The trial court entered an injunction in this dispute over church property. The trial court substantively ruled that because the First Amendment to the United States Constitution deprived it of jurisdiction to apply Texas nonprofit corporation statutes, applying them to determine the parties' rights would violate Constitutional provisions. Under the neutral principles methodology, ownership of disputed property is to be determined by considering evidence such as deeds to the properties, terms of the local church charter (including articles of incorporation and bylaws, if any), and relevant provisions of governing documents of the general church. The trial court's judgment is reversed and remanded. Texas Supreme Court, No. 11-0265, 08-30-2013.
Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth v. The Episcopal Church
Tx. Sup. Ct.
August 30, 2013