The Diocese of Rio Grande and the Episcopal Church thought they’d received a favorable court ruling in a property dispute involving a breakaway congregation.
Then the judge changed his mind and ordered both parties to appear in 210th District Court in El Paso County, Texas, on March 3.
“He basically said he wants to make a decision based on findings of fact, that he wants this to go to trial, either a bench trial or a jury trial,” said diocesan associate chancellor Bill Juvrud in a March 3 telephone interview from his office. No trial date has been set.
“We’ve been in the middle of litigation on this for awhile,” acknowledged Juvrud.
The case stems from the Oct. 21, 2008 vote by a majority of members of St. Francis on-the-Hill Episcopal Church in El Paso to disaffiliate from the local diocese and from the Episcopal Church.