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Kansas court rules that civil courts cannot interfere in annulment cases

May 20, 2013

The Court of Appeals of the State of Kansas has ruled that civil courts cannot interfere in ecclesiastical annulment cases.

A man filed suit against his ex-wife after he alleged she falsely accused him of suffering from bipolar disorder in an annulment case decided by the Archdiocese of Kansas City. The Court of Appeals ruled that “the Establishment Clause under the First Amendment precludes jurisdiction over the subject matter of [the man’s] defamation action.”

The Court added in its ruling, “How can the civil courts--and perhaps a jury--consider [the wife’s] consent defense without entangling itself in the details of the administration and procedures of the Archdiocese's annulment proceedings?”


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