Church Law & Tax Report

March/April 2006
Articles with a Member Access Only are available only to members.

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Articles

Child Abuse Reporting Member access only

A New York court ruled that the subject of a child abuse report had no legal right to obtain the name of the person who reported the abuse.

Retirement Plans Member access only

An Indiana court ruled that a provision in a church's bylaws requiring the church to make retirement payments to two former pastors took precedence over conflicting provisions.

Recent Developments

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

Arbitration Member access only

An Illinois court upheld the validity of a church arbitration policy despite the alleged "bias" of the arbitrators.

Church Membership Member access only

A California court ruled that it was not barred by the First Amendment guaranty of religious freedom from resolving a lawsuit brought by dismissed members challenging the legal validity of their dismissals.

Church Property - Part 1 Member access only

A church corporation that was reinstated after having been dissolved for failure to submit an annual corporate report to the secretary of state should be treated as a corporation.
Texas
Church Property

Church Property - Part 2 Member access only

A Texas court ruled that a church had to be evicted from its property because its use of the property for religious purposes violated a "restrictive covenant" in a prior deed.

Clergy—Removal Member access only

A California court ruled that a church's music minister who was dismissed after it was learned that he was homosexual could sue the church and church leaders.

Confidential and Privileged Communications Member access only

A man's confession to a minister that he had committed a murder was admissible at trial because it was not protected by the clergy-penitent privilege.

Freedom of Religion - Part 1 Member access only

A federal district court in Indiana ruled that the practice of opening each session of the state legislature with prayer violated the First Amendment's nonestablishment of religion clause.

Freedom of Religion - Part 2 Member access only

A federal appeals court ruled that inscribing the national motto "In God We Trust" on a government building did not constitute an unconstitutional "establishment" of religion.
Colorado
Personal Injuries on Church Property or During Church Activities

Personal Injuries on Church Property and During Church Activities - Part 1 Member access only

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled that a small business owner was not liable on the basis of negligent supervision for an employee’s sexual molestation of a 12-year-old girl.

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

The Maine Supreme Court ruled that a Catholic diocese could be sued on the basis of negligent supervision and breach of a fiduciary duty for a priest's molestation of an adolescent male.

Zoning Member access only

A church's rights under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act were not violated by a city's denial of its application for a conditional use permit to construct a new sanctuary.
North Carolina
Personal Injuries on Church Property or During Church Activities

Personal Injuries on Church Property and During Church Activities - Part 2 Member access only

A North Carolina court ruled that the parents of a 12-year-old boy were not liable for injuries the youth director sustained.

ChurchSalary

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How Churches Spend Their Money: 2019 Executive Report

How Churches Spend Their Money: 2019 Executive Report Member access only

This report will give you an inside look at how churches nationwide spend their money.
Record Keeping

Record Keeping  Member access only

Learn best practices for protecting confidential documents.