Jump directly to the content

Pastor, Church & Law

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


Volume 4 . Chapter 10 . § 10-14
Key point 10-14. Churches may be liable on the basis of "ratification" for the unauthorized act of a minister or other church worker if it is aware of the act and voluntarily affirms it.

A few courts have found churches liable on the basis of "ratification" for the acts of clergy and lay workers. Ratification is "the affirmance by a person of a prior act which did not bind him but which was done or professedly done on his account, whereby the act, as to some or all persons, is given effect as if originally authorized by him." Stated differently, a church can be liable for the unauthorized acts of an employee or volunteer if it ratifies those acts either expressly or by implication. In order to be liable for unauthorized acts on the basis of ...

Article Preview

This article is currently available to ChurchLawAndTax.com subscribers only. To continue reading:

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations."

Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.

Church Issues: Waivers and Release Forms and Church Liability

Church Issues: Waivers and Release Forms and Church Liability Subscriber access only

What these documents do—and don't do—based on statutes and court decisions made nationwide.
The Enforcement or Return of Donors' Designated Gifts

The Enforcement or Return of Donors' Designated Gifts  Subscriber access only

How to handle designated gifts. Are they enforceable or refundable?