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Church Law & Tax Report

November/December 2002
Articles with a Member Access Only are available only to members.

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Feature Article

The IRS Tax Guide for Churches Member access only

Articles

Recent Developments

Issues that affect ministers and churches, with Richard R. Hammar

Church Members Member access only

The Alaska Supreme Court ruled that a church could not be sued for “shunning” members of another church that it labeled a “cult.”

Church Property - Part 1 Member access only

A New York court ruled that a church could transfer its property despite a provision in its deed that required the property to be used forever for religious purposes.

Church Property - Part 2 Member access only

A Colorado court ruled that a church had to demolish or “modify” a new addition that it built in violation of a local building code.

Church Property - Part 3 Member access only

A federal court in Maryland ruled that it could enforce the decisions of an Episcopal bishop regarding church property and the qualifications of a pastor.

Church Property - Part 4 Member access only

A North Carolina court ruled that a “restrictive covenant” in a deed to a church’s property requiring it to use the property for residential purposes was not legally enforceable.
New York
Church Records

Church Records Member access only

A New York court ruled that a member had a legal right to inspect church records on the basis of a provision in the not-for-profit corporation law.

Clergy—Removal - Part 1 Member access only

An Indiana court concluded that it was barred by the first amendment from resolving a claim by a dismissed pastoral associate that she had been defamed by church officials.

Clergy—Removal - Part 2 Member access only

The Virginia Supreme Court ruled that it was barred by the first amendment guaranty of religious freedom from resolving a dismissed pastor’s lawsuit against his former church.

Defamation Member access only

A federal court in New Hampshire ruled that a camp director’s false statement that the state had filed a complaint of child abuse against a camp worker was not defamatory.

Employment Practices Member access only

A federal appeals court ruled that a church did not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act when it terminated an employee who was suffering from lupus.

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

A Louisiana court ruled that a public school was liable on the basis of negligent supervision for the sexual assault of a second grade student by some of his classmates.

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

A New York court ruled that a church was not liable for injuries suffered by a child who fell from a piece of playground equipment on church property during an organized “after school” program.

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

A Massachusetts court ruled that a church did not have to disclose reference letters and internal documents relating to the discipline of a pastor in a lawsuit.

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

A Texas court ruled that the deadline for filing a lawsuit against a church for a minister's molestation of five brothers could not be extended.

Wills, Estates, and Trusts Member access only

A New York court ruled that a scholarship trust for the benefit of students at a church-affiliated school could not be diverted to a college not affiliated with the church.