals to be brought into the suit to defend themselves. After all, these people sued Bp. Iker and the individuals who make up the Board of Trustees of the Corporation of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, so it is only fair that the individuals on the other side share in the fun. This is not a particularly surprising development, but it is one indication that Bp. Ikers' side has a very good lawyer.

Finally, Bp. Iker's side asked the court to revise its previous Rule 12 order which included the qualifier that Nelson and Wells did not represent the diocese or the corporation associated with Bp. Iker, which, of course, as they have responded, they never claimed to represent in the first place. The court refused to change it's order. However, this issue raises the most interesting questions of the three. If Nelson and Wells don't claim to represent the diocses and corporation associated with Bp. Iker, the ones established in 1983, and since there is at present only one such diocese and corporation, then, which diocese and corporation, pray tell, do they represent. Here lies the crux of the problem for their side, and, based on the transcripts of the hearings on the Rule 12 motion, the judge gets that they don't represent the one and only diocese. However, the judge, who is new to the bench, also understands that his ruling will be appealed and is being very careful. He will not be overruled for making the rulings he has made thus far, but he could have faced being overruled if he had ruled otherwise.

So far, Bp. Iker's side is looking pretty good.

No comments:

Post a Comment