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Church Law & Tax Report

January/February 2000
Articles with a Member Access Only are available only to members.

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Recent Developments

Issues that affect ministers and churches, with Richard R. Hammar

Contracts Member access only

A New York court ruled that a church could be liable on a contract for a construction project signed by its pastor without board authorization.

Counseling—Liability Member access only

An Oregon court ruled that the statute of limitations prevented a woman from suing her church and pastor for damages she suffered as a result of the pastor's repeated and prolonged attempts to cast demons out of her.
North Dakota

Embezzlement Member access only

The Supreme Court of North Dakota ruled that the first amendment did not prevent a priest from being prosecuted for embezzlement of church funds.

Taxation—Church Property Member access only

The New Jersey Tax Court addressed the eligibility of two church-owned properties for an exemption from property taxes.

Unemployment Taxes Member access only

An Ohio court ruled that a former teacher at a church-affiliated school was not eligible for unemployment benefits.

Workers Compensation Member access only

A Pennsylvania court ruled that a disabled worker who forfeited his workers compensation benefits when he accepted a job as a minister was not entitled to a reinstatement of his benefits.
Counseling; Fiduciary Duty; Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

Sexual Misconduct by Clergy Member access only

A court refused to recognize "breach of a fiduciary duty" as a basis for liability by clergy who engaged in a sexual relationship with a counselee.