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Home > Church Law & Tax Report > 1997 > September/October

Church Law & Tax Report

September/October 1997
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Supreme Court Strikes Down Religious Freedom Restoration Act Subscriber access only

Every church will be affected.
Recent Developments

Recent Developments

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

Evaluating Allegations of Child Abuse Subscriber access only

A recent case will be of use to churches.
Church Property

Check Deed Before Renting Property Subscriber access only

Some deeds contain restrictions prohibiting religious facilities.
Church Property Disputes

Review Deed Before Conveying Property Subscriber access only

Be familiar with restrictions in your church's deed.
Church Property Disputes

Churches as Historic Landmarks Subscriber access only

Restriction of a church's right to demolish a building may violate the First Amendment.
Church Records

Members' Inspection of Church Records Subscriber access only

Who has a right to inspect records?

Former Minister Sues Church for Wrongful Dismissal Subscriber access only

Courts generally will not intervene in churches' ministerial employment decisions.

Dismissed Minister Sues Former Church Subscriber access only

Courts are reluctant to resolve employment disputes between ministers and churches.

Lawsuit Challenges Church's Selection of Pastor Subscriber access only

Court rules that it cannot intervene.
Invasion of Privacy

Pastor Sued for Disclosing Confidential Information Subscriber access only

The victim had revealed the information during counseling.

Hearsay Testimony Subscriber access only

Ministers may be barred from testifying about statements made to them out of court.
Freedom of Religion

Freedom of Religion at Work Subscriber access only

Restrictions of employees' religious speech may violate the First Amendment.
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

Insurance Coverage of Sexual Misconduct Subscriber access only

Be sure to know what your policy covers.

Defamation and "Qualified Privilege" Subscriber access only

Claims made to others concerning a matter of common interest generally are protected.

Defamatory Statements Subscriber access only

Expressions of opinion cannot be considered defamation.
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

Church and Pastor Sued Over Child Molestation Subscriber access only

Don't ignore accusations of sexual misconduct.



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Your Guide To Employee Handbooks

Your Guide To Employee Handbooks Subscriber access only

If updated regularly, an employee handbook can offer valuable legal protection against civil court claims made by disgruntled staff members.
20 Finance Questions Churches Ask

20 Finance Questions Churches Ask Subscriber access only

Richard Hammar shares his answers to 20 of the most widely asked and relevant tax and finance questions for church leaders.