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Justices accept church-property dispute

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The Indiana Supreme Court has agreed to take a case between a Vanderburgh County church and its former national organization dealing with what happens to the local church property after the local church defected to another Presbyterian organization.

The justices granted one transfer for the week of May 27, Presbytery of Ohio Valley Inc., et al. v. OPC Inc., et al., No. 82S02-1105-MF-314. When Olivet Presbyterian Church decided to leave the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 2006 to join Evangelical Presbyterian Church of America, it wanted to keep property it had purchased in 1968. The trial court ruled in favor of Olivet, but the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed.

The appellate court  concluded that because the local congregation was part of the national church organization and accepted the benefits of being a national organization, the local congregation acknowledged in its bylaws that it was bound by the national church constitution and could not amend its bylaws to conflict with that document. The court said the church constitution contains a clause providing that all property titled to local congregations is held in trust for the use and benefit of the national church organization, and that judgment must be entered in favor of the governing judicatory bodies of the national church.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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