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Church Law & Tax Report

January/February 1994
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

State Regulations for Schools Member access only

Court rules that regulations do not violate an organization's religious freedom.
Church Property

Churches Can Lose Property Upon Leaving Denomination Member access only

Be informed before you vote to secede.
Church Property

Church Buildings as Historical Landmarks Member access only

Designation of a church as a landmark may violate the First Amendment.

Dismissed Minister Sues Church for Defamation Member access only

Courts are prohibited from resolving such lawsuits.
Confidential and Privileged Communications

Written Communications and the Clergy-Penitent Privilege Member access only

In some cases, a letter written to a minister may be protected.

Charges for Use of School Facilities Member access only

Court rules that a school cannot charge churches more than other groups for the use of its facilities.

Church Rental of School Facilities Member access only

Court rules that schools cannot exclude churches from renting facilities.

Ten Commandments Displayed in Courthouse Member access only

Court rules that display violates First Amendment.

Dismissed Church Members Sue Member access only

Civil courts are prohibited from intervening in the dismissal of members.

Retrospective Legislation Member access only

Legislation extending the time during which abuse victims can sue may violate state constitutional provisions.

Exemption from Social Security Member access only

The time limitation on applying for exemption is not renewed when a minister has a change in beliefs.

Application for Social Security Exemption Member access only

Late applications will not be accepted.
Taxation - Church Property

Property Tax Exemption for Parsonages Member access only

The definition of a "parsonage" is limited in some states.