Monday, June 17, 2013

California Court of Appeal Denies ECUSA's Writ Petition

One of the longer-running cases brought by ECUSA in California is the Fresno lawsuit against former Episcopal Bishop John-David Schofield over the real property, bank accounts and other assets that belong to the (now) Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin. Readers who would like the full chronicle of events, and background for understanding where we are now, may consult the links on this page.

Most recently, I had written about the Fresno trial court's denial of ECUSA's motion for summary judgment / summary adjudication here, and then again here when that decision became final. Subsequently, I noted that ECUSA and its rump diocese and bishop had filed for a writ of mandate with the Fifth District Court of Appeal, whom they asked to reverse the ruling of the trial court.

Now, this morning comes word from the appellate court that it has summarily denied ECUSA's petition -- without further briefing, or hearing. This is the fate of over 90% of such petitions for extraordinary relief. The appellate court is reluctant to interfere with the process of going to trial, and will do so only when absolutely necessary to avoid having to try the case all over again.

In this case, the Court of Appeal evidently saw no harm in allowing the present case to go to trial, which is currently scheduled for January 6, 2014 in front of a jury. Stay tuned for more developments.

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