New Orleans clergy abuse plaintiff can’t move bankruptcy-halted case out of federal court: judge


August 14, 2020

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

A federal judge has turned down a Catholic clergy sex abuse plaintiff who wanted his lawsuit, halted by the Archdiocese of New Orleans’ bankruptcy filing, moved back into state court so that he could continue pursuing damages.

In a nine-page ruling Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier said remanding the suit to Orleans Parish Civil District Court was “inappropriate at this time” because an automatic, indefinite halt to such cases which went into effect after the local bankruptcy church’s filing had not been lifted.

Barbier said that stay prevented the case from progressing “regardless of the forum.” And he also said he sided with the archdiocese’s arguments that it was appropriate to keep numerous unresolved clergy abuse claims against the local church in a single courthouse rather than split them into multiple ones.

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