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Serbian Eastern Orthodox Diocese for the United States of America and Canada v. Milivojevich
United States Supreme Court
426 U.S. 696, 96 S. Ct. 2372, 49 L. Ed. 2d 151 (1976)
Dionisije Milivojevich (plaintiff) was the Bishop of the Serbian Eastern Orthodox Diocese of the United States and Canada before the Holy Assembly of Bishops and the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church (Mother Church) defrocked him after investigating him for alleged misconduct. The Mother Church, located in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, installed a new administrator for the diocese and divided the American–Canadian diocese into three dioceses. Milivojevich sued the Mother Church in state court in Illinois and sought to be reinstated as the bishop of the undivided diocese. The state-court litigation continued for almost 13 years and resulted in an Illinois Supreme Court decision reversing a lower-court decision and holding that the defrocking of Milivojevich was arbitrary and not conducted in accordance with the court’s interpretation of the Mother Church’s constitution and penal code, and purportedly reinstated Milivojevich. The Mother Church appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Brennan, J.)
Dissent (Rehnquist, J.)
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