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Bylaws, Constitutions, and Charters

Most courts refuse to intervene in church disputes concerning the validity of a membership meeting that was not conducted in accordance with the procedural requirements.

Last Reviewed: March 12, 2021
Key point 6-12.4. Most courts refuse to intervene in church disputes concerning the validity of a membership meeting that was not conducted in accordance with the procedural requirements specified in the church's governing documents. However, some courts are willing to intervene in such disputes if they can do so without inquiring into religious doctrine or polity.
Church Business Meetings

A North Carolina court ruled that it was barred by the first amendment from resolving a lawsuit brought by church members claiming that the decision by a church congregation to incorporate as a nonprofit corporation was invalid because it was made at a meeting that failed to comply with the procedure specified in the church bylaws.

A church was founded in 1872 and operated for more than 130 years as an unincorporated association. All decision making authority was vested within the church's congregation. ...

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Posted:
  • July 1, 2005
  • Last Reviewed: March 12, 2021

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