Dennis Canon Over-ruled

AS Haley from the Anglican Curmudgeon Reports

On 22 February the Supreme Court of the US (SCOTUS) denied a writ of certiorari made on behalf of two groups loyal to the Episcopal Church USA in a long running legal battle over the properties of the Diocese of Fort Worth.  The Diocese of Fort Worth left the ECUSA en masse in 2008.

Haley writes: 

“Denial of review of the May 2020 decision by the Texas Supreme Court puts finally to rest ECUSA’s dogged attempts to enforce its notorious and one-sided Dennis Canon in Texas. The brazenness of that Canon, which attempted unilaterally to impose (after the fact) an enforceable, perpetual trust everywhere on all the parish properties of its members in ECUSA’s favor, ran directly into long-standing Texas trust law, which requires the consent of a property’s owner to place it into a trust, and which also requires express language to make a trust irrevocable. The Dennis Canon failed the test on both of those grounds.

“Nor could ECUSA succeed by giving its successor group the same name as Bishop Iker’s Diocese, and then pretending to assume its identity. The Texas Supreme Court saw through those machinations, and held that the majority controlling the Diocesan corporation, and not ECUSA’s minority faction, were the true successors under Texas corporate law to the group that founded the original Diocese in 1983. In that respect, the Texas courts were far more perspicacious than the feckless courts in California, New York, Pennsylvania and elsewhere who simply allowed ECUSA’s attorneys to pull the wool over their eyes, and pretend that the newest kid on the block was actually the oldest, who (they claimed) had been there the whole time.”

AS Haley is a noted American Canon lawyer and blogs at the Anglican Curmudgeon website.  This report appeared in