7.5 Civil Lawsuits and Settlements

1. c. 1288 states that administrators are neither to initiate nor to contest a lawsuit on behalf of a public juridic person in civil court unless they obtain the written permission of their own ordinary.

2. If a diocesan unit is served with a lawsuit regarding a claim of any kind, the complaint and summons should immediately be forwarded to the diocesan legal office at the chancery. The diocesan legal office will then select an attorney to work directly with the diocesan unit to evaluate and defends against the suit.

3. Any financial settlement by a parish or a public juridic person subject to the diocesan bishop in order to resolve an individual or aggregate claim(s) is considered to be an act of extraordinary administration, and requires his written approval for validity.

(See #6.D.5 about the preservation of records in the case of a threatened or filed lawsuit (or in the case of a criminal investigation. Also see #4.6.3 Protection of Personal Privacy and Confidential Records in the case of subpoena of records.)




Date approved by Bishop


Posted by
Msgr. S. J. Raica, chancellor