Litigation Update February 2015
February 25, 2015
The Circuit Court of Adams County last week denied a request from the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Chicago to freeze approximately $850,000 in a fund now controlled by a breakaway faction constituted as the Anglican Diocese of Quincy. The diocese and church plan to appeal the ruling. The fund contains not only moneys of the former diocese itself but also moneys placed in the fund by parishes and missions of the former diocese, some of whom have remained loyal to the Episcopal Church and are part of the Diocese of Chicago, and others of whom have affiliated with the breakaway diocese.
“These sorts of pooled investment funds are common in the church,” said Courtney Reid, the diocese’s director of operations. “Parishes make use of them with the understanding that the diocese is managing their investment, not assuming control of it. The Episcopal Church and the diocese believe that the court’s order is erroneous because, among other things, it fails to distinguish between moneys belonging to the former diocese and those belonging to parishes and missions.”
Apart from the issue of moneys held for the benefit of parishes and missions, the diocese and the Episcopal Church will not further contest the Adams County court ruling with respect to the diocesan endowment fund and a small house adjacent to St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Peoria.
In Peoria County, the diocese and Episcopal Church filed a case in November 2013 seeking the return of property and assets belonging to the parishes and missions that voted to leave the Episcopal Church in 2008. This will now proceed.
In a separate case filed in Rock Island County in 2009, the diocese and the Episcopal Church are seeking the return of the building and assets of Christ Church, Moline. This case, too, will now proceed.