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Recent Developments in Indiana Regarding Unincorporated Churches

The Indiana Supreme Court ruled that members of an unincorporated church can sue their church for injuries they suffer on church property or in the course of church activities.

Indiana
State:
Key point.. In some states, unincorporated churches are viewed as an entity rather than a group of individuals. As a result, members who are injured in the course of church activities can sue their church without having the case dismissed as an example of "members suing themselves".

The Indiana Supreme Court ruled that members of an unincorporated church can sue their church for injuries they suffer on church property or in the course of church activities. The court reversed previous rulings in which it had applied the traditional rule that members of an unincorporated church cannot sue their church. The facts of the case can be quickly stated. A church member (the "victim") attended a meeting of a local "Toastmasters" chapter that had rented a portion of the church for the evening. Both members and non-members of the church attended the function. Over the course of the evening, some ...

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

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Posted:
  • March 1, 1999

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