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PPGMR Obtains Appellate Reversal of Circuit Court Finding that Church Property Dispute Was Nonjusticiable

Kimberly D. Logue of PPGMR Law successfully obtained a reversal in the Arkansas Court of Appeals of a circuit court ruling that client First Presbyterian Church of Magnolia’s petition to quiet title in the “true owner” of local church property is nonjusticiable.  The church claims that Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) unlawfully declared a trust over local church assets, including real property, through the denomination’s governing documents referred to as the Book of Order.  The Columbia County Circuit Court dismissed the petition as nonjusticiable on the grounds that there had been no actual harm to the church and the issue was therefore not ripe.  The dismissal was reversed and remanded by the Arkansas Court of Appeals with instruction that the court must apply neutral principles of law and determine whether a valid express or implied trust in favor of the denomination exists and resolve who owns the property.

A copy of the Opinion is found here.