Former members and church leaders battling over real estate

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2023 | Real Estate Disputes |

In Florida and throughout the country, legal problems often arise when two or more parties disagree about property rights. A complex legal battle is currently brewing in another state. The central focus of the case is a church building and surrounding property. The question is: Who is the rightful owner of the real estate? 

Problems began to arise when a group of members of the First United Methodist Church wanted to formally renounce their membership in the congregation. However, they also wanted to retain ownership of their local church’s real estate. When their efforts to resolve the issue with the existing governing church body failed, they asked a judge to order mediation.  

Attorney representing more than 400 church members speaks out 

More than 400 of the church’s members have hired an attorney to represent their interests in the brewing legal battle over real estate. The attorney has stated that this group is the rightful owner of the property since they have not renounced their membership in the First United Methodist Church. An initial request to the national governing body of the church to renounce membership was denied, which prompted the group to declare that they would start their own church. The attorney said that since this group of individuals no longer is affiliated with the true First United Methodist Church and has written new bylaws and established themselves as a new church body, her clients are the true and rightful owners of the real estate associated with the First United Methodist Church. 

State church leaders placed a lien against the property. The petitioners who have requested mediation have said they hope to resolve the real estate issues out of court but are prepared to enter litigation, if necessary. Any individual or group in Florida facing similar real estate issues may consult with an experienced real estate law attorney to explore options for seeking a swift and appropriate solution to the problem. 


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