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Church Law & Tax Report

March/April 1994
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Recent Developments

Recent Developments

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

Employer Guilty of "Religious Harassment" Subscriber access only

Man had witnessed to an employee.
Breach of Contract

Are Pledges Legally Enforceable? Subscriber access only

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

Church Daycares and Non-Establishment of Religion Subscriber access only

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

Members Block Church's Disposition of Assets Subscriber 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 Subscriber access only

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

Members Sue to Dissolve Church Subscriber access only

Their lawsuit was dismissed.

Review of Church Membership Decisions Subscriber access only

Courts generally consider membership decisions to be an ecclesiastical matter.

Increase in Standard Business Mileage Rate Subscriber access only

The IRS increased the rate to 29 cents for 1994.

Minister Sues Denomination Over Broken Promise Subscriber access only

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

"Just Compensation" for Condemned Property Subscriber access only

Churches are entitled to compensation for condemned property.

Arbitration of Church Disputes Subscriber access only

Court rules that arbitrators' decision is final.

Government Employee Dismissed for Engaging in Religious Activities Subscriber access only

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

Limited Liability of Charitable Organizations Subscriber 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 Subscriber access only

Athletic club found not legally responsible.
New Jersey

Liability Insurance and Immunity from Lawsuits Subscriber 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 Subscriber access only

Any swimming activity involving young children present significant risks.

Release Forms and High-Risk Activities Subscriber access only

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

Assumption of Risk and Release of Liability Subscriber access only

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

Alleged Victims' Denial of Sexual Molestation Subscriber access only

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

Parsonages and Property Tax Exemption Subscriber access only

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



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Protecting Your Tax-Exempt Status

Protecting Your Tax-Exempt Status Subscriber access only

Understand the requirements of your tax-exempt status.
Using Social Media Safely

Using Social Media Safely Subscriber access only

Policies to keep your church staff and members safe when using social media.