• Key point. Members of churches that are incorporated under state nonprofit corporation law often are given a limited right to inspect corporate records. This right is subject to a number of important requirements and limitations.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that a state nonprofit corporation law giving members the right to inspect corporate records only applied to certain records. While the case involved a state bar association, it will be relevant to church leaders because many churches are incorporated under similar laws giving members a right to inspect corporate records. The facts of the case are simple. Two attorneys asked their state bar association to release 30 different categories of documents pertaining to evaluations of statewide judicial candidates. The bar association is a nonprofit corporation incorporated under state law. The nonprofit corporation law contains the following provision pertaining to members' right to inspect corporate records: