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FT. WORTH: TEC parties to seek Supreme Court rehearing

FT. WORTH: TEC parties to seek Supreme Court rehearing

September 12, 2013

To the clergy and people of the Diocese,

The Texas Supreme Court has granted a TEC request for an extension of 30 days of time to file a motion to rehear the case decided against them on August 30th. TEC attorneys in the other church property dispute decided against them on that same day (Good Shepherd, San Angelo), have done the same thing.

Motions for rehearing are almost always filed following a decision of the Court. But what are their chances of getting one? Clearly the odds against such motions are very steep, and they are almost never granted. In a concurring opinion written by our attorney, Scott Brister, while a member of the Texas Supreme Court in 2009, he discussed the infrequency of parties being successful in pursuing motions for rehearing, quoting the following statistics:

"In the last 10 years, this Court issued more than 1100 majority and per curiam opinions. On rehearing, we changed less than 50 of the opinions, and those almost always in minor respects that had no effect on the judgment. In only four cases did the prevailing party in the judgment change. Thus, the chance that an original judgment will differ from the final judgment is about 1 in 300." Edwards Aquifer Auth. v. Chemical Lime, Ltd., 291 S.W.3d 392, 412 (Tex. 2009) (Brister, J., concurring). These motions are granted so rarely that the rules do not even require responses to such motions unless the Court asks for one. TRAP 64.3.

So here we go again. This will delay final resolution of this dispute by several months. What do these people have against simply moving forward in the trial court, as directed by the Supreme Court decision? More delays - more expense - more Episcopal arrogance claiming that TEC can't possibility be wrong.

Patience and prayer must continue. By God's grace, we will prevail in due course.

The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Bishop of Fort Worth

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