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Church Property Disputes/Denominational Splits

Pensions and the Methodist Pastor

  • April 18, 2018
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

Moving to a Pension Plan In 2004, the United Methodist Church made a financial decision relative to the retirement benefits of Methodist clergy contrary to most other religious and private entities: it moved from a 401k retirement plan to a traditional pension plan. The New […]

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The United Methodist Church at a crossroad

  • January 17, 2019
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

Since its creation in 1968, the United Methodist Church has struggled to define its theology. The adaption of cultural norms and the failure to define its basic theology has resulted in a dramatic decline in membership in the denomination. In the United States, for example, membership […]

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Dalton & Tomich PLC helps another local Church leave a denomination and keep its property

  • December 30, 2018
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

  The law firm of Dalton & Tomich PLC has successfully represented many local churches throughout the United States who have left the United Methodist Church, the Episcopal Church and the Presbyterian USA denomination over the past decade. Many local congregations wish to leave their […]

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The Three takeaways from the Third Global Gathering of the Wesleyan Covenant Association

  • November 4, 2018
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

  It was a privilege to attend the Third Annual Global gathering of the Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA) meeting in Marietta, Georgia on Saturday November 3, 2018.  Having attended the prior gatherings in Houston, Texas and Chicago, Illinois, it was good to see how much […]

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The Methodist Way Forward? The Judicial Council Decision and its impact on the local Methodist Church

  • October 29, 2018
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

On Friday October 26, 2018 the Judicial Conference issued its opinion concerning the constitutionality of the One Church Plan and the Traditional Plan that will be presented to the General Conference of the United Methodist Church in February 2019. In sum, the Judicial Council ruled […]

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Dalton & Tomich, PLC help a local church leave a denomination and keep its property

  • June 13, 2018
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

The history of religious growth in the United States can be traced in no small part to the frequency of schism within religious organizations, which is to be expected where the First Amendment absolutely protects the right to believe whatever one chooses. One result is […]

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The Supreme Court declines to hear Church Property Rights Cases

  • June 12, 2018
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

As noted previously, the United States Supreme Court had two cases before it where it had the opportunity to provide a clear direction in the law on denominational trust clause cases and guidance on the ownership of Church property. Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court denied […]

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Update on the Supreme Court’s Review of the Enforceability of Denominational Trust Clauses

  • May 19, 2018
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

As noted earlier this year, the Diocese of South Carolina asked the United States Supreme Court to review the enforceability of trust clauses.  The Supreme Court ordered the Episcopal Church to file a response, which, occurred on May 8, 2018. In addition to the response […]

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Methodist Trust Clause enforceability is a question of fact for trial, Washington Court finds

  • April 10, 2018
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

In a case pending in the Spokane, Washington Superior Court captioned Mead Community Church v. the Pacific Northwest Conference, the Court decided that the enforceability of the United Methodist Trust Clause must go to trial. The Church Established in the 1880’s, Mead Community Church is a small […]

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Texas Court invalidates denominational Trust Clause

  • April 9, 2018
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

In The Episcopal Church v. Salazar, (TX App, April 5, 2018), a Texas Court of Appeals panel issued a 178-page ruling, concluding in part, that denominational trust clauses are not enforceable.  With wide-ranging implications, and with a strong basis on the law, the Court concluded […]

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