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Church Law & Tax Report

November/December 1997
Articles with a Member Access Only are available only to members.

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How the New Tax Changes Will Impact Ministers and Churches Member access only

Every church and minister will be affected.

Using Polygraph Exams Member access only

A recent case addresses legal concerns.

Recent Developments

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

Definition of "Church" for Purposes of Civil Law Member access only

Some organizations may be labeled "religious" even if they exist for charitable purposes.
Church Records

Members' Right to Inspect Church Records Member access only

When can members inspect church records?

Distribution of Copyrighted Materials Member access only

Check before distributing materials to ensure you're not in violation of copyright law.

Insurance Coverage of Acts of Molestation Member access only

An offender's homeowner's insurance policy will not cover such acts.
South Carolina
Retirement Plans

Dismissed Ministers' Rights to Pension Benefits Member access only

Court rules that it is permitted to resolve claim.
Schools; Sexual Harassment

School Liable for Principal's Sexual Harassment of School Employees Member access only

Don't ignore accusations of sexual misconduct.
Counseling; Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

Husband Sues Church Over Wife's Affair with Minister Member access only

Who can sue for damages resulting from an affair?
Rhode Island
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

Prosecution of Child Molesters Member access only

Public statements made by accused molesters may be used against them in court.
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

Prior Acts of Sexual Misconduct Member access only

Evidence of prior "bad acts" is generally not admissible in court.
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

Statute of Limitations Bars Group's Lawsuit Member access only

Seven adults, molested by a priest as children, attempted to sue their former church.
North Dakota
Counseling; Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

Churches' Liability After Out-of Court Settlements Member access only

If a pastor is released from liability for sexual misconduct, his denomination cannot be liable.

Vocational Training Programs and the Unrelated Business Income Tax Member access only

IRS rules that this income is not subject to the UBIT.