Fired Cathedral teacher, archdiocese set to meet in court

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After a settlement conference was unsuccessful, oral arguments have been rescheduled for Tuesday in the case involving the former teacher at Cathedral Catholic High School in Indianapolis who was fired for being in a same-sex marriage.

Joshua Payne-Elliott sued the Archdiocese of Indianapolis after his employment contract was terminated. He claimed the archdiocese intentionally interfered with his contractual relationship and his employment relationship by demanding Cathedral either terminate his employment or suffer negative consequences.

As a result, Payne-Elliott claims he lost wages and employer-provided benefits and suffered emotional distress and damage to his reputation.

Marion Superior Court Civil Division 1 will hear oral arguments on the archdiocese’s motion to dismiss. These oral arguments had been scheduled for Dec. 12, but the arguments were postponed when Special Judge Stephen Heimann had to attend to a family emergency.

In issuing the order continuing the hearing, Heimann wrote he “reasonably believed” the parties would be able to settle the matter.

A settlement conference appears to have been held Feb.7, according to the court docket. On Feb. 12, Heimann issued an order scheduling a hearing on the motion to dismiss.

In arguing the case should be dismissed, the archdiocese asserts it cannot be punished by the government for telling a Catholic school what rules should be followed in order to remain affiliated with the Catholic Church.

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