Recent Developments

Issues that affect ministers and churches
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers - Part 1
A federal court in Connecticut ruled that a woman who had been molested by a priest when she was a minor could sue her church.
Key point 10-02.3. Churches can be legally responsible on the basis of the respondeat superior doctrine for the actions of their employees only if those actions are committed within the course of employment and further the mission and functions of the church. Intentional and self-serving acts of church employees often will not satisfy this standard.
Key point 10-04.1. Some courts have found churches liable on the basis of negligent selection for the molestation of a minor by a church worker if the church failed to exercise reasonable care in the selection of the worker.
Key point 10-07.1. Some courts have found churches liable on the basis of negligent retention for the sexual misconduct of ministers and other church workers on the ground that the church was negligent in retaining the offender after receiving credible information indicating that he or she posed a risk of harm to others.

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Posted: March 1, 2004
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