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Church Law & Tax Report

July/August 1994
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Recent Developments

Recent Developments

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

Release Forms for Contractors Subscriber access only

Courts are often reluctant to enforce releases.

Discipline of Ministers Subscriber access only

Courts cannot intervene in ecclesiastical matters.

Former Minister Sues for Race and Sex Discrimination Subscriber access only

Civil courts cannot interfere with the dismissal of clergy.
New York
Confidential and Privileged Communications

Clergy-Penitent Privilege and Communication to a Third Party Subscriber access only

When does the privilege apply?
New York

Religious Discrimination  Subscriber access only

Can churches discriminate on the basis of religious affiliation?

Age Discrimination and Religious Schools Subscriber access only

Court rules that federal age discrimination law applies to church-run school.

Tax Freedom Day Subscriber access only

May 5 is tax freedom day for 1994.
Rhode Island
Personal Injuries on Church Property or During Church Activities

Woman Killed Crossing Street to Attend Mass Subscriber access only

Court rules that church had no duty to control traffic.
New Hampshire

Injuries Caused by Volunteers' Negligence Subscriber access only

Organizations can be held responsible for acts of their employees, but not volunteers.
Church Property Disputes

Disaffiliated Church Allowed to Retain Property Subscriber access only

Although the denomination was hierarchical, court ruled that no trust was created.

Staff Lodging as Taxable Income Subscriber access only

The value of free lodging for employees may be constitute taxable income.

Parents Challenge Children's Dismissal from Church-Run School Subscriber access only

Can a church-operated school be sued for dismissing a student?
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

Statute of Limitations and Victims of Abuse Subscriber access only

Minors who were abused by clergy may not sue after the statute of limitations expires.

Sexual Misconduct and Insurance Coverage Subscriber access only

Insurance policies may not cover sexual misconduct by employees.



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Benevolence Fund Basics

Benevolence Fund Basics Subscriber access only

Help your church develop a tax-compliant benevolence ministry.
12 Law & Tax Guidelines for New Ministers

12 Law & Tax Guidelines for New Ministers Subscriber access only

Essential knowledge to ensure legal and financial clarity and integrity in ministry.