Another Property Dispute Settled in Court

A Florida state judge has agreed with the Episcopal Diocese of Florida’s claim that it and not a group of dissidents owns the property of the Church of the Redeemer in Jacksonville.

“We expect to regain possession of the church property very soon and Episcopal worship and ministry under the leadership of the Rev. Davette Turk will be resuming at Redeemer shortly,” the diocese said in a statement on its website.

Fourth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Karen K. Cole ruled on April 27 that Florida state law requires her to accept the diocese’s determination of who is the rightful occupant of a congregation’s property.

She wrote that the state law defers to decisions made by the “highest ecclesiastical authority” in a denomination structured as a “hierarchical church.” Such a denomination is one that is organized into governing bodies of hierarchical ascending jurisdiction, Cole explained.

This is the second civil court settled in favor of an Episcopal diocese in as many weeks.

Read the summary judgment by Judge Cole here.

Read the Episcopal News Release item here.

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