• Key point 10-10.2. Many courts have ruled that the first amendment prevents churches from being legally responsible on the basis of negligent supervision for the sexual misconduct of ministers.
• Key point 10-13.2. Several courts have refused to hold churches and denominational agencies liable on the basis of a breach of a fiduciary duty for the sexual misconduct of a minister. In some cases, this result is based on first amendment considerations.
Negligence as a Basis for Liability
* 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. The woman ("Julia") claimed that her Buddhist minister engaged in a sexual relationship with her over a period of three years. She sued her ...