Shield The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth  
June 2 , 2010

Hood County court clears path
for Summary Judgment hearing


HOOD COUNTY, Texas – In a hearing this morning Judge Ralph Walton dismissed an attempt by representatives of The Episcopal Church to bring issues already being adjudicated in Tarrant County before the Hood County court. Judge Walton also dismissed opposition from the representatives of The Episcopal Church and another party to a request for summary judgment, clearing the way for a hearing on that motion in July or August.

The hearing resolves a number of claims that were an attempt to complicate the original suit, which concerns a bequest to St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Fort Worth made by a longtime parishioner.

Today's decisions are good news for St. Andrew's. Bishop Iker expressed gratitude for the prayer support that so many gave to today's proceedings.


Here is Bishop Iker's message to the clergy and lay leaders of the diocese, sent Thursday, June 3:

We had a very successful morning in Hood County District Court yesterday, with Judge Walton granting all of the motions that we put before him for a ruling. Our attorney, Shelby Sharpe, did a wonderful job in presenting our case, and after the proceedings he made the following remarks:

"[Representatives of TEC] were unsuccessful in muddying the water. The court granted our motion to knock out their attempt to bring in claims from the Fort Worth suit and denied their attacks on our motion for summary judgment because [our] motion was not directed at them, but the trustee."

A hearing date will now be set for some time in July or August for a decision on our motion for a summary judgment. Basically we are asking the Court to direct that St. Andrew's Episcopal Church continue to receive proceeds from the trust, just as they have in the past.

I am most grateful for the prayer support that so many gave to these proceedings.

Bishop Iker