Church Law & Tax Report

May/June 1993
Articles with a Member Access Only are available only to members.

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Recent Developments

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

Verdict Against Church in Sexual Assault Case Reversed Member access only

Louisiana appeals court ruled the Catholic church and archdiocese weren't negligent in case.

No Court Involvement in Church Property Dispute Member access only

Decision would involve intervening in ecclesiastical matters, court said.

IRS: No 1099 Form Needed for Benevolence Recipients Member access only

Form only needed when payment is for services rendered.

Supreme Court Tightens Requirements for Home Office Deduction Member access only

Key is determining where employment is primarily completed.

New Per Diem Rates Member access only

Rate relates to travel expenses.

Denominational Agency Employment Dispute Won't Go to Court Member access only

Court involvement would impede on First Amendment rights.

Determining Clergy-Penitent Privilege Member access only

Chaplain cannot decide if a conversation is protected or not, court says.

Court: Statements to Priest Not Protected by Penitent Privilege Member access only

Statements weren't made while seeking spiritual advice, court ruled.

Photocopying Newsletters Is Copyright Violation, Not Fair Use Member access only

Court's ruling is important for churches to know.

Nuns Can Take Dismissal Suit Against Catholic University to Court Member access only

Court: Nuns were not acting as ministers in jobs.
New Jersey

Seminary Professor Cannot Take Tenure Dispute to Court Member access only

Professor "played a ministerial role" at college, court said.

Charity Can Dismiss Employee At Will  Member access only

Court ruling based on terms in the charity's employee handbook.

Kansas Civil Rights Law Not Applicable to Religious Organizations Member access only

What churches should learn from an important ruling.

Illinois Law Regarding Crimes on Church Premises Upheld Member access only

State law gives harsher penalties for crimes committed on church property.

Court: Right to Refuse Medical Treatment Can Be Overridden Member access only

A compelling state interest can lead to this.

Nonsectarian Invocations Allowed at Public Schools Member access only

Such prayers must meet certain requirements.

Statements Made During Investigation Not Defamatory Member access only

What churches should know about a recent case.

Release Form Not Accepted as Legal Defense Member access only

Case illustrates importance of appropriate release forms.

Registration Fee for Religious Groups Permissible Member access only

Fees to reimburse a city for certain services acceptable.

Church Loses Property Member access only

Property was not being used for religious purposes, violating the deed.

Abuse Case Will Not Go Forward Member access only

Discovery argument rejected in attempt to extend statute of limitations

Molestation Suit Against Church Choir Director Tossed Member access only

Statute of limitations had expired.
Taxation - Church Property

Church Parking Lots Tax Exempt Member access only

Decision made even though lots were rented to other businesses for majority of week.
New York

Religious Camp Is Tax Exempt Member access only

Disputed property used to house camp staff.

Church Secretaries Covered By Unemployment Member access only

New York case reveals important information for churches to consider.

Liability of Unincorporated Churches Member access only

Members may be liable for church's costs.
Charitable Contributions

Charitable Trusts and the Rule Against Perpetuities Member access only

This rule often cannot invalidate these trusts.