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Church Law & Tax Report

May/June 1996
Articles with a Member Access Only are available only to members.

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The Liability of Churches for Acts of Child Molestation Member access only

A federal court issues an important decision.

The Discipline of Church Members Member access only

The Iowa Supreme Court issues an important ruling.

Recent Developments

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

Tax Court Addresses Ministers' Exemption from Social Security Member access only

Eligibility for exemption and other issues addressed.
Charitable Contributions

Meeting Substantiation Requirements Member access only

Lack of donation proof can cause tax problems.

Religious Authority May Increase Likelihood of Criminal Conviction Member access only

Court upholds child molester's conviction partially because of his role as a religious leader.

Molestation Case Against Church School Teacher Dismissed  Member access only

Lawsuit was filed after statute of limitations expired, court ruled.

Religious Beliefs No Excuse for Child Abuse, Court Rules Member access only

Court rejects First Amendment violation argument.

Court Tosses Vote to Rehire Rabbi Member access only

Synagogue members did not follow bylaws in vote.

Court Won't Get Involved in Church Finance Dispute Member access only

Dispute is an ecclesiastical matter, court rules.

No Tax Deduction for Work Commute Member access only

Tax Court says pastor's commuting costs are a personal expense.

Hospital Chaplain Allowed to Testify in Child Abuse Case Member access only

Testimony is not subject to penitent privilege, court says.

Court Dismisses Sex Discrimination Case Member access only

Former employee had claimed discrimination at religious organization.

Insurer Must Defend Diocese in Accusations Related to Child Molestation Member access only

Diocese had been accused of negligence in its supervision of accused priests.

Statement of Opinion Not Defamatory Member access only

Context of statements must be considered, court says.

Nonprofit Not Liable for Unauthorized Promissory Notes Member access only

Treasurer responsible instead, court ruled.

Personal Injuries on Church Property Member access only

Church can be sued for death resulting from defective ladder.

Sex Abuse Lawsuit Against Counselor Not Barred by Statute of Limitations Member access only

Court's decision allows the case to go to court.

Ohio Court Upholds Dismissal of Sexual Abuse Case Member access only

Statute of limitations had expired, court ruled.

Rescue Mission's Parsonage Tax Exempt Member access only

New Jersey court's decision overturns state tax court's earlier ruling.

Church Nursing Home Employees Ineligible for Unemployment Member access only

Nursing home was under direct control of local diocese.
Charitable Contributions

Georgia Court Upholds Will Donating Part of an Estate to Charity Member access only

Deceased was not a victim of 'undue influence,' court says.
Charitable Contributions

Court Won't Address Church's Claim to Decedent's Estate Member access only

Will's language was too vague for Catholic diocese's claim.
Charitable Contributions

Gift to Church Orphanage Lapsed, Court Says Member access only

Orphanage no longer existed; succeeding charity technically not an orphanage.

Colorado Church Wins Zoning Dispute Member access only

Church wanted to operate a school on its premises, despite zoning laws prohibiting it.

Church Can Expand Its Parking Lot Member access only

Court issues ruling in zoning dispute.