In Re: Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, NY, No. 13-4736 (2d Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit in district court in Vermont against the Diocese and its former priest, alleging that the priest transported plaintiff from New York to Vermont for the purpose of sexually abusing him, and did sexually abuse him. The Diocese, a New York special act corporation with its principal office in Albany, subsequently petitioned the court for a writ of mandamus directing the district court in Vermont to dismiss the case against it for lack of personal jurisdiction. The court granted the Diocese's petition, concluding that this was an extraordinary case warranting mandamus relief where the court considered (a) the irreparable harm caused by a needless foray into prior abuse investigations within the Diocese, exposing victims and their families to grueling inquires that would not be undertaken in the absence of the district court's erroneous ruling, (b) the clarity of the district court's error and futility of remand, and (c) the opportunity in this case to shed light on the Supreme Court's most recent expressions on general jurisdiction, especially as applied to religious and other charitable organizations, constituted "exceptional circumstances" that warrant the issuance of the writ.