Key point. Church members generally have no right to inspect church records unless such a right is conferred by state nonprofit corporation law, a church's charter or bylaws, state securities law (if the church has issued securities), or a subpoena. Church records enjoy no privilege against disclosure, with the exception of documents that are protected by the clergy-penitent privilege under state law.
Key point. According to the majority view, the civil courts will not resolve disputes challenging a church's discipline of a member since the first amendment guaranty of religious freedom prevents them from deciding who are members in good standing of a church.
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legal authority to inspect church records pursuant to state nonprofit corporation law ended when his membership was revoked by the church board.
A church conducted a series of fundraising ...