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Church Law & Tax Report

March/April 2002
Articles with a Member Access Only are available only to members.

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Loans Member access only

Loans to pastors.

Articles

Child Abuse Reporting Member access only

A Texas court ruled that a pastor was legally required to report to civil authorities the confession of a counselee that he had molested his three children.

Church Business Meetings Member access only

A Florida court ruled that a church board's attempts to amend the articles of incorporation were invalid because procedural requirements were not followed.

Church Property - Part 1 Member access only

A Florida court ruled that a student who refused to return a school-owned laptop computer could be charged with theft.

Church Property - Part 2 Member access only

The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that a local church maintained ownership of its property following its disaffiliation from a parent denomination.

Church Records Member access only

A New York court ruled that a church member had the legal authority to inspect church records despite the pastor's refusal to allow him to do so.

Confidential and Privileged Communications Member access only

A Texas court ruled that statements made by a church member to his pastor when confronted by the pastor about allegations of inappropriate behavior with children were not protected against disclosure in court.

Copyright Member access only

A federal court in Texas addressed the question of what recipes can be placed in a cookbook without violating the copyright law.

Denominational Agencies—Legal Liability - Part 1 Member access only

A Connecticut court ruled that a denominational agency was not required to seek out information concerning the prior sexual misconduct of a non-employee.

Denominational Agencies—Legal Liability - Part 2 Member access only

A Missouri court affirmed a jury verdict of $1 million against a denominational officer who sexually harassed a female minister.

Employment Practices - Part 1 Member access only

A New York court ruled that disparaging statements made by a minister about a member of his congregation when asked by a prospective employer for a reference were not defamatory.

Employment Practices - Part 2 Member access only

A federal court in Wisconsin ruled that it was barred from resolving a former church music director's claim that she had been wrongfully terminated by the church on account of her race.

Freedom of Religion - Part 1 Member access only

A California court ruled that a Christian student group's rights under the federal Equal Access Act were violated by a public school district's decision to ban them from school premises.

Freedom of Religion - Part 2 Member access only

The Indiana Supreme Court ruled that a city's decision to "condemn" church property through the power of eminent domain did not violate the church's first amendment rights.

Insurance Member access only

A Michigan court ruled that a church insurance policy's "counseling endorsement" provided coverage for a lawsuit brought by a husband and wife against their pastor.

Personal Injuries on Church Property or During Church Activities - Part 1 Member access only

A Louisiana court ruled that a school was legally responsible for the rape of a 12-year-old girl who had been allowed to leave school premises during school hours.

Personal Injuries on Church Property or During Church Activities - Part 2 Member access only

A New Jersey court ruled that a state charitable immunity law prevented a woman from suing a church as a result of injuries she suffered when she tripped on a sidewalk adjacent to the church.

Privacy Member access only

A Pennsylvania court ruled that email messages are not protected by any privacy interests.

Sexual Misconduct by Clergy and Church Workers - Part 1 Member access only

The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that a charity could not be liable for an employee's sexual assault because it had no knowledge of any prior misconduct.

Sexual Misconduct by Clergy and Church Workers - Part 2 Member access only

A Florida court ruled that a church was not liable, on the basis of respondeat superior or negligent supervision, for the rape of a 16-year-old girl by the senior pastor of her church.

ChurchSalary

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Setting Wages and Benefits for Church Staff

Setting Wages and Benefits for Church Staff Member access only

This training download addresses key aspects of compensation planning for church employees.
Church Governance

Church Governance Member access only

What leaders must know to conduct legally sound church business