Key point 2-04.1. Most courts have concluded that they are barred by the First Amendment guarantees of religious freedom and nonestablishment of religion from resolving challenges by dismissed clergy to the legal validity of their dismissals.
The Alabama Supreme Court addressed the question of whether a pastor who had resigned his position could later retract his resignation. At a church business meeting in 1995, a church appointed a new pastor. The church operated with its new pastor for a number of years without conflict. By 2012, however, a rift had formed between the pastor and board of deacons which led to the pastor's termination, as described in a letter to him from the board:
The listed deacons called the meeting for the purpose of informing the body of some of their concerns regarding the welfare of the church that need immediate attention. A few of the things that were discussed were the falling off of member attendance, the falling off of tithes and offerings, the incorporation of the church being ignored, your lack of spiritual and financial leadership, the $187,000 [of] steel that is lying in the parking lot, and your holding a grudge against us that has not been revealed to us. Your consistently refusing to meet with the board of deacons has brought us to where we are today.
After discussing these topics and a few others, there was a motion from the floor for your termination, which was seconded. After putting this to a vote, the majority present voted for your termination. Regretfully, this is to inform you that your services to St. Union as pastor are no longer needed as of Monday, August 13, 2012. We hope you will accept the majority vote and move on pleasantly."