Jump directly to the content

Church Law & Tax Report

July/August 1997
Articles with a Subscriber Access Only are available only to subscribers.

Subscribe Today

Keep your church safe, legal, and financially sound.

When you subscribe you get instant online access to help your church:

  • Reduce potential legal liability
  • Manage finances and risks
  • Comply with IRS requirements

Articles

Liability for Giving Positive References Subscriber access only

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

Recent Developments

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

Can Church Records Be Subpoenaed? Subscriber access only

A Pennsylvania court tackles the issue.
Georgia

Thefts from Church Coat Racks Subscriber access only

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

Church Members Sue to Remove Minister Subscriber 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 Subscriber access only

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

Prayer in School Board Meetings Subscriber access only

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

Priest Sues Bishop and Diocese for Defamation Subscriber access only

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

Minors and Assumption of Risk Subscriber access only

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

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

The lawsuit was barred by the statute of limitations.
Louisiana

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

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

Teacher Seduces High School Student Subscriber access only

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

Police Officer Sues Protesters at Abortion Clinic Subscriber access only

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

ChurchSalary

ChurchSalary

Experience a whole new way to set compensation. Eliminate the guesswork – get access to detailed compensation reports in just minutes.

Benevolence Fund Basics

Benevolence Fund Basics Subscriber access only

Help your church develop a tax-compliant benevolence ministry.
Church Board Guide to a Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Policy

Church Board Guide to a Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Policy Subscriber access only

Church leaders and boards can take relatively simple, yet effective steps to reduce the likelihood of child sexual abuse.