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Confidential and Privileged Communications - Part 1

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.

Key pointThe Clergy-Penitent Privilege In order for the clergy-penitent privilege to apply there must be a communication that is made to a minister.
Key pointThe Clergy-Penitent Privilege In order for the clergy-penitent privilege to apply there must be a communication that is made to a minister acting in a professional capacity as a spiritual adviser.

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. An adult male ("David") was involved in a fight outside a restaurant. Later that night he returned to the restaurant and fired several gun shots into the store, striking two bystanders. One of the bystanders was injured, and the other was killed. The following Sunday David attended his church. After attending the morning service, David met privately with the pastor, apparently to seek ...

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Posted:
  • July 2, 2001

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