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SCOTUS declines church property dispute case

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The Supreme Court of the United States will not take a case involving a dispute between churches over property.

The U.S. justices considered The Presbytery of Ohio Valley, Inc., et al. v. OPC, Inc., et al., 12-907, at the court’s April 26 conference and declined to grant certiorari. Olivet Presbyterian Church and the denominational organization it was previously affiliated with, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and later subsidiary organizations, ended up in court over property Olivet wanted to keep after it decided to leave PC (USA).

The trial court ruled in favor of Olivet, citing that the deed of the property belonged to Olivet. The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment for Olivet and ordered judgment entered in favor of the national church organization. The COA found that Olivet has no right, title or interest in the property.

The Indiana Supreme Court in July 2012 reversed, finding neither the trial court nor the Court of Appeals correctly ruled in the dispute. The majority of justices held that genuine issues of disputed fact must be resolved at trial rather than on summary judgment. Justices Mark Massa and Frank Sullivan Jr. dissented without opinion.

The SCOTUS also denied cert to Darrell Wayne Hughes v. Indiana, 12-8926. Prisoner Darrell Hughes petitioned the court pro se in August 2012 to take his case alleging conspiracy against numerous elected officials, judges, and correctional department officials.

Justice Stephen Breyer, 74, was not at court Monday after injuring his shoulder in a bicycle accident Friday. He was hospitalized and underwent reverse shoulder replacement surgery. He is expected to be released from the hospital early this week.

The U.S. Supreme Court has yet to hand down opinions in two Indiana cases before it – Maetta Vance v. Ball State University, et al., 11-566; and Vernon Hugh Brown v. Monsanto Co., et al., 11-796. At issue in Vance is whether the supervisor liability rule applies to harassment by people whom the employer authorizes to direct or oversee the victim’s daily work, or whether the supervisor liability rule is limited to those harassers who have the power to “hire, fire, demote, promote, transfer or discipline” their victim. The Circuit courts have been split in decisions on this issue.

In Brown, the justices will decided whether the federal circuit erred by refusing to find the patent had been exhausted on seeds sold for planting and by creating an exception to the doctrine of patent exhaustion for self-replicating technologies.

 

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  1. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

  2. As an adoptive parent, I have to say this situation was as shameful as it gets. While the state government opens its wallet to the Simons and their friends, it denied payments to the most vulnerable in our state. Thanks Mitch!

  3. We as lawyers who have given up the range of First amendment freedom that other people possess, so that we can have a license to practice in the courts of the state and make gobs of money, that we agree to combat the hateful and bigoted discrimination enshrined in the law by democratic majorities, that Law Lord Posner has graciously explained for us....... We must now unhesitatingly condemn the sincerely held religious beliefs of religiously observant Catholics, Muslims, Christians, and Jewish persons alike who yet adhere to Scriptural exhortations concerning sodomites and catamites..... No tolerance will be extended to intolerance, and we must hate the haters most zealously! And in our public explanations of this constitutional garbledygook, when doing the balancing act, we must remember that the state always pushes its finger down on the individualism side of the scale at every turn and at every juncture no matter what the cost to society.....to elevate the values of a minority over the values of the majority is now the defining feature of American "Democracy..." we must remember our role in tricking Americans to think that this is desirable in spite of their own democratically expressed values being trashed. As a secular republic the United States might as well be officially atheist, religious people are now all bigots and will soon be treated with the same contempt that kluckers were in recent times..... The most important thing is that any source of moral authority besides the state be absolutely crushed.

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