Supreme Court of California Justia
Citation 45 Cal.4th 467 original opinion 45 Cal.4th 742a modification

Episcopal Church Cases

Filed 2/25/09 (corrected version of modification order previously posted this date)

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA

EPISCOPAL CHURCH CASES.
S155094
Ct.App. 4/3
G036096, G036408 &
G036868
Orange County
JCCP No. 4392
___________________________________ )

MODIFICATION OF OPINION
THE COURT:
The opinion herein, filed on January 5, 2009, and appearing at 45 Cal.4th
467, is modified as follows:
The first sentence in the second full paragraph on page 473 is modified to
read: “Applying the neutral principles of law approach, we conclude, on this
record, that the general church, not the local church, owns the property in
question.”
The third full paragraph on page 476 is modified to read: “We granted
review to decide whether this action is subject to the special motion to strike under
Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16 and to address the merits of the church
property dispute.”
The first full paragraph on page 478, under “B.,” is modified to read: “Both
lower courts also addressed the merits of the dispute over ownership of the local


church — the trial court found in favor of the local church and the Court of Appeal
found clear and convincing evidence in favor of the general church. We will also
address this question, which the parties as well as various amici curiae have fully
briefed. We will first consider what method the secular courts of this state should
use to resolve disputes over church property. We will then apply that method to
analyze the dispute of this case.”
The first sentence of the first full paragraph on page 493 is modified to
read: “For these reasons, we agree with the Court of Appeal’s conclusion
(although not with all of its reasoning) that, on this record, when defendants
disaffiliated from the Episcopal Church, the local church property reverted to the
general church.”
This modification does not affect the judgment.

Petition for review after the Court of Appeal reversed the judgment in a civil action. The case includes the following issues: (1) Should the "principle of government" approach, also known as the "highest church judicatory" approach, be used to resolve disputes between a local congregation and a national church or regional diocese over ownership of church property, or should these disputes be resolved using a "neutral principles analysis"? (2) Was the complaint properly subject to a motion to strike under Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16? (3) What role does Corporations Code section 9142 play in the analysis and resolution of church property disputes?

Opinion Information
Date:Citation:Docket Number:Category:Status:Cross Referenced Cases:
Wed, 02/25/200945 Cal.4th 467 original opinion 45 Cal.4th 742a modificationS155094OReview - Civil Appealclosed; remittitur issued

EPISCOPAL CHURCH CASES (S155199)
EPISCOPAL CHURCH CASES (S155208)
EPISCOPAL CHURCH CASES (S155687)
CENTRAL COAST BAPTIST ASSOCIATION v. FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH (S156770)
SYNOD OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA & HAWAII v. KIM (S167078)
NEW v. KROEGER (S168611)


Parties
1Episcopal Church Cases (Overview party)
2Bunyan, Praveen (Defendant and Respondent)
Represented by Eric Carl Sohlgren
Payne & Fears, LLP
4 Park Plaza, Suite 1100
Irvine, CA

3Bunyan, Praveen (Defendant and Respondent)
Represented by Daniel Friedman Lula
Payne & Fears
4 Park Plaza, Suite 1100
Irvine, CA

4Bunyan, Praveen (Defendant and Respondent)
Represented by Benjamin Avery Nix
Payne & Fears
4 Park Plaza, Suite 1100
Irvine, CA

5Menees, Richard (Defendant and Respondent)
Represented by Eric Carl Sohlgren
Payne & Fears, LLP
4 Park Plaza, Suite 1100
Irvine, CA

6Adams, Kathleen (Defendant and Respondent)
Represented by Eric Carl Sohlgren
Payne & Fears, LLP
4 Park Plaza, Suite 1100
Irvine, CA

7Rector Wardens & Vestrymen Of St. James Parish In Newport (Defendant and Respondent)
Represented by Eric Carl Sohlgren
Payne & Fears
4 Park Plaza, Suite 1100
Irvine, CA

8Dale, James (Defendant and Respondent)
Represented by Eric Carl Sohlgren
Payne & Fears, LLP
4 Park Plaza, Suite 1100
Irvine, CA

9Hettinga, Barbara (Defendant and Respondent)
Represented by Eric Carl Sohlgren
Payne & Fears, LLP
4 Park Plaza, Suite 1100
Irvine, CA

10Stanley, Paul (Defendant and Respondent)
Represented by Eric Carl Sohlgren
Payne & Fears, LLP
4 Park Plaza, Suite 1100
Irvine, CA

11Trent, Cal (Defendant and Respondent)
Represented by Eric Carl Sohlgren
Payne & Fears, LLP
4 Park Plaza, Suite 1100
Irvine, CA

12Mclaughlin, John (Defendant and Respondent)
Represented by Eric Carl Sohlgren
Payne & Fears, LLP
4 Park Plaza, Suite 1100
Irvine, CA

13Reveley, Penny (Defendant and Respondent)
Represented by Eric Carl Sohlgren
Payne & Fears, LLP
4 Park Plaza, Suite 1100
Irvine, CA

14Thompson, Mike (Defendant and Respondent)
Represented by Eric Carl Sohlgren
Payne & Fears, LLP
4 Park Plaza, Suite 1100
Irvine, CA

15Austin, Jill (Defendant and Respondent)
Represented by Eric Carl Sohlgren
Payne & Fears, LLP
4 Park Plaza, Suite 1100
Irvine, CA

16Evans, Eric (Defendant and Respondent)
Represented by Eric Carl Sohlgren
Payne & Fears, LLP
4 Park Plaza, Suite 1100
Irvine, CA

17Daniels, Frank (Defendant and Respondent)
Represented by Eric Carl Sohlgren
Payne & Fears, LLP
4 Park Plaza, Suite 1100
Irvine, CA

18Rasmusssen, Jane Hyde (Plaintiff and Appellant)
Represented by John R. Shiner
Holme Roberts & Owen, LLP
800 Olympic Blvd., 4th Fl.
Los Angeles, CA

19Rasmusssen, Jane Hyde (Plaintiff and Appellant)
Represented by Frederic D. Cohen
Horvitz & Levy, LLP
15760 Ventura Boulevard, 18th Floor
Encino, CA

20Rasmusssen, Jane Hyde (Plaintiff and Appellant)
Represented by Jeremy Brooks Rosen
Horvitz & Levy, LLP
15760 Ventura Boulevard, 18th Floor
Encino, CA

21Anderson, Robert M. (Plaintiff and Appellant)
Represented by John R. Shiner
Holme Roberts & Owen, LLP
800 West Olympic Blvd., 4th Fl.
Los Angeles, CA

22Anderson, Robert M. (Plaintiff and Appellant)
Represented by Frederic D. Cohen
Horvitz & Levy, LLP
15760 Ventura Boulevard, 18th Floor
Encino, CA

23Anderson, Robert M. (Plaintiff and Appellant)
Represented by Jeremy Brooks Rosen
Horvitz & Levy, LLP
15760 Ventura Boulevard, 18th Floor
Encino, CA

24Protestant Episcopal Church In The Diocese Of Los Angele (Plaintiff and Appellant)
Represented by John R. Shiner
Holme Roberts & Owen, LLP
800 West Olympic Blvd., 4th Fl.
Los Angeles, CA

25Protestant Episcopal Church In The Diocese Of Los Angele (Plaintiff and Appellant)
Represented by Frederic D. Cohen
Horvitz & Levy, LLP
15760 Ventura Boulevard, 18th Floor
Encino, CA

26Protestant Episcopal Church In The Diocese Of Los Angele (Plaintiff and Appellant)
Represented by Jeremy Brooks Rosen
Horvitz & Levy, LLP
15760 Ventura Boulevard, 18th Floor
Encino, CA

27Episcopal Church In The United States Of America (Plaintiff)
Represented by Joseph E. Thomas
Thomas Whitelaw & Tyler, LLP
18101 Von Karman Avenue, Suite 230
Irvine, CA

28Episcopal Church (Intervener and Appellant)
Represented by David Booth Beers
Goodwin Procter, LLP
901 New York Avenue
Washington, DC

29Episcopal Church (Intervener and Appellant)
Represented by Heather Anderson
Goodwin Procter, LLP
901 New York Avenue
Washington, DC

30Grantham, Cobb (Defendant and Respondent)
Represented by Eric Carl Sohlgren
Payne & Fears, LLP
4 Park Plaza, Suite 1100
Irvine, CA

31Houten, Julia (Defendant and Respondent)
Represented by Eric Carl Sohlgren
Payne & Fears, LLP
4 Park Plaza, Suite 1100
Irvine, CA

32Bruno, J. Jon (Plaintiff and Appellant)
Represented by John R. Shiner
Holme Roberts & Owen, LLP
800 West Olympic Blvd., 4th Fl.
Los Angeles, CA

33Bruno, J. Jon (Plaintiff and Appellant)
Represented by Frederic D. Cohen
Horvitz & Levy, LLP
15760 Ventura Boulevard, 18th Floor
Encino, CA

34Bruno, J. Jon (Plaintiff and Appellant)
Represented by Jeremy Brooks Rosen
Horvitz & Levy, LLP
15760 Ventura Boulevard, 18th Floor
Encino, CA

35Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church Of The East (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Tony J. Tanke
Attorney at Law
2050 Lyndell Terrace, Suite 240
Davis, CA

36Kirkpatrick, Clifton (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Christopher J. Cox
Weil Gotshal & Manges, LLP
201 Redwood Shores Parkway
Redwood Shores, CA

37Presbyterian Lay Committee (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Randall Mark Penner
Penner Bradley et al.
1171 W. Shaw Avenue, Suite 102
Fresno, CA

38Presbyterian Lay Committee (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Donald M. Falk
Mayer Brown, LLP
2 Palo Alto Square, Suite 300
3000 El Camino Real
Palo Alto, CA

39Presbyterian Lay Committee (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Eugene Volokh
Mayer Brown, LLP
350 S. Grand Avenue, 25th Floor
Los Angeles, CA

40Iglesia Evangelica Latina (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kenneth Winston Starr
Attorney at Law
24569 Via de Casa
Malibu, CA

41Poch, Jose (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Lynn Ellen Moyer
Attorney at Law
200 Oceangate, Suite 830
Long Beach, CA

42Poch, Jose (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Kent M. Bridwell
Attorney at Law
3646 Clarington Avenue, Suite 400
Los Angeles, CA

43Charismatic Episcopal Church (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Lu The Nguyen
Attorney at Law
2572 McCloud Way
Roseville, CA

44Presbytery Of Hanmi (Amicus curiae)
Represented by George Stephen Burns
Attorney at Law
4100 MacArthur Boulevard, Suite 305
Newport Beach, CA

45Lee, Thomas (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Allan E. Wilion
Attorney at Law
5900 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 401
Los Angeles, CA

46Min, Peter (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Allan E. Wilion
Attorney at Law
5900 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 401
Los Angeles, CA

47Diocese Of San Joaquin (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Russell Gene Vanrozeboom
Wild, Carter & Tipton
246 W. Shaw Avenue
Fresno, CA


Disposition
Jan 5 2009Opinion: Affirmed

Dockets
Aug 6 2007Petition for review filed
  Rev. Praveen Bunyan et al., Defendants and Respondents by Eric C. Sohlgren, counsel
Aug 21 2007Received Court of Appeal record
  G036408-file jacket/briefs/sealed envelope - G036868-file jacket/briefs/appendices
Aug 24 2007Answer to petition for review filed
  Jane Hyde Rasmussen et al, appellants John R. Shiner, Counsel Frederic D. Cohen, Counsel Jeremey B. Rosen, Counsel
Aug 24 2007Request for judicial notice received (pre-grant)
  Jane Hyde Rasmussen et al, appellants John R. Shiner, Counsel Frederic D. Cohen, Counsel Jeremey B. Rosen, Counsel
Aug 24 2007Answer to petition for review filed
  The Episcopal Church, Interverner and Appellant David B. Beers, Counsel
Aug 27 20072nd record request
  Requested the remainder of the record for all three CA case numbers: G036096, G036868, and G036408 - overnight
Aug 27 2007Received:
  Letter from John R. Shiner counsel for Plaintiffs and Respondents re: advising the Court of a new case cite (opinion attached).
Aug 28 2007Received Court of Appeal record
  G036408 - one full box
Sep 5 2007Reply to answer to petition filed
  Rev. Praveen Bunyan et al., Defendants and Respondents by Eric C. Sohlgren, counsel (CRC 8.25b)
Sep 12 2007Petition for review granted (civil case)
  The request for judical notice is granted. Votes: George, C. J., Kennard, Baxter, Werdegar, Chin, Moreno and Corrigan, JJ.
Sep 26 2007Request for extension of time filed
  to November 13, 2007 to file opening brief Rev. Praveen Bunyan et al., Defendants and Respondents by Eric C. Sohlgren, counsel
Sep 27 2007Certification of interested entities or persons filed
  Jane H. Rasmussen, appallents John R. Shiner, Counsel
Sep 27 2007Certification of interested entities or persons filed
  The Episcopal Church, Interverner and respondent David B. Beers, Counsel
Sep 28 2007Certification of interested entities or persons filed
  Rev. Praveen Bunyan et al., Defendants and Respondents by Eric C. Sohlgren, counsel
Oct 1 2007Extension of time granted
  On application of respondent and good cause appearing, it is ordered that the time to serve and file the opening brief on the merits is extended to and including November 13, 2007.
Nov 14 2007Opening brief on the merits filed
  Rev. Praveen Bunyan et al., Defendants and Respondents by Eric C. Sohlgren, counsel (CRC 8.25b)
Nov 14 2007Request for judicial notice filed (granted case)
  Rev. Praveen Bunyan et al., Defendants and Respondents by Eric C. Sohlgren, counsel
Nov 21 2007Request for extension of time filed
  45 day to Jannuary 28, 2007 extension to file Answer Brief on the mertis. Jane Hyde Rasmussen et al, appellants John R. Shiner, Counsel Frederic D. Cohen, Counsel Jeremey B. Rosen, Counsel
Nov 21 2007Application filed to:
  Opposition to Judicial Notice until the time the answer brief on the merits is filed. Jane Hyde Rasmussen et al, appellants John R. Shiner, Counsel Frederic D. Cohen, Counsel Jeremey B. Rosen, Counsel
Nov 29 2007Extension of time granted
  On application of appellants and good cause appearing, it is ordered that the time to serve and file the answer brief on the merits and the opposition to rejuest for judicial notice is extended to and including January 28, 2008.
Dec 5 2007Application to appear as counsel pro hac vice (granted case)
  for atty Heather H. Anderson, for Intervener The Episcopal Church
Dec 5 2007Request for extension of time filed
  45 days to January 28, 2008, to file Answer Brief on the Merits. The Episcopal Church, Intervener by David Booth Beers, Counsel
Dec 5 2007Request for extension of time filed
  until its Answer Brief on the Merits is filed, to file opposition to petitioner's motion for judicial notice. The Episcopal Church, Intervener by David Booth Beers, Counsel
Dec 14 2007Extension of time granted
  On application of intervener The Episcopal Church and good cause appearing, it is ordered that the time to serve and file the answer brief on the merits and the opposition to the request for judicial notice is extended to and including January 28, 2008.
Dec 14 2007Application to appear as counsel pro hac vice granted
  The application of Heather H. Anderson of the District of Columbia for admission Pro Hac Vice to appear on behalf of intervener The Episcopal Church is granted.
Jan 29 2008Answer brief on the merits filed
  The Episcopal Church, Intervener David B. Beers, Counsel (CRC 8.25b)
Jan 29 2008Opposition filed
  to respondent's request for judicial notice. Jane Hyde Rasmussen et al, appellants John R. Shiner, Counsel Frederic D. Cohen, Counsel Jeremey B. Rosen, Counsel The Episcopal Church, Intervener David B. Beers, Counsel (CRC 8.25b)
Jan 29 2008Answer brief on the merits filed
  Jane Hyde Rasmussen et al, appellants John R. Shiner, Counsel Frederic D. Cohen, Counsel Jeremey B. Rosen, Counsel (CRC 8.25b)
Feb 6 2008Request for extension of time filed
  for defendants and respondents to file the reply brief on the merits, to 4-4-08.
Feb 11 2008Extension of time granted
  On application of defendants and respondents and good cause appearing, it is ordered that the time to serve and file the reply brief on the merits is extended to and including April 4, 2008.
Mar 24 2008Request for extension of time filed
  for defendants and respondents to file the reply brief on the merits, to April 18, 2008.
Apr 3 2008Extension of time granted
  On application of respondents and good cause appearing, it is ordered that the time to serve and file the consolidated reply brief on the merits is extended to and including April 18, 2008.
Apr 21 2008Received:
  (oversized) Reply brief on the merits from respondents (sent by FedX on 4-18-08)
Apr 22 2008Reply brief filed (case fully briefed)
  Rev. Praveen Bunyan, et al., petitioners Eric Sohlgren, Robert Olson, counsel Filed with permission
May 12 2008Request for extension of time filed
  Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East, non-party by Tony J. Tanke, Counsel
May 14 2008Extension of time granted
  On application of amicus curiae Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East and good cause appearing, it is ordered that the time to serve and file its amicus curiae brief in support of appellants herein is extended to and including June 18, 2008.
May 19 2008Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  the Charismatic Episcopal Church Lu T. Nguyen, counsel
May 19 2008Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  The Rev. Jose Poch, et al., (St David's Parish, No. Hollywood) and The Rev. William A. Thompson (All Saints Parish, Long Beach) Attorney Kent M. Bridwell [app & brief separate] Supporting respondents
May 20 2008Request for extension of time to file amicus curiae brief
  to June 18, 2008. the Diocese of San Joaquin Russell Vanrozeboom, counsel
May 22 2008Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  the Presbyterian Lay Committee Randall Penner, Donald Falk, Eugene Volokh, counsel brief in support of defendants and respondents
May 22 2008Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  from Thomas Lee and Reverend Peter Min, non-parties, in support of respondents, by Allan E. Wilion, Counsel
May 22 2008Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  Presbytery of Hanmi and Synod of Southern Calif. and Hawaii George S. Burns, counsel brief in support of plaintiffs and appellants
May 23 2008Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  Inglesia Evangelica Latina Inc., et al. Kenneth Starr, Robert Cochran Jr., counsel brief in support of defendants and respondents (sent per CRC 8.25b)
May 23 2008Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  Clifton Kirkpatrick, et al Christopher Cox, counsel brief in support of intervener and appellant (sent per CRC 8.25b)
May 30 2008Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of Clifton Kirkpatrick, etc., et al. for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of intervener and appellant is hereby granted. An answer thereto may be served and filed by any party within twenty days of the filing of the brief.
May 30 2008Amicus curiae brief filed
  Clifton Kirkpatrick, etc., et al., in support of intervener and appellant. Christopher Cox, counsel
May 30 2008Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of the Charismatic Episcopal Church for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of defendants and respondents is hereby granted. An answer thereto may be served and filed by any party within twenty days of the filing of the brief.
May 30 2008Amicus curiae brief filed
  the Charismatic Episcopal Church in support of defendants and respondents. Lu T. Nguyen, counsel
May 30 2008Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of Rev. Jose Poch, et al. for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of defendants and respondents is hereby granted. An answer thereto may be served and filed by any party within twenty days of the filing of the brief.
May 30 2008Amicus curiae brief filed
  Rev. Jose Poch, et al., in support of defendants and respondents Lynn Moyer, Kent Bridwell, counsel
May 30 2008Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of the Presbyterian Lay Committee for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of defendants and respondents is hereby granted. An answer thereto may be served and filed by any party within twenty days of the filing of the brief.
May 30 2008Amicus curiae brief filed
  the Presbyterian Lay Committee in support of defendants and respondents Randall Penner, Donald Falk, Eugene Volokh, counsel
May 30 2008Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of Iglesia Evangelica Latina, Inc., et al. for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of defendants and respondents is hereby granted. An answer thereto may be served and filed by any party within twenty days of the filing of the brief.
May 30 2008Amicus curiae brief filed
  Iglesia Evangelica Latina, Inc., et al., in support of defendants and respondents Kenneth Star, Robert Cochran, Jr., counsel
May 30 2008Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of Presbytery of Hanmi and Synod of Southern California and Hawaii for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of plaintiffs and appellants is hereby granted. An answer thereto may be served and filed by any party within twenty days of the filing of the brief.
May 30 2008Amicus curiae brief filed
  Presbytery of Hanmi and Synod of Southern California and Hawaii, in support of plaintiffs and appellants George Burns, counsel
May 30 2008Extension of time granted
  On application of amicus curiae the Diocese of San Joaquin and good cause appearing, it is ordered that the time to serve and file its amicus curiae brief in support of defendants and respondents here is extended to and including June 18, 2008. An answer thereto may be served and filed by any party within twenty days of the filing of the brief.
May 30 2008Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of Thomas Lee and Rev. Peter Min for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of respondents is hereby granted. An answer thereto may be served and filed by any party within twenty days of the filing of the brief.
May 30 2008Amicus curiae brief filed
  Thomas Lee and Rev. Peter Min, in support of respondents, by Allan E. Wilion, Counsel **An answer may be served and filed by any party within twenty days.
Jun 12 2008Request for extension of time filed
  Joint request of parties for extension of time, to July 28, 2008, to file responses to all amicus curiae briefs.
Jun 16 2008Received:
  Errata to Amicus brief of Thomas Lee and Rev. Peter Min
Jun 16 2008Extension of time granted
  On joint application of the parties and good cause appearing, it is ordered that the time to serve and file responses all amicus curiae briefs is extended to and including July 28, 2008.
Jun 18 2008Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  Diocese of San Joaquin, in support of defendants and respondents Russell Vanrozeboom, counsel
Jun 19 2008Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East in support of appellants Tony Tanke, counsel (timely per CRC 8.25b)
Jun 19 2008Received:
  Request for judicial notice Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church (to be sent to Court with A/C brief for permission to file)
Jun 30 2008Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of the Diocese of San Joaquin for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of defendants and respondents is hereby granted. An answer thereto may be served and filed by any party within twenty days of the filing of the brief.
Jun 30 2008Amicus curiae brief filed
  Diocese of San Joaquin in suport of defendants and respondents. by counsel, Russell G. Vanrozeboom.
Jun 30 2008Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The application of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East for permission to file an amicus curiae brief and request for judicial notice in support of appellants is hereby granted. An answer thereto may be served and filed by any party within twenty days of the filing of the brief.
Jun 30 2008Amicus curiae brief filed
  Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East in support of appellants. by counsel, Tony J. Tanke.
Jun 30 2008Filed:
  Request for Judicial Notice of amicus curiae Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East in support of appellants. by counsel, Tony J. Tanke.
Jul 11 2008Request for extension of time filed
  to file responses to amicus curiae briefs, to 8/5/08. Joint request of all parties
Jul 17 2008Extension of time granted
  On application of the parties and good cause appearing, it is ordered that the time to serve and file the responses to the amicus curiae briefs is extended to and including August 5, 2008.
Aug 5 2008Response to amicus curiae brief filed
  Combined response to amicus curiae briefs Jane Rasmussen, et al., respondents John Shiner, Frederick Cohen, counsel
Aug 6 2008Response to amicus curiae brief filed
  Combined response to amicus curiae briefs the Episcopal Church, intervenor and appellant David Beers, counsel timely per CRC 8.25b
Aug 6 2008Response to amicus curiae brief filed
  Combined response to amicus curiae briefs Rev. Praveen Bunyan, et al., defendants and respondents Eric Sohlgren, Robert Olson, counsel timely per CRC 8.25b
Aug 20 2008Case ordered on calendar
  to be argued Wednesday, October 8, 2008, at 9:00 a.m., in Riverside County
Sep 2 2008Request for Extended Media coverage Filed
  The California Channel by James Gualtieri
Sep 2 2008Application filed
  Application to divide oral argument time, filed by John R. Shiner, counsel for respondents Rasmussen et al., asking to share 15 minues with respondent Episcopal Church.
Sep 2 2008Filed:
  Joinder to application to divide oral argument time, filed by David Booth Beers, counsel for respondent Episcopal Church.
Sep 4 2008Order filed
  The request of counsel for appellants in the above-referenced cause to allow two counsel to argue on behalf of appellants at oral argument is hereby granted. Appellants' request to allocate to the Los Angeles Diocese parties (Rasmussen et al.) 15 minutes and the Episcopal Church 15 minutes of appellants' 30-minute allotted time for argument is granted.
Sep 5 2008Request for Extended Media coverage Granted
  The request for media coverage, filed by the California Channel on September 2, 2008, is granted, subject to the conditions set forth in rule 1.150, of the California Rules of Court.
Sep 11 2008Request for judicial notice granted
  Respondents' request for judicial notice, filed on November 14, 2007, is granted. Amicus curiae the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East's request for judicial notice, filed on June 30, 2008, is granted to the extent it asks us to notice the documents attached as exhibit A to that request, but is otherwise denied.
Oct 1 2008Request for Extended Media coverage Filed
  The Desert Sun Mike Snyder, photographer
Oct 1 2008Request for Extended Media coverage Filed
  Calif. State University, San Bernardino-Palm Desert Campus Mike Singer, photographer
Oct 3 2008Request for Extended Media coverage Granted
  The request for extended media coverage of the Supreme Court's Oral Argument Special Session on October 7 and 8 , 2008, filed on October 1, 2008, by the Desert Sun to serve as pool photographer is granted , subject to the conditions set forth in rule 1.150, California Rules of court.
Oct 3 2008Request for Extended Media coverage Granted
  The request for extended media coverage of the Supreme Court's Oral Argument Speical Session on October 7 and 8, 2008, filed by the California State University, San Bernardino-Palm Desert Campus photographer on September 26, 2008, is granted, subject to the conditions set forth in rule 1.150, California Rules of Court.
Oct 8 2008Cause argued and submitted
 
Oct 31 2008Received:
  Letter from plaintiffs and appellants citing additional opinions
Nov 10 2008Received:
  Letter from defendants and respondents in response to appellants' letter received 10/31
Dec 3 2008Change of contact information filed for:
  address of Holme Roberts & Owen, counsel for appellants Rasmussen, et al.
Jan 2 2009Notice of forthcoming opinion posted
 
Jan 5 2009Opinion filed: Judgment affirmed in full
  Majority Opinion by Chin, J. ----- Joined by George, C. J., Baxter, Werdegar, Moreno and Corrigan, JJ. Concurring and Dissenting Opinion by Kennard, J.
Jan 21 2009Rehearing petition filed
  Rev. Praveen Bunyan, et al respondents Eric Sohlgren, Robert Olson, counsel (timely per CRC 8.25b)
Jan 29 2009Answer to rehearing petition filed
  Jane Hyde Rasmussen, et al., respondents John Shiner, Jeremy Rosen, counsel
Jan 29 2009Answer to rehearing petition filed
  the Episcopal Church, plaintiff in intervention David Beers, counsel
Jan 29 2009Request for judicial notice filed (granted case)
  Joint request of respondents and plaintiff in intervention
Feb 3 2009Received:
  Application for Leave to file Reply in support of Petition for Rehearing submitted concurrent with Reply in Support of Rehearing [both app./brief scanned to sf] The Rev. Praveen Bunyan, et al., Attorney Eric C. Sohlgren
Feb 3 2009Reply to answer to petition filed
  Rev. Praveen Bunyan, et al., respondents Robert Olson, Eric Sohlgren, counsel *Filed with permission
Feb 4 2009Time extended to consider modification or rehearing
  The time for granting or denying rehearing in the above-entitled case is hereby extended to and including April 3, 2009, or the date upon which rehearing is either granted or denied, whichever occurs first.
Feb 25 2009Rehearing denied
  The request for judicial notice, filed January 29, 2009 is granted. The opinion is modified. The petition for rehearing is denied.
Feb 25 2009Opinion modified - no change in judgment
  MODIFICATION OF OPINION THE COURT: The opinion herein, filed on January 5, 2009, and appearing at 45 Cal.4th 467, is modified as follows: The first sentence in the second full paragraph on page 473 is modified to read: "Applying the neutral principles of law approach, we conclude, on this record, that the general church, not the local church, owns the property in question." The third full paragraph on page 476 is modified to read: "We granted review to decide whether this action is subject to the special motion to strike under Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16 and to address the merits of the church property dispute." The first full paragraph on page 478, under "B.," is modified to read: "Both lower courts also addressed the merits of the dispute over ownership of the local church - the trial court found in favor of the local church and the Court of Appeal found clear and convincing evidence in favor of the general church. We will also address this question, which the parties as well as various amici curiae have fully briefed. We will first consider what method the secular courts of this state should use to resolve disputes over church property. We will then apply that method to analyze the dispute of this case." The first sentence of the first full paragraph on page 493 is modified to read: "For these reasons, we agree with the Court of Appeal's conclusion (although not with all of its reasoning) that, on this record, when defendants disaffiliated from the Episcopal Church, the local church property reverted to the general church." This modification does not affect the judgment.
Feb 25 2009Remittitur issued (civil case)
 
Jun 30 2009Received:
  Notice from U.S. Supreme Court that petition for writ of certiorari No. 08-1579 has been filed and placed on docket.
Oct 5 2009Certiorari denied by U.S. Supreme Court
 

Briefs
Nov 14 2007Opening brief on the merits filed
 
Jan 29 2008Answer brief on the merits filed
 
Jan 29 2008Answer brief on the merits filed
 
Apr 22 2008Reply brief filed (case fully briefed)
 
May 30 2008Amicus curiae brief filed
 
May 30 2008Amicus curiae brief filed
 
May 30 2008Amicus curiae brief filed
 
May 30 2008Amicus curiae brief filed
 
May 30 2008Amicus curiae brief filed
 
May 30 2008Amicus curiae brief filed
 
May 30 2008Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Jun 30 2008Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Jun 30 2008Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Aug 5 2008Response to amicus curiae brief filed
 
Aug 6 2008Response to amicus curiae brief filed
 
Aug 6 2008Response to amicus curiae brief filed
 
If you'd like to submit a brief document to be included for this opinion, please submit an e-mail to the SCOCAL website