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A New York state court ruled that the constitutional guaranty of religious freedom did not excuse a church from producing its records in response to a grand jury subpoena.

During a tax investigation, the state attorney general subpoenaed several records and documents from a church (including general ledgers, accounts payable and receivable journals, 941 and W-2 forms, cash receipts and disbursement journals, bank statements, cancelled checks, postal shipment records, employee travel expense records, telephone bills, the corporate charter, minutes of board meetings, and credit card statements). The church challenged the validity of the subpoena on the ground that disclosure of the documents would violate the constitutional rights of the church and its members.

The court noted that the church had to "make at least some showing that production of the information sought would impair their ...

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Posted:
  • July 1, 1989

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