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Pastor, Church & Law

written by Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA

Characteristics

Volume 2 . Chapter 6 . § 6-01.1
Key point 6-01.1. Unincorporated associations have no legal existence and as a result cannot sue or be sued, hold title to property, or enter into contracts. Some states have modified or eliminated some or all of these limitations.

Traditionally, unincorporated associations had no legal existence. This had many important consequences. First, an association could not own or transfer property in its own name; second, an association could not enter into contracts or other legal obligations; and third, an association could not sue or be sued.

The inability to sue or be sued had many important ramifications. It meant, for example, that a church association could not sue its members. If a church member's negligence caused fire damage to a church building, ...

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