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Pastor, Church & Law

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

Defenses to Liability

Volume 4 . Chapter 10 . § 10-18.3
Key point 10-18.3. There are several legal defenses available to a denominational agency that is sued as a result of the acts or obligations of affiliated clergy and churches. These include a lack of temporal control over clergy and churches; a lack of official notice of a minister's prior wrongdoing in accordance with the denomination's governing documents; lack of an agency relationship; the prohibition by the First Amendment of any attempt by the civil courts to impose liability on religious organizations in a way that would threaten or alter their polity; and elimination or modification of the principle of joint and several liability.

There are a number of legal defenses available to a denominational agency that is sued as a result of the ...

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