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Constitution, Bylaws and Charters - Part 1

A District of Columbia appeals court ruled that it was prohibited from resolving a lawsuit brought by members of a church claiming that the board of trustees breached its fiduciary duties by authorizing an interest-free loan to the pastor

Key point 6-03.2. Most courts have viewed requests by church members for an "accounting" of church funds to be an internal church matter over which the civil courts have no jurisdiction.
Key point 6-07.03. Church board members have a fiduciary duty to use reasonable care in the discharge of their duties, and they may be personally liable for damages resulting from their failure to do so.
Key point 6-07.10. Church board members may be personally liable, under state nonprofit corporation law, for loans they authorize for any officer or director of the church.
Key point 9-07. The first amendment allows civil courts to resolve internal church disputes so long as they can do so without interpreting doctrine or polity.

A District of Columbia appeals court ruled that it was prohibited by the first amendment from resolving a lawsuit brought by members of a church claiming ...

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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, 2000

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