Doe v. The First Presbyterian Church U.S.A. of Tulsa

Appellant John Doe filed suit against appellees The First Presbyterian Church U.S.A. ("FPC"), of Tulsa, Oklahoma and its minister, James Miller, based on theories of torts and breach of contract. Doe sought damages arising out of alleged harm he incurred from Appellees' publishing notice of his baptism on the world wide web. Doe claimed that he advised Appellees of the need to keep his baptism private and as confidential as possible. Doe asserted that Appellees assured him that his conversion to Christianity would be held as confidential as possible. Doe alleged that because of Appellees' assurances, he proceeded with baptism by Appellees. Appellant alleged that Appellees' act of publishing the fact of his baptism to the world wide web resulted in his alleged kidnaping and subsequent torture by extremists while he traveled in Syria. The trial court sustained Appellees' motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The Oklahoma Supreme Court concluded it was error for the district court to find it had no subject matter jurisdiction to hear Doe's claims on the basis of ecclesiastical jurisdiction. "The record below is replete with contested issues of fact which must be resolved by the trier of fact in an adversarial hearing below." This matter was remanded back to the trial court for further proceedings. View "Doe v. The First Presbyterian Church U.S.A. of Tulsa" on Justia Law