Court rules church can't shield $60 million in abuse cases

Court rules church can't shield $60 million in abuse cases

By Bruce Vielmetti And Annysa Johnson, March 10, 2015, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

In a blow to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in its ongoing bankruptcy, a federal appeals court on Monday put a $60 million cemetery trust fund back in play to potentially settle claims related to sexual abuse by priests.

The ruling from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the church cannot use the First Amendment or a 1993 law aimed at protecting religious freedom to shield the funds.

The court also said the judge who put the money off limits, U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa, should have disclosed the fact his parents and other relatives are buried in a cemetery maintained by the trust fund. The court remanded the case to a different district judge.

"This is a highly momentous day for clergy sex abuse survivors in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, who have suffered terribly . . .

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