Church Law & Tax Report
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What church leaders need to know.
The Utah Supreme Court ruled that a pastor could not be sued by a victim of child molestation for advising her to forgive the offender.
A Pennsylvania court ruled that a church and diocese could be liable for a priest's acts of child molestation.
A Texas court ruled that it was barred from resolving several claims brought against a church by a former missionary who had contracted a serious illness.
Issues that affect ministers and churches, with Richard R. Hammar
A federal court in Florida ruled that a local church's unauthorized use of the name "Seventh-Day Adventist" (and the acronym "SDA") could be prohibited.
A Colorado court ruled that a church member's legal authority to inspect church records pursuant to state nonprofit corporation law ended when his membership was revoked.
A New Jersey court ruled that statements made by a murder suspect to a deacon were not protected from disclosure by the clergy-penitent privilege.
A Texas court ruled that the clergy-penitent privilege did not apply to statements made by a murder suspect to a police officer who also served as the youth director at the suspect's church.
A Texas court, applying California law, ruled that the clergy-penitent privilege did not apply to a conversation between a murder suspect and a minister.
A federal appeals court ruled that two men who set fire to a church could not be convicted under a federal arson statute.
A Washington court ruled that it was barred from resolving a former church employee's claim that he was forced to resign his position because the church required him to perform more work than was called for in his employment contract.
A South Carolina court ruled that church trustees had been properly removed at a membership meeting.
Personal Injuries on Church Property or During Church Activities
The Michigan Supreme Court ruled that nonmembers who visit churches for noncommercial reasons are "licensees" to whom churches owe a minimal duty of care.
A Texas court summarily dismissed a lawsuit alleging that a church was responsible on the basis of negligence and breach of a fiduciary duty for its pastor's sexual relationship with a counselee.
A Connecticut court ruled that a national church could be liable for the sexual misconduct of an ordained minister.
The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that an adult woman who claimed that she had been molested as a child at a church-operated preschool was not barred by the statute of limitations from suing the church.
A Texas court ruled that a pastor, but not his employing church, was liable under a state "mental health provider" law for injuries he caused to a female counselee.