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Recent Developments in New Jersey Regarding Sexual Relationships with Counselees

The New Jersey Supreme Court allowed a woman to sue her pastor and church as a result of a sexual relationship that was initiated by the pastor.

New Jersey
State:
Key point. Some courts have allowed pastors to be sued on the basis of a "breach of a fiduciary duty" for engaging in sexual relations with a counselee in the course of a counseling relationship.
Key point. The courts have refused to recognize "clergy malpractice" as a basis of legal liability, even in cases involving sexual misconduct.
Key point. Church officials may be liable if they disclose to church members that a pastor has engaged in sexual relations with a counselee in the course of a counseling relationship.

The New Jersey Supreme Court allowed a woman to sue her pastor and church as a result of a sexual relationship that was initiated by the pastor. The woman's lawsuit alleged that she had sought counseling from a pastor of her church, and that the pastor became aware of her emotional vulnerabilities and exploited those vulnerabilities to induce her to engage ...

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Posted:
  • July 1, 1998

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