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Church Law & Tax Report

March/April 1994
Articles with a Member Access Only are available only to members.


Recent Developments

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

Employer Guilty of "Religious Harassment" Member access only

Man had witnessed to an employee.

Church Daycares and Non-Establishment of Religion Member access only

Court rules that city's ordinance does not violate the First Amendment.
Church Property

Members Block Church's Disposition of Assets Member access only

In some states, members may challenge a church board's decision to dispose of assets.

Bishop Sues Local Pastor for Refusing to Step Down Member access only

A denomination's lawsuit against a minister cannot come from a denominational official.
Church Property

Members Sue to Dissolve Church Member access only

Their lawsuit was dismissed.

Review of Church Membership Decisions Member access only

Courts generally consider membership decisions to be an ecclesiastical matter.

Minister Sues Denomination Over Broken Promise Member access only

He claimed a bishop had promised to appoint him to a particular church.
Church Property

"Just Compensation" for Condemned Property Member access only

Churches are entitled to compensation for condemned property.

Arbitration of Church Disputes Member access only

Court rules that arbitrators' decision is final.

Government Employee Dismissed for Engaging in Religious Activities Member access only

Court rules that man's rights were not violated.
Officers, Directors, and Trustees

Limited Liability of Charitable Organizations Member access only

Does this limitation extend to officers and directors?
New York
Personal Injuries on Church Property or During Church Activities

Man Suffers Heart Attack During Aerobics Class Member access only

Athletic club found not legally responsible.
New Jersey

Liability Insurance and Immunity from Lawsuits Member access only

Insurance does not necessarily affect a charity's immunity from a lawsuit brought by a beneficiary.

Liability for a Child's Drowning Death Member access only

Any swimming activity involving young children present significant risks.

Release Forms and High-Risk Activities Member access only

In some states, release forms signed by competent adults may be recognized in court.

Assumption of Risk and Release of Liability Member access only

Release form signed before a man's death prevents his family from suing.

Alleged Victims' Denial of Sexual Molestation Member access only

Court convicts man despite alleged victim's repudiation of allegation.

Parsonages and Property Tax Exemption Member access only

In some states, a parsonage is exempt even if a minister does not perform ministerial duties there.
Breach of Contract

Are Pledges Legally Enforceable? Member access only

In some cases, a financial pledge may be legally enforceable.