May 09, 2017 Top Story

Appeals Court Won’t Abstain in Battle Between Bishops

Abstention does not apply to ecclesiastical dispute

By Andrew J. Kennedy

A U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled that a battle over who is the bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the Diocese of South Carolina must proceed in parallel state and federal litigation.

Twice before, the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina had abstained to allow the case to move forward only in state court. But after the second time, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that abstention did not apply, sending the case into parallel proceedings.

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