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Church Law & Tax Report

May/June 2005
Articles with a Member Access Only are available only to members.

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The Importance of Living Wills Member access only

Recent Developments

Issues that affect ministers and churches, with Richard R. Hammar

Church Membership Member access only

A Texas court ruled that a woman could sue a pastor for disclosing confidential information she had provided to him.

Clergy—Removal Member access only

A Massachusetts court ruled that the civil courts are barred by the first amendment from resolving clergy employment disputes.

Clergy—Removal - Part 2 Member access only

A federal appeals court ruled that it was barred by the first amendment guaranty of religious liberty from resolving a pastor's claim that he had been dismissed by his church because he suffered from Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).

Clergy—Removal - Part 3 Member access only

A federal appeals court ruled that in some cases ministers can pursue sexual harassment claims against an employing church.

Confidential and Privileged Communications Member access only

A Washington court ruled that a confession made to a group of ministers was protected by the clergy-penitent privilege and therefore could not be disclosed to a civil court.

Personal Injuries on Church Property and During Church Activities Member access only

A New York court ruled that a religious organization was not responsible for a spontaneous attack inflicted by an adolescent male.

Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers Member access only

An Ohio court ruled that a church and denominational agency could be sued on the basis of negligent retention and breach of a fiduciary duty for the sexual misconduct of a minister.