Monday, June 20, 2022


On today, Monday, 20 June 2022, attorneys for the Episcopal Church side filed with the South Carolina Supreme Court, "Return to Petitions for Rehearing." It is a sixteen page summary addressing the two issues the court requested in its 7th of June order for the Return: 1-whether the parishes could revoke their accessions of the Dennis Canon, and 2-whether trusts were created before the Dennis Canon appeared in 1979. 

Seven parishes remain with open petitions for rehearing before the SCSC. Six parishes, of the fourteen to be returned to the Episcopal Church, that did not ask for rehearing and Christ Church, of Mt. Pleasant have been remitted to the circuit court for disposition in return to TEC.

Here is my layman's understanding of today's Return:

---the issue of revocation is a moot point because it is the "law of the case." The majority of justices ruled on August 2, 2017, that the parishes could not revoke their accessions to the Dennis Canon, under South Carolina law. By unanimous decision, the court left this standing in its April 20, 2022 order.

---as for the argument that parishes could not have created a trust before the Dennis Canon appeared in 1979, the lawyers said today the evidence on record shows that all the parishes acceded to the Dennis Canon in some form after 1979. As for the argument that a parish could unilaterally revoke a trust it created after 2006, the lawyers said that even if they could have done that, they did not follow the procedures required under the law to effectuate a revocation. 

Bottom line---the law says the parishes did not revoke the trusts they created by adoption or accession of the Dennis Canon. Furthermore, all of the parishes adopted or acceded to the Dennis Canon after 1979, and even if they could have revoked the trusts they did not do so.

In my opinion, all of these issues have already been settled by the SC Supreme Court, actually in 2017, and I do not understand why the court keeps rehashing the same points that were supposed to be settled law. If the court grants a rehearing, it will be the third time it has gone over the same issues and will result in a third ruling. The SCSC has ruled twice already that the parishes in question belong to the Episcopal Church. At this rate, at some point soon, respect for and the reputation of the SC Supreme Court itself will become an issue. 

Now, we have to await a reaction from the SC Supreme Court.