Church Law & Tax Report

March/April 1998
Articles with a Member Access Only are available only to members.

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Feature Article

Do Federal Employment and Discrimination Laws Apply to Churches? Member access only

A federal court issues an important ruling- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. St. Francis Xavier Parochial School, 117 F.3d 621 (D.C. Cir. 1997)

Articles

Recent Developments

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

Recent Developments in New York Regarding Bankruptcy Member access only

A bankruptcy court in New York ruled that a church had to turn over tithes it received from a couple during the year preceding the filing of a bankruptcy petition since the tithes represented a "fraudulent transfer" for less than "reasonably equivalent value."
Texas

Recent Developments in Texas Regarding Child Abuse Member access only

A Texas court ruled that a 23-year-old male who was molested by a church music director when he was a minor was barred by a 2-year statute of limitations from suing his church, and that the church could not be sued as a result of the failure of 5 pastors to report the alleged abuse to civil authorities.
Maryland

Recent Developments in Maryland Regarding Church Elections Member access only

A Maryland court ruled that a church dispute over an election did not have to be arbitrated but could be resolved by a civil court.
Georgia

Recent Developments in Georgia Regarding Church Elections Member access only

The Supreme Court of Georgia ruled that members of a "congregational" church could not challenge their expulsion in civil court since membership in such a church is not a property right.
Minnesota

Recent Developments in Minnesota Regarding Restraining Orders Member access only

A Minnesota court upheld the legal validity of a restraining order prohibiting a disruptive individual from entering onto a church's premises.
Missouri

Recent Developments in Missouri Regarding Church Property Member access only

A Missouri court ruled that a church had a legal right to use a roadway across a neighboring property since an "easement by implication" had been created.
Connecticut

Recent Developments in Connecticut Regarding Church Property Member access only

A Connecticut court ruled that a church could construct a parsonage in a subdivision despite a "restrictive covenant" prohibiting any use other than a "strictly private residence."

Recent Developments in Tax Court Regarding Income Taxes for Clergy Member access only

The United States Tax Court ruled that a Methodist minister was an employee for federal income tax reporting purposes.
Illinois

Recent Developments in Illinois Regarding Confidential and Privileged Communications Member access only

The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that statements made by a murder suspect to his brother were not protected from disclosure in court by the clergy-penitent privilege since the brother was not a recognized minister.
Louisiana

Recent Developments in Louisiana Regarding Employment Practices Member access only

A federal court in Louisiana ruled that a church school did not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act by not rehiring a teacher who had to temporarily quit her job because of pregnancy-related varicose veins.
Federal

Recent Developments in the Supreme Court Regarding Employment Practices Member access only

The United States Supreme Court ruled that a church-operated camp was engaged in "commerce."
Kansas

Recent Developments in Kansas Regarding Employment Practices Member access only

A federal court in Kansas ruled that an employer committed unlawful religious discrimination by dismissing two employees for engaging in religious speech with customers.
Alabama

Recent Developments in Alabama Regarding Insurance Member access only

An Alabama court ruled that a church's "directors and officers" insurance policy covered a lawsuit brought against a pastor for improperly obtaining money from an elderly member.
Minnesota

Recent Developments in Minnesota Regarding Officers, Directors, and Trustees Member access only

The Minnesota Supreme Court has issued an important ruling addressing the personal liability of members of the board of a nonprofit corporation.
Arizona

Recent Developments in Arizona Regarding Schools Member access only

A bankruptcy court in Arizona ruled that a Catholic high school could not withhold a former student's academic transcript as a result of her failure to pay her school bill.
Oregon

Recent Developments in Oregon Regarding the Taxation of Church Property Member access only

An Oregon court ruled that a church's property was subject to tax because the church failed to timely appeal an assessor's decision to place it on the tax roll.
Indiana

Recent Developments in Indiana Regarding Unincorporated Churches Member access only

An Indiana court recognized an exception to the general rule that members of an unincorporated church cannot sue their church for injuries they suffer on church premises or during church activities.
Pennsylvania

Recent Developments in Pennsylvania Regarding Workers Compensation Member access only

A Pennsylvania court ruled that workers who were members of a church that made provision for its dependent members were eligible for exemption from workers compensation coverage.
New Jersey

Recent Developments in New Jersey Regarding Zoning Member access only

A New Jersey court ruled that a city zoning board acted properly in allowing a church to construct a sanctuary and preschool on an undeveloped tract, despite the protests of neighbors.
Kentucky

Recent Developments in Kentucky Regarding Zoning Member access only

A federal court in Kentucky ruled that a church's constitutional rights were not violated by a new city ordinance that prohibited the use of a sign the church had used for ten years.
New York

Recent Developments in New York Regarding Zoning Member access only

A federal court in New York ruled that a city did not violate the rights of neighbors by refusing to enforce a noise ordinance against a church that broadcast amplified music from its steeple.

ChurchSalary

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Church Governance

Church Governance Member access only

What leaders must know to conduct legally sound church business.
12 Law & Tax Guidelines for New Ministers

12 Law & Tax Guidelines for New Ministers Member access only

Essential knowledge to ensure legal and financial clarity and integrity in ministry.