Church Law & Tax Report

September/October 2006
Articles with a Member Access Only are available only to members.

Become a Member

Keep your church safe, legal, and financially sound.

When you become a member you get instant online access to help your church:

  • Reduce potential legal liability
  • Manage finances and risks
  • Comply with IRS requirements

Feature Article

The Politics of Religion Member access only

What church leaders should know in an election year.


Confidential and Privileged Communications - Part 1 Member access only

In order for the clergy-penitent privilege to apply there must be a communication that is made to a minister.

Recent Developments

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

Arbitration Member access only

A federal appeals court enforced the decision of an arbitrator in an employment dispute between a church-operated school and its principal.
New Hampshire

Child Abuse Reporting Member access only

The New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled that church leaders who failed to report allegations of child abuse could not be sued.

Church Property - Part 1 Member access only

A denomination's governing documents prevented a church from disaffiliating from the denomination and retaining control of church property.

Church Property - Part 2 Member access only

A church's deed that gave the prior owner of the church's property an option to purchase the property in the event that the church ever discontinued using it for church purposes.

Clergy—Removal Member access only

The "ministerial exception" to employment discrimination laws prevented a church from resolving an age discrimination lawsuit.

Confidential and Privileged Communications - Part 2 Member access only

A California court ruled that the clergy-penitent privilege did not apply to letters sent to a pastor.

Employment Practices - Part 1 Member access only

A federal court in Tennessee ruled that it was barred by the First Amendment from resolving a discrimination lawsuit.

Employment Practices - Part 2 Member access only

A Minnesota court ruled that a religious school and a parent denomination did not unlawfully discriminate against a homosexual teacher.

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

A federal appeals court ruled that the statute of limitations prevented an adult male from suing a church.

Unemployment Benefits - Part 1 Member access only

State unemployment compensation laws generally do not apply to persons employed by church-operated child-care centers.

Unemployment Benefits - Part 2 Member access only

The Vermont Supreme Court ruled that an independent Christian school was not exempt from the state's unemployment compensation law.