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Church Law & Tax Report

July/August 1993
Articles with a Member Access Only are available only to members.


Recent Developments

Issues that affect ministers and churches, with Richard R. Hammar

Liability for Walk-In Freezers Member access only

Recent case illustrates need to inspect such freezers.
Charitable Contributions

Contributions to Music Ministry Not Deductible Member access only

Ministry not registered as an exempt organization.
Charitable Contributions

Distributing Leftover Funds from a Medical Fundraiser Member access only

New Jersey court issues important ruling.

Tennessee Church Loses Property Dispute Case Member access only

Church property will revert to denomination.
Church Records

Court: Diocese Does Not Have to Turn Over Records Member access only

Montana law has strict protection of privacy.

Minister Cannot Testify to Alleged Demon Possession in Court Member access only

But a testimony regarding a defendant's behavior in counseling is acceptable.

Christian Radio Station Guilty of Copyright Violations Member access only

Conviction leads to more than $50,000 in damages.

Court: Religious Adoption Agency Can Discriminate in Hiring Member access only

Religious organizations can discriminate based on religion of applicant.

Former Lutheran Synod Employee Loses Sex Discrimination Case Member access only

Job loss was due to budgetary reasons, court said.

Pregnant Teacher's Discrimination Suit Can Move Forward Member access only

Dispute centers around true reason for teacher's dismissal.

Insurance Companies' Responsibility for Sexual Misconduct Trials Member access only

Recent case shows a church's insurance policy may not cover costs from these trials.

Minnesota Prohibits Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation Member access only

Exemption provided for religious organizations.

Minister Can Sue Denomination for Defamation, Court Rules Member access only

But the minister can't sue for denomination's failure to follow bylaws.

Asserting 'Qualified Privilege' In Lawsuits Member access only

In many states, this defense can be lost if churches don't assert it in an answer to a lawsuit.

Convicted Murderer Cannot Inherit Estate Member access only

Man had killed his grandmother.

Church Wins Zoning Dispute Member access only

Zoning commission had denied special permit for church building in a residential area.

Courts Can Limit Parent's Right to Involve Children in Religious Activities Member access only

Such limitations based on best interests of the child.

Sexual Molestation Suit Against Priest, Church Dismissed Member access only

Statute of limitations had expired.
Church Property

Court Concluded That Churches Can Be Used for Polling Places Member access only

Benefits of holding elections at churches outweighs slight burden on freedom of religion.
Charitable Contributions

Tax Deductibility of Donations to Benevolence Funds Member access only

Key is the size of the "class of potential beneficiaries."