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Church Property

A clause in a church deed limiting any future conveyance of the property to "Protestant evangelical churches" was not enforceable.

Washington
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Key point 7-14. Some deeds to church property contain a 'reversion' clause stating that title will revert back to the previous owner in the event that a specified condition occurs. The courts will enforce such provisions, so long as they can do so without interpreting church doctrine.

The Washington Supreme Court ruled that a clause in a church deed limiting any future conveyance of the property to 'Protestant evangelical churches' was not enforceable. A church purchased property in 1956 and received a deed conveying the property 'for the perpetual use of Protestant Evangelical Churches' of the community. The church eventually outgrew its facilities, and the congregation voted to sell its property and relocate to a larger facility. The church's efforts to sell its property to another evangelical church were unsuccessful. As a result, the church wanted to sell its ...

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Posted:
  • May 1, 2006

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