On Friday attorneys for the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and its Corporation received notice that the Texas Supreme Court is requesting briefs “on the merits” in our appeal. While our Petition for Review remains “under consideration” by the Court, this is very good news, signaling that the Court wishes to take a closer look at the April 2018 decision of the Second Court of Appeals. This is often the next step before the Court grants a Petition for Review.
It was the decision of the high Court in 2013 that neutral principles of law should govern disputes over church property in Texas, yet the only judge of the Fort Worth court of appeals to sign an opinion took an approach that effectively reverted to the deference standard in that opinion.
Friday’s letter sets a date of March 11 for our legal team to file our brief. Following that, the Court is asking the TEC parties to respond by April 1, after which the Diocese will make a closing reply by April 16. Once these briefings are complete, we hope to hear that the Court has accepted our Petition for Review and the appeal is moving forward. Please continue to pray for the Court and for our attorneys as they prepare the March 11 filing.
We thank God for His blessings and put our trust in His plans.