New Orleans clergy abuse plaintiff aims to move bankruptcy-halted case out of federal court


July 8, 2020

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

“The longer this case stays in federal court, … the more likely the pedophile priests will die before receiving civil or criminal justice.”

The plaintiff in a Catholic clergy sex abuse lawsuit halted by the Archdiocese of New Orleans’ federal bankruptcy filing is seeking to have his case moved back into state court in hopes of continuing to pursue his claims.

In a filing late Tuesday, the plaintiff’s attorneys argue that the suit revolves around matters of state law and therefore should be transferred back to Orleans Parish Civil District Court rather than handled in the federal system.

It is the first time a clerical molestation claimant has asked to return his case to state court and advance it since the archdiocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on May 1. The bankruptcy automatically stayed more than two dozen unresolved clergy abuse lawsuits filed in Orleans Parish civil court, which the archdiocese separately moved to the city’s federal courthouse.

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