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Justices, by 4-1 margin, answer question derailing West Virginia AG lawsuit against Wheeling-Charleston Diocese

Majority, led by Justice Walker, finds statute on private, parochial or church schools overrides WV consumer protection act

By Matt Harvey, WV News

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WV News) — The state Supreme Court recently issued a 4-1 ruling derailing a lawsuit by the state Attorney Generals’ Office against West Virginia’s only Roman Catholic diocese.

Wood County Judge J.D. Beane, presiding over the case at the circuit court level, previously had ruled Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s lawsuit opened up too much potential for violation of separate of church and state.

But Beane stayed his ruling, allowing for a certified question to be sent to the state Supreme Court in the lawsuit against the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese.

Justice Beth Walker authored the opinion of the court, which reformulated the question to “Do the deceptive practices provisions of the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act, West Virginia Code §§46A6-101 to -106 (2015) apply to educational and recreational services offered by a religious institution?” Walker, Chief Justice Tim Armstead and justices Evan Jenkins and John Hutchison then answered “no.” Justice Margaret Workman issued a dissent…

To read more: https://www.wvnews.com/news/wvnews/justices-by-4-1-margin-answer-question-derailing-west-virginia-ag-lawsuit-against-wheeling-charleston/article_0bd23be8-3b4f-5500-8799-61e8c3bcc1ff.html

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