NYS Supreme Court Agrees It Must Respect Diocesan Hierarchy in Decisions about Episcopal Church Property

Goldstein Hall’s Litigation Team led by Brian J. Markowitz successfully secured a motion for summary judgment on behalf of St. James Episcopal Church and a major victory for episcopal churches across New York.

2520 Jerome LLC, represented by Herrick Feinstein LLC, sought to force the sale of Episcopal Church-owned property despite the Bishop and Standing Committee rejecting the contract for sale.

However, the Hon. Judge Ruben Franco of the Supreme Court State of New York Bronx County agreed with St. James Episcopal Church that the Court must respect Diocesan hierarchy with respect to decisions made regarding Episcopal Church property.

Specifically, the Court agreed that an individual Episcopalian parish “does not own [its] property; it is held in trust for the benefit of the Episcopal Diocese,” and, as a result, the “court cannot substitute its judgment for that of the Diocese Canons, the Episcopal Church Canons and the Guidelines.”