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Recent Developments in New Jersey Regarding Confidential and Privileged Communications

A New Jersey court ruled that some documents maintained by a Catholic Archdiocese were not subject to disclosure in a civil lawsuit.

New Jersey
State:
Key point. The clergy-penitent privilege is not limited to oral conversations between a minister and counselee. It can apply to letters and other documents that result from a confidential communication between a counselee and a minister who is acting as a spiritual adviser. Examples include counseling notes made by a minister, or letters written by a church member to a minister containing a confession or a request for spiritual assistance.

A New Jersey court ruled that some documents maintained by a Catholic Archdiocese were not subject to disclosure in a civil lawsuit. Two adult brothers sued a priest and their church and an archdiocese as a result of injuries they allegedly suffered when they were sexually molested by the priest some thirty years before. The brothers claimed that the church and archdiocese were legally responsible for the priest's actions on the basis of negligent ...

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Posted:
  • July 1, 1999

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