Judge Issues Temporary Injunction to the Episcopal Church to Block Use of Diocese's Name, Seal and Mark
The Episcopal Church (TEC) opted to forego court on Friday and not put up a fight as South Carolina Circuit Court Judge Diane S. Goodstein today issued a Temporary Injunction to replace the Temporary Restraining Order she signed on January 23 to block TEC, its continuing parishes, individuals, organizations or any entity associated with it from, using, assuming or adopting, in any way, directly or indirectly, the registered names and the seal or mark of The Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina.”
The Temporary Restraining Order would have been lifted or extended on February 1st following a hearing. The injunction will remain in effect unless the court decides otherwise until the court rules on the lawsuit filed by the Diocese, its trustees and 31 congregations, seeking to protect the Diocese's real, personal and intellectual property and that of its parishes from a TEC takeover.
The Diocese sought legal protection to prevent TEC from repeating the behavior it has displayed in the past, when it used the courts to seize diocesan and parish property, including real estate, bank accounts, intellectual property and trademarks. The national church has filed more than 80 lawsuits against parishes and dioceses that disassociated from TEC.
The injunction was consented to by Thomas Tisdale Jr. who signed it on behalf of The Episcopal Church. Either party may ask the judge to conduct a hearing on the injunction and to request changes in the injunction.
“We are gratified that The Episcopal Church has consented to a temporary injunction protecting the identity of our Diocese and its parishes,” said Jim Lewis, Canon of the Diocese. “We pray that sentiment fuels the prompt and reasonable resolution we all seek.
About the Diocese of South Carolina
The Diocese was founded in 1785 by the parishes of the South Carolina colony, who worshipped according to the practices of the Church of England prior to the American Revolution. Based in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, the Diocese is one of the oldest religious districts in the United States and counts among its members several of the oldest, operating churches in the nation.