Church Law & Tax Report
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A federal appeals court addresses both issues in an important ruling-Sanders v. Casa View Baptist Church, 1998 WL 27291 (5th Cir. 1998)
An Ohio court issues an important ruling-Evans v. Ohio State University, 680 N.E.2d 161 (Ohio 1996) [Negligence as a Basis for Liability]
Issues that affect ministers and churches, with Richard R. Hammar
The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that a church counselor could be criminally prosecuted for child molestation despite the fact that the prosecution was based in part on a pastor's unauthorized disclosure of the incident to civil authorities.
An Ohio court ruled that it had no authority to review a church's decision to dismiss a member.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that a state nonprofit corporation law giving members the right to inspect corporate records only applied to certain records.
An Illinois court ruled that the first amendment did not prevent it from resolving a dispute over the removal of an officer by a religious organization since it could do so without any inquiry into religious doctrine.
An Ohio court ruled that it could invalidate a church's election of a pastor if the election violated the church's bylaws and if it could resolve the dispute without any inquiry into religious doctrine.
A federal court in Nebraska ruled that an employer violated both state and federal law by dismissing an employee who refused to work on Easter Sunday.
A federal appeals court ruled that a public high school that allowed several student groups to meet on school premises during the lunch period could not deny the same opportunity to a student group that wanted to meet for religious purposes.
A Louisiana court ruled that it could resolve a priest's claim that he had been defamed by statements church officials made to the media.
A Tennessee court ruled that a church-operated preschool was not legally responsible for a sexual assault committed by a 4-year-old boy on another 4-year-old boy, since the assault was not foreseeable.
A Missouri court ruled that a religious school was not a "church" and accordingly was not exempt from local zoning restrictions.
In an important case that should be studied by church leaders everywhere, a Texas court ruled that (1) a church was not liable for a music director's acts of child molestation since the statute of limitations had expired; (2) ministers who are mandatory child abuse reporters under state law cannot be sued by child abuse victims on account of their failure to report; and (3) ministers need not report child abuse if the victim no longer is a minor.
A Pennsylvania court ruled that (1) a charity cannot be sued when one of its volunteers molests a child who has no connection with the charity, even if it knew that the volunteer had a prior conviction for child molestation; and (2) the charity cannot be sued on the ground that it failed to report the volunteer's acts of child molestation.
The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that homosexuality "in no way" indicates that a person is a higher risk of committing a sexual assault.
A Connecticut court ruled that a religious order could be sued on the basis of respondeat superior for the sexual misconduct of a priest.
A federal court in Virginia ruled that a city council acted unlawfully when it denied a church's request to construct two cellular antenna towers on its property.
A New York court ruled that a rescue mission was a "charitable or religious institution" and as such did not need to obtain a special use permit to operate. A charity operates a rescue mission in Albany, New York.
Recent Developments in Federal Appeals Court Regarding Personal Injuries on Church Premises and During Church Activities
A federal appeals court addressed the dangers of bungee jumping and personal liability of corporate officers in an important ruling.