Church Law & Tax Report

July/August 1997
Articles with a Member Access Only are available only to members.

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Articles

Liability for Giving Positive References Member access only

Churches can be held liable for recommending someone with a history of misconduct.

Recent Developments

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

Can Church Records Be Subpoenaed? Member access only

A Pennsylvania court tackles the issue.
Georgia

Thefts from Church Coat Racks Member access only

Churches are not necessarily responsible for thefts occurring on their property.
Ohio

Church Members Sue to Remove Minister Member access only

Courts are not permitted to interfere in "ecclesiastical matters".
West Virginia
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

The Clergy-Penitent Privilege and Consent to Disclosure Member access only

Minister's confession of misconduct not protected from disclosure.
Ohio
Schools

Prayer in School Board Meetings Member access only

Court rules that this practice does not violate the First Amendment.
Texas
Defamation

Priest Sues Bishop and Diocese for Defamation Member access only

Courts generally refuse to interfere with churches' decisions regarding a minister's status.
Florida

Minors and Assumption of Risk Member access only

Churches should not rely on release forms signed by minors.
Illinois
Counseling

School's Liability for a Student's Suicide Member access only

Officials who hear of a student's suicide threat may be liable for the minor's later suicide.
South Carolina
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

Denomination Not Liable for Pastor's Misconduct Member access only

A denomination is not necessarily responsible for the acts of its pastors.
New York
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

Priest Molests Children Member access only

Court rules that diocese may be sued for negligent retention and supervision.
Minnesota
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

Man Sues Over Molestation by School Counselor Member access only

The lawsuit was barred by the statute of limitations.
Maryland
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

Man Sues Diocese and Two Priests Over Abuse Member access only

The lawsuit was barred by the statute of limitations.
Louisiana

Man Alleges Sexual Abuse; Sues Priest and Diocese Member access only

Experts find that cases of memory suppression are unlikely.
Minnesota
Schools

Teacher Seduces High School Student Member access only

School found not liable on the basis of negligent supervision.
Texas

Police Officer Sues Protesters at Abortion Clinic Member access only

Members of an unincorporated association are not necessarily responsible for fellow members' misconduct.

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Church Issues: Waivers and Release Forms and Church Liability

Church Issues: Waivers and Release Forms and Church Liability Member access only

What these documents do—and don't do—based on statutes and court decisions made nationwide.
Check-In and Check-Out Procedures

Check-In and Check-Out Procedures Member access only

Learn how to establish check-in procedures that keep children safe.