Church Law & Tax Report
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Supreme Court weighs in with 2 rulings.
Issues that affect ministers and churches, with Richard R. Hammar
A federal court in Louisiana refused to overturn an arbitration award in an employment dispute between a church-operated school and a former employee.
Maryland's highest court ruled that the state child abuse reporting law included a school teacher after school hours who molested a minor while driving her home from school.
The Alabama Supreme Court ruled that a trial court acted properly in vacating a church election that was conducted in violation of the church's governing document.
A Michigan court ruled that a city failed to acquire title to church property because the transaction had not been approved by a parent denomination as required by the church's bylaws.
A District of Columbia appeals court ruled that the first amendment guaranty of religious freedom prevented it from resolving a dismissed pastor's lawsuit.
A Florida court dismissed criminal charges against a pastor for practicing psychology without a license.
A federal court in the District of Columbia ruled that a religious organization could not be sued by a former employee for religious discrimination, but it could be sued for national origin discrimination.
A Tennessee court ruled that a denominational agency did not commit unlawful race discrimination when it appointed a white male to a management position.
A federal appeals court ruled that a camp director’s false statement that the state had filed a complaint of child abuse against a camp worker was defamatory.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that a pastor could sue his denomination for publishing a statement that he had been suspended from all pastoral duties because of "formal charges of sexual misconduct."
A Minnesota court ruled that a church was not responsible for injuries sustained by a worker while installing a church steeple.
A New York court ruled that a school was not responsible on the basis of negligent supervision for an injury to a child because no amount of supervision would have prevented the accident.
The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that "industry standards" for safe playground equipment could be used by a parent to prove that her child's school was negligent.
A Washington state appeals court ruled that a school was liable on the basis of a state "product liability" law for the illnesses of several students who contracted e. coli poisoning.
Personal Injuries on Church Property or During Church Activities; Schools
The Iowa Supreme Court ruled that a school could be sued by the father of a ninth-grade boy who had been sent home alone on a bus after being caught smoking
An Arizona court ruled that it was not barred from resolving a lawsuit brought by a female church member as a result of her pastor’s financial and sexual misconduct.
A Washington state court ruled that the first amendment guaranty of religious freedom prevented it from resolving a woman's claim that a religious organization was liable for injuries she suffered as a result of a sexual relationship initiated by her clergyman.
A Texas court ruled that a church and regional denominational agency were not liable for the sexual assault of a church secretary by a pastor.
A Minnesota court ruled that it was not prevented from resolving a man's claim that his church and a denominational agency were responsible for the negligent counseling of his pastor that led to the breakdown of his marriage.
A Connecticut appeals court ruled that a city zoning commission acted improperly in denying a church's application for a special use permit.