Church Law & Tax Report

July/August 2003
Articles with a Member Access Only are available only to members.

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Feature Article

Should Your Church Have a Defibrillator? Member access only

An issue of life and death.

Articles

Child Abuse Reporting Member access only

The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that a school principal who disclosed to an alleged child abuser the identities of the school employees who reported the abuse could be prosecuted.

Recent Developments

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

Arbitration - Part 1 Member access only

A federal appeals court ruled that an employer could dismiss employees who refused to agree to a new “mandatory arbitration” policy.

Church Membership - Part 1 Member access only

A Missouri court ruled that it was barred from resolving a lawsuit brought by a dismissed church member claiming that his church defamed him.

Clergy—Removal - Part 1 Member access only

A New York court ruled that an attorney's acceptance of reimbursements from his employer for charitable contributions he falsely claimed to have made justified the loss of his license to practice law.

Clergy—Income Tax Member access only

The IRS ruled that teachers and administrative staff employed by a church school were not eligible for a housing allowance.

Freedom of Religion - Part 1 Member access only

A federal court in New York ruled that a public school could not bar a church from renting school property on Sunday mornings for religious worship services.

Defamation Member access only

A Missouri court ruled that it was barred from resolving a former church school principal’s claim that she had been defamed by statements made by her former employer.
North Carolina

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

A North Carolina court ruled that a church could be liable for serious injuries suffered by a woman during a church-sponsored "hayride."

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

A Connecticut court ruled that a church and diocese were not liable on the basis of respondeat superior or conspiracy for a priest's sexual molestation of a minor, but they could be liable on the basis of negligence.

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

A federal appeals court ruled that a school was not legally responsible for the sexual molestation of a minor by a school teacher in his own home.

Unincorporated Churches Member access only

A Georgia court ruled that a member of an unincorporated church could sue his church for injuries he sustained while participating in a construction project.

Arbitration - Part 2 Member access only

An Ohio court ruled that an employee could not sue her employer for sexual harassment because she agreed to submit all work-related disputes to binding arbitration.

Church Membership - Part 2 Member access only

A Georgia court ruled that the first amendment severely limits the authority of the civil courts to intervene in internal church disputes, but the general rule does not prevent the courts from deciding the composition of a church’s membership, or the resolution of some church property disputes.

Church Membership - Part 3 Member access only

A federal court in the District of Columbia ruled that a church could not be forced to disclose the names of its members in a lawsuit.

Church Property Member access only

Maryland's highest court ruled that the property of a local church that disaffiliated from a national church belonged to the local church.

Clergy—Removal - Part 2 Member access only

A federal court in North Carolina dismissed a lawsuit brought by a pastor against his former church in which he claimed that the church had violated his rights under federal electronic privacy laws by searching his laptop computer for pornography.

Employment Practices Member access only

A New York court ruled that an employer's liability insurer was obligated to provide a defense of a lawsuit brought by a former employee.

Freedom of Religion - Part 2 Member access only

The United States Supreme Court ruled that a city ordinance requiring Jehovah's Witnesses and other persons to obtain and display a permit before engaging in door-to-door witnessing violated the first amendment.

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

A California court ruled that a school was liable for the death of an 11-year-old student who died of an asthma attack during school hours.

Personal Injuries on Church Property and During Church Activities - Part 3 Member access only

A Georgia court address the question of a property owner's liability for injuries occurring to minors who skate or ride bikes on their premises.

Sexual Misconduct by Clergy and Church Workers - Part 3 Member access only

An Ohio court ruled that a youth pastor qualified as a “sexual predator” as a result of his molestation of three minors.

Sexual Misconduct by Clergy and Church Workers - Part 4 Member access only

A Minnesota court ruled that a child care center could be sued as a result of the sexual molestation of several children by an adult male teacher.

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Safety On the Road

Safety On the Road  Member access only

Discover the best ways to transport people safely.
Planning a Church Building Project

Planning a Church Building Project Member access only

Learn about zoning laws, property sales, church construction, financing, and more.