Jump directly to the content

Recent Developments in Ohio Regarding Church Membership

An Ohio court ruled that it had no authority to review a church's decision to dismiss a member.

Ohio
State:
Key point. The civil courts are without authority to review internal church decisions to discipline or dismiss a member.
Key point. Some courts are willing to engage in "marginal review" of church membership decisions for the limited purpose of deciding if the proper body made the decision.
Key point. Statements made in the context of a church membership meeting addressing the discipline of a member ordinarily cannot be defamatory.

An Ohio court ruled that it had no authority to review a church's decision to dismiss a member. The court also ruled that it could not review the dismissed member's defamation claim, and that a state nonprofit corporation law did not provide the dismissed member with any basis for suing the church. Here are the facts of this case: A church member sought access to his church's financial records. When church leaders denied this request, the member ...

Log In For Full Access

Interested in becoming a member? Learn more.

Richard R. Hammar is an attorney, CPA and author specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy.

Related Topics:
Posted:
  • May 1, 1998