In a dispute over church property, trial court's grant of summary judgment for the general church and its diocese is affirmed where: 1) under the California Supreme Court's holding in the Episcopal Church Cases, the local parish church holds the property in question in trust for the Episcopal Church and the Los Angeles Diocese, and by disaffiliating from the church defendants and their new parish under another church have no right in the property; 2) the court did not err in rejecting defendant's collateral estoppel argument as the case defendant relies on is distinguishable largely due to the passage of time and there is also now Supreme Court precedent on the matter; and 3) the court did not err in determining that after defendants voted for disaffiliation, their purported amendment of the articles of incorporation and bylaws to make the corporation part of the Anglican Church were a legal nullity, or ultra vires.
APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, John Shepard Wiley, Jr., Judge. Affirmed.
FOURTH APPELLATE DISTRICT, DIVISION ONE
Filed: June 9, 2009
Published: July 1, 2009
Before MCCONNELL, P.J., BENKE, J., MCINTYRE, J.
Opinion by MCCONNELL, P.J.