Recent Developments

Issues that affect ministers and churches
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers - Part 6
An Arizona appeals court refused to allow an adult who had been sexually molested as a child by his pastor to sue his church after the statute of limitations expired.
Key point 10-16.4. The statute of limitations specifies the deadline for filing a civil lawsuit. Lawsuits cannot be brought after this deadline has passed. There are a few exceptions that have been recognized by some courts: (1) The statute of limitations for injuries suffered by a minor begins to run on the minor's 18th birthday. (2) The statute of limitations does not begin to run until an adult survivor of child sexual molestation "discovers" that he or she has experienced physical or emotional suffering as a result of the molestation. (3) The statute of limitations does not begin to run until an adult with whom a minister or church counselor has had sexual contact "discovers" that his or her psychological damages were caused by the inappropriate contact. (4) The statute of limitations is suspended due to fraud or concealment of a cause of action.
Negligence as a Basis for Liability

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Posted: March 1, 2004
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