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Defamation

A Florida court ruled that it was barred by the first amendment from resolving a woman's defamation claim against her church.

Defamation

Key point 4-02.1. Ministers may be liable for making defamatory statements if a civil court can resolve the dispute without any inquiry into church doctrine or polity.

Key point 10-15. The first amendment limits, but does not eliminate, a church's liability for defamation.

Defamation

* A Florida court ruled that it was barred by the first amendment from resolving a woman's defamation claim against her church. A woman ("Esther") sued her pastor and church, claiming that the pastor called her a "slut" while standing at the church altar in front of the other pastors and church members. Esther sued the pastor and church for defamation, and she also sued the church on the basis of negligent retention and control of the pastor. She claimed that the church knew or should have known that the pastor was an employee presenting a "high risk of harm" to parishioners ...

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Posted:
  • January 1, 2002

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