Church Law & Tax Report

July/August 2006
Articles with a Member Access Only are available only to members.

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Articles

Recent Developments

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

Clergy—Income Taxes Member access only

The United States Tax Court ruled that an itinerant evangelist was not able to deduct his travel expenses since he was never "away from home."

Clergy—Removal - Part 1 Member access only

A Washington, DC court ruled that a lawsuit brought against a church by the dismissed principal of a church-operated school had to be dismissed as a result of the so-called "ministerial exception.”

Clergy—Removal - Part 2 Member access only

A Colorado court ruled that it was barred by the First Amendment of religious freedom from resolving a pastor's claims that he was defamed and wrongfully dismissed by his church.

Clergy—Removal - Part 3 Member access only

A federal appeals court ruled that the "ministerial exception" to employment discrimination laws prevented it from resolving an age discrimination lawsuit.
Georgia
Clergy - Removal

Clergy—Removal Member access only

A federal district court in Georgia fined a pastor for filing frivolous lawsuits against his denomination relating to his dismissal.

Employment Practices Member access only

A federal court in Illinois dismissed a sexual harassment lawsuit against a church-operated school on the ground that the plaintiff failed to file the lawsuit by the deadline.

Insurance Member access only

A camp's general liability insurance policy did not apply to sexual misconduct claims because these claims were specifically excluded by the policy.

Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers - Part 1 Member access only

A church and denominational agency were not responsible for damages caused by a pastor's sexual relationship with a female member of his congregation.

Taxation—Church Property Member access only

A Kansas court denied a property tax exemption to a church that allowed a for-profit corporation to conduct a child care program on church property.

Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers - Part 2 Member access only

A church was not liable for its pastor's acts of child molestation on the basis of respondeat superior, breach of a fiduciary duty, or negligent hiring or supervision.

Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers - Part 3 Member access only

An Ohio court ruled that a church and denominational agency were not liable for a pastor's sexual relationship with a female member of his congregation.