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Defamation

A Mississippi court ruled that a church was not guilty of defamation as a result of information shared during a disciplinary hearing that was conducted pursuant to the church's bylaws.

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.

Defamation

* A Mississippi court ruled that a church was not guilty of defamation as a result of information shared during a disciplinary hearing that was conducted pursuant to the church's bylaws. A woman ("Alice") sent a letter to a denominational agency (the "regional church") in which she confessed to an extramarital sexual relationship with her pastor (Pastor Mark). The regional church appointed a committee to explore Alice's allegations. Finding merit to the charges, the committee recommended that Pastor Mark be tried for "unbecoming conduct with the opposite sex." The regional church appointed a three-member trial board to hear the charges. The trial board conducted a hearing that was attended ...

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Posted:
  • July 1, 2002

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