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Church Law & Tax Report

May/June 1996
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Feature Article

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

Eligibility for exemption and other issues addressed.


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

A federal court issues an important decision.

The Discipline of Church Members Subscriber access only

The Iowa Supreme Court issues an important ruling.
Recent Developments

Recent Developments

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

Meeting Substantiation Requirements Subscriber access only

Lack of donation proof can cause tax problems.

Religious Authority May Increase Likelihood of Criminal Conviction Subscriber access only

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

Molestation Case Against Church School Teacher Dismissed  Subscriber access only

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

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

Court rejects First Amendment violation argument.

Court Tosses Vote to Rehire Rabbi Subscriber access only

Synagogue members did not follow bylaws in vote.

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

Dispute is an ecclesiastical matter, court rules.

No Tax Deduction for Work Commute Subscriber access only

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

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

Testimony is not subject to penitent privilege, court says.

Court Dismisses Sex Discrimination Case Subscriber access only

Former employee had claimed discrimination at religious organization.

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

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

Statement of Opinion Not Defamatory Subscriber access only

Context of statements must be considered, court says.

Nonprofit Not Liable for Unauthorized Promissory Notes Subscriber access only

Treasurer responsible instead, court ruled.

Personal Injuries on Church Property Subscriber access only

Church can be sued for death resulting from defective ladder.

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

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

Ohio Court Upholds Dismissal of Sexual Abuse Case Subscriber access only

Statute of limitations had expired, court ruled.

Rescue Mission's Parsonage Tax Exempt Subscriber access only

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

Church Nursing Home Employees Ineligible for Unemployment Subscriber access only

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

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

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

Gift to Church Orphanage Lapsed, Court Says Subscriber access only

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

Colorado Church Wins Zoning Dispute Subscriber access only

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

Church Can Expand Its Parking Lot Subscriber access only

Court issues ruling in zoning dispute.



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Church Issues: Same-Sex Marriage and Gender Identity

Church Issues: Same-Sex Marriage and Gender Identity Subscriber access only

Richard Hammar combines research and analysis to take you through a step-by-step process regarding public accommodations laws.
Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting Laws

Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting Laws Subscriber access only

Did you know pastors and other church staff may be required by law to report child abuse and that laws on this vary state by state?