Canon Lawsuit, also known as ecclesiastical litigation, is an action in civil court against a church or another person on a claim of breach of contract. Canon Lawsuits arises from any act or negligence on the part of a church official. The most common situation which presents a Canon Lawsuit situation is that between a priest and parishioners, who feel that they have been treated unfairly. In the case of a priest, this can relate to anything from improper sex to the hiring of an inferior priest. In the case of parishioners, it can relate to anything from not receiving all the money that they are entitled to having your property partitioned out by your parishioners when you die.
The Diocesan Bishop and the Bishop of Rome are the two bodies with authority over the entire Catholic Church. Their decisions, however, always have precedence over local church laws. A Canon Lawsuit is filed by anyone claiming that they have been affected by the actions of the diocesan Bishop. The Diocesan Bishop’s decision as to who should get hit and how badly should be left up to him and his faculties. If you are a victim of such abuse then you have very little to hope for. However if you have substantial proof then you may be able to present it in a canon lawsuit.
An example of such a lawsuit would be that of a molestation case in Miami, Florida.
An individual named Albert Doe was abused by a priest while he was being abused in a Miami-Dade public school over twenty years ago. As a result of the abuse, Albert suffered physical injuries including brain damage. The Florida diocesan decided to ignore the evidence and instead moved to have the molestation charge against the man dismissed. When presented with the evidence by a Canon Lawsuit lawyer, the judge ordered the molestation charge to be re-opened and an investigation launched to find out if the allegations were true.
At the time of the alleged crime, the defendant had been a Bishop and the case was handled by the Bishop’s Office. However, soon after the case went to trial, the diocesan bishop decided to remove the diocese from the parishioners list of parishes. In doing so, he required that the entire Catholic parish have its Catholic priestly sex abuse problems wiped out from the diocesan records. Naturally, this caused quite a lot of anger among the parishioners and they felt that their rights had been violated. As a result of the outcry, the judge ordered the removal of the offending priests from the church and the case was moved to the US District Court. On appeal, the US Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision and affirmed the decision.
The court found that there had been a violation of the constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law because the defendant had moved to keep the name of the victim off of the website and from the list of parishes. This meant that no one would be able to know who the victim was. Due to this violation of the constitutional guarantee of equal protection, the case was allowed to proceed. After it was decided that no Catholic parish could deny any member of the congregation the right to religious sex, the case was heard by the United States District Court.
Who are the victims?
The three main victims in this case were a former altar boy who suffered injuries at the hands of a former parish priest who admitted to covering up the sexual abuse he had committed against him; a woman who was raped by the priest; and two small boys who were sodomized at the instigation of the priest. All three suffered greatly as a result of the clergy’s negligence in dealing with their complaints.
Who is the defendant?
The defendant is the Catholic Diocesan Bishop whom the plaintiff says abused his position of trust by covering up the abuse. The Catholic Church claims that the complaint is legally defective because it says that the victim was not harmed as a result of the priest’s negligence. They also claim that the victim did not know what harm would be caused him if he disclosed the abuse. Although the Diocesan Bishop has been named as a defendant, he has yet to face a court trial so far.
Why should I file a canon lawsuit? By filing a canon lawsuit, you are standing up for those whom you have personally injured and for the entire Diocesan Bishop whom you believe abused your trust. The Church may not admit guilt but the truth still remains whether they violated your constitutional rights or not.
canon lawsuit | diocesan bishop | diocesan | bishops | defendants} Who are my chances of winning such a case? Your chances of winning such a lawsuit are low because the Catholic Church hierarchy is protected by a shield of immunity law. This means that the Church is not required to show any evidence of why their actions (covering up the sexual abuse) were wrong. Thus, even if the Catholic Church defendants could face a credible defense in a court of law, they would be able to defeat the lawsuit easily. If you do decide to go ahead with filing a canon lawsuit, make sure that you have strong evidence that shows that the diocesan bishop played a role in the crime.