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U.S. Supreme Court denies appeal from La Crescenta church in property dispute

March 1, 2010 |  6:32 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal from an Anglican congregation that was evicted from its La Crescenta church in October after it lost a legal battle with the Episcopal Church.

A majority of congregants of St. Luke’s of the Mountains voted in 2006 to break away from the Episcopal Church. Both the national church and its Los Angeles diocese then sued to retain St. Luke’s property, including its landmark stone church.

California courts have ruled repeatedly against the breakaway parish, saying the property was held in trust for the diocese and the national denomination. In October, the state Supreme Court declined to hear the case and a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge then ordered the St. Luke's congregation to leave and turn the property over to the diocese. They did so, later moving to rented space in Glendale.

Leaders of the ousted congregation and its attorneys have said they hoped the U.S. Supreme Court would establish a uniform approach for state law to follow in church property disputes.

-- Rebecca Trounson