Parishes Can’t Be Sold To Pay Sex Abuse Claims

Law360, New York (June 16, 2006, 12:00 AM EDT) -- In a surprise turnaround in the Spokane Catholic Diocese bankruptcy saga, a federal judge has ruled that the bishop cannot auction off individual parishes in order to pay out millions of dollars in claims owed to sex abuse victims, reversing an earlier ruling.

The oral ruling, handed down this week by U.S. District Judge Justin Quackenbush, overturned U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Patricia Williams’ August decision holding that the bishop held the title to all parish assets.

However, with a written ruling not yet in the dockets, it...
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