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Church Law & Tax Report

September/October 2003
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Feature Article

The New Overtime Pay Rules Subscriber access only

Articles

Privacy Subscriber access only

An Indiana court ruled that a private investigator who made secret surveillance videos during a worship service to "prove" that the pastor's wife was not disabled did not commit an invasion of privacy or emotional distress.

Child Abuse Reporting Laws Amended in Arkansas, Maine, and Vermont Subscriber access only

Clergy and some other church officials are affected.

Church Business Meetings Subscriber access only

A Michigan court ruled that it was barred from resolving a dismissed pastor's claim that his dismissal was legally void because of noncompliance with procedural requirements.

Clergy—Taxes Subscriber access only

The Tax Court ruled that a minister could not deduct the cost of courses he took at a local university to complete his undergraduate degree.

Clergy Removal - Part 1 Subscriber access only

An Indiana court ruled that a lawsuit brought by a dismissed pastor against his former church was barred by the first amendment guaranty of religious freedom.

Clergy Removal - Part 2 Subscriber access only

A federal court in Puerto Rico ruled that it was barred by the first amendment guaranty of religious freedom from resolving a dismissed pastor's lawsuit against his former church.

Copyright - Part 1 Subscriber access only

A federal court in Florida ruled that a computer software program written by an employee was a "work made for hire" that was owned by the employer and not the employee.

Copyright - Part 2 Subscriber access only

A federal appeals court ruled that a religious chorus did not infringe upon the copyright of an allegedly similar song composed by another songwriter a few years earlier.

Copyright - Part 3 Subscriber access only

A federal court in Texas ruled that a company committed copyright infringement by making and selling a videotape of a concert in which copyrighted music was performed.

Denominations—Legal Liability Subscriber access only

A federal court in Louisiana ruled that a church in Florida was not responsible for the liabilities of a church in Louisiana.

Defamation - Part 1 Subscriber access only

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled that church officials could be sued for defamation as a result of a letter that was sent to both members and non-members.

Defamation - Part 2 Subscriber access only

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that a pastor could sue his denomination for publishing a statement informing other pastors and the media that he had been suspended from all pastoral duties because of "formal charges of sexual misconduct."

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

An Ohio court ruled that an indemnification clause in a "facility use agreement" required a charity that used a nonprofit camp to reimburse the camp for any legal judgments or settlements arising out of injuries occurring at the camp.

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

A California court ruled that an employer's cell phone records can be used to show whether or not an employee was talking on a cell phone at the time of an accident.

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

The Supreme Judicial Court of Maine ruled that a church could not be liable on the basis of negligent supervision for a pastor's sexual assault.

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

The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that the first amendment guaranty of religious freedom did not prevent it 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.

Zoning Subscriber access only

A federal district court in California ruled that a city could not seize a church's property through eminent domain.

Church Liability Subscriber access only

A New Jersey court ordered a plaintiff to pay the attorney fees of a church employee because a lawsuit naming the employee as a defendant was frivolous.

The 2003 Tax Law Subscriber access only

Application to churches and church staff.

ChurchSalary

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Planning a Church Building Project

Planning a Church Building Project Subscriber access only

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

Reducing the Risk Subscriber access only

Keep your church safe from child sexual abuse.