11th Circ. Sides With Fla. Tribe In Nixing Church Takeover Suit

Law360 (August 11, 2020, 4:50 PM EDT) -- The Eleventh Circuit has upheld a Florida federal judge's decision to toss a Haitian Baptist church's suit alleging the Seminole Tribe of Florida helped a former pastor's widow execute an armed takeover of the church in September 2019.

The circuit panel agreed with U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom that the tribe never waived its sovereign immunity and is therefore protected from the church's claims, according to Monday's opinion. The panel also echoed Judge Bloom's finding that the First Amendment bars civil courts from weighing in on "ecclesiastical disputes."

The south Florida church, Eglise Baptiste Bethanie De Ft. Lauderdale, appealed in January...

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