African Methodist Episcopal Church v. Lucien, Jr., et al.

This appeal concerns a dispute over church property between a dissident local congregation (Saint James) and the national church (AME) with which it had been affiliated for many decades. The court held that the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over Saint James's first-filed state court eviction action, and that federal precedent mandates that the district court abstain from the exercise of jurisdiction over AME's federal complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief while the remanded eviction action is pending in state court. Therefore, the court vacated the district court's rulings and remanded Saint James's eviction action to state court and to stay AME's federal action during the pendency of the state proceedings. View "African Methodist Episcopal Church v. Lucien, Jr., et al." on Justia Law