July 30, 2005

Judge limits financial data access in priest suit


Staff Writer

A Davidson County Judge yesterday quashed subpoenas seeking the release of all financial data from nine Catholic organizations but agreed that plaintiffs in a priest molestation suit should get records detailing the relationships between the businesses and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Nashville.

Lawyers for the businesses, which include two area Catholic high schools, had asked to be left out of the court battle between the victims and the diocese. They argued that the organizations are separate financial entities from the diocese and were not defendants in the suit, scheduled to go to trial in March 2006.

Davidson County Circuit Court Judge Walter Kurtz said the plaintiffs' lawyers were entitled to review evidence showing the links between the organizations and the church. The judge has yet to decide whether that information will be provided to a jury once the trial is under way.

"What we'll do with that (during trial) is a completely different issue," Kurtz told the lawyers.

The plaintiffs' lawyers are trying to see how much the diocese is worth. They want to know if records show that parish properties and some Catholic businesses should be calculated as part of the net worth of the diocese.

Posted by kshaw at July 30, 2005 09:27 AM