Church Law & Tax Report

July/August 2009
Articles with a Member Access Only are available only to members.

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Feature Article

Governing Well Member access only

15 things every church leader should know about church bylaws.


Can Social Networking Get Us Sued?

Can Social Networking Get Us Sued? Member access only

How to safeguard your church staff's use of popular communication tools.

The Guinn Case Member access only

Recent Developments

Issues that affect ministers and churches, with Richard R. Hammar
Personal Injuries on Church Property or During Church Activities

Liability for Off-Campus Trips Member access only

Court rules school not liable for 15-passenger van fatality.
New York
Church Records

When Can Members Inspect Church Records?  Member access only

Know how to respond when a member of your church asks for access to your records.

Church Barred from Suing Insurer Member access only

Obtain legal advice before signing an insurance contract.
New York
Fiduciary Duty

Fiduciary Duty and Legal Liability Member access only

Breach of fiduciary duty is difficult to prove in court.
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

YMCA Ordered to Pay "Future Mental Anguish Damages" Member access only

Organization held liable for negligent selection for a worker's molestation of a camper.
North Carolina
Employment Practices

The Ministerial Exception and Racial Discrimination Member access only

Civil courts are prevented from applying employment laws to ministers.
Employment Practices

Dismissing a Minister for Wrongdoing Member access only

Take care when terminating staff over moral conduct.
South Carolina
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

Employer Not Liable for Man's Rape of Coworker Member access only

Employers are only liable on the basis of negligent hiring if the worker's act was foreseeable.
Income Taxes - Clergy

Pastor Sentenced to Prison for Tax Fraud Member access only

Learn to properly identify and report taxable income.

Property Tax Exemption Member access only

To be exempt from taxation, property must be regularly used for church purposes.

Will Ministers Be Forced to Perform Same-Sex Marriages? Member access only

The Iowa Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, but does not require ministers to perform ceremonies.
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

Reporting Sexual Misconduct to Future Employers Member access only

Churches are not generally required to warn future employers of an individual's sexual misconduct.
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

Evidence of Subsequent Corrective Action Member access only

Evidence of remedial action taken after an event is generally not admissible in court.
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

Youth Pastor Jailed for Sexual Misconduct Member access only

Acts of sexual misconduct by clergy carry severe consequences.

Q&A: Write-in Candidates? Member access only



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Church Issues: Same-Sex Marriage and Gender Identity

Church Issues: Same-Sex Marriage and Gender Identity Member access only

Richard Hammar reviews public accommodations laws.
Starting a Disaster Response Ministry

Starting a Disaster Response Ministry Member access only

Safely and effectively serve people whose lives have been overturned by a disaster.