Monday, October 21, 2019

21 OCTOBER 2019

Alex Jones's letter to the editor of 19 October has stirred up quite a response of like-minded support. Considering the numerous emails I have received lately, I would have to say there are lots of people in lower SC who are ready for hardball to get this business over. The 29 parishes belong to the Episcopal Church by law. The clergy and officers illegally occupying the premises refuse to leave. This has been going on for 26 months since the state supreme court handed down its landmark order. Judge Dickson has been sitting on the order for 21 months. Enough already.

The writer below certainly is ready for hardball. This is typical of the messages I have been receiving the last few days:


Dear Ron,

I am pasting below a section from the South Carolina Code of Laws which, it seems to me, could be used by the TEC/TECSC legal teams. This statute covers those situations where there is no landlord-tenant relationship and the occupant of a property is there "without warrant of law." In fact, the exact opposite to "warrant of law" applies in this case. The South Carolina Supreme Court has ruled that the properties in question belong to the Episcopal Church and the current occupants have, thus far, refused to release the properties to the rightful owner.

A jury trial under this statute is not an option and the issuance of a Writ of Ejectment gives the occupant 5 days to vacate the property. See statute below.

It remains a mystery to me why this statute is not being used to remove the occupants of Church property who have no legal standing to be there. The Church already has the power of the highest court in South Carolina to eject these occupants. Why demonstrate at the circuit court when we already have the power to remove them? If anything, we should picket the law firms that are not using the power already given them by the SCSC to bring this matter to its conclusion.

It would be consistent with the history of this schism that there is a lot we are not being told by those who know everything. There are certainly political motives in play within both sides and among all parties of the controversy and within the courts. Perhaps one day we will have all the facts and then we can understand why this matter has been delayed so unnecessarily. Let's hope so. The truth be known, I think there is plenty of responsibility to go around for the delay.


Summary of Ejectment of Trespassers

SECTION 15-67-610. Duty of magistrate in case of trespass.

If any person shall have gone into or shall hereafter go into possession of any lands or tenements of another without his consent or without warrant of law, the owner of the land so trespassed upon may apply to any magistrate to serve a notice on such trespasser to quit the premises, and if, after the expiration of five days from the personal service of such notice, such trespasser refuses or neglects to quit then such magistrate shall issue his warrant to any sheriff or constable requiring him forthwith to eject such trespasser, using such force as may be necessary.

HISTORY. 1962 Code Section, 10-2441; 1952 Code Section 10-2441; 1942 Code Section 894; 1932 Code Section 894; Civ. P. '22 Section 842; Civ. C '12 Section 4073; Civ. C. '02 Section 2972; R.S. 2432; 1883 (18) 556; 1912 (23) 577.

Sincerely, [name withheld]

My thanks to the writer. This gives us much to think about.

Let us recall that Church lawyer Thomas Tisdale sent a letter to Judge Dickson on 4 October 2019 asking the judge for a hearing on the implementation of the SCSC decision. To my knowledge there has been no response from the judge. Perhaps he should be given a month to respond before any new action is taken. If 4 November arrives and Judge Dickson has not responded, the Church lawyers, and the good church people behind them, should consider more direct action.

Looking at the emails in my in-box, I would say we could get up quite a demonstration. We just have to decide the most effective way, time and place for making a public statement. 

What do you think? Send me your thoughts. If appropriate, I will post with or without name as you choose.