Jump directly to the Content

Court Refused to Order a Church to Honor the Real Estate Contract

Church treasurer was without legal authority to sign a real estate sales contract for the sale of church property.

Last Reviewed: March 29, 2021

A Massachusetts appeals court ruled that a church treasurer was without legal authority to sign a real estate sales contract for the sale of church property.

The treasurer (who also was a member of the church board) was the only person to sign the contract on behalf of the church. She signed her name without any reference to her official or representative capacity. The church constitution specified that sales of church property had to be authorized by the church board. However, the board never authorized the sale in question. The church refused to honor the contract, and the buyer filed a lawsuit seeking a court order compelling the church to comply.

A trial court ruled in favor of the church, and the buyer appealed. The appeals court affirmed the trial court's decision on the basis of two considerations. First, the buyer had been negligent in not making a sufficient inquiry into the authority ...

Join now to access this member-only content

Become a Member

Already a member? for full access.

Related Topics:
Posted:
  • May 1, 1991
  • Last Reviewed: March 29, 2021

Related ResourcesVisit Store

50-State Public Accommodations Laws Report
50-State Public Accommodations Laws Report
How statutes and court decisions across the country do - or don't affect churches
Understanding Pastoral Liability
Understanding Pastoral Liability
Know the situations in which a pastor is personally liable for wrongdoing.
Church Governance
Church Governance
What leaders must know to conduct legally sound church business.
Your Complete Guide to Virtual Church Meetings
Your Complete Guide to Virtual Church Meetings
A toolkit for legal and compliant business meetings