Jump directly to the Content

When Can Members Inspect Church Records?

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

New York
State:
Categories:

Key point 6-03.1. Church members generally have no right to inspect church records unless such a right is conferred by state nonprofit corporation law, a church's charter or bylaws, state securities law (if the church has issued securities), or a subpoena. Church records enjoy no privilege against disclosure, with the exception of documents that are protected by the clergy-penitent privilege under state law.

A New York court ruled that a church member had the legal authority to inspect church records despite the pastor's refusal to allow him to do so.

Most church leaders are not sure how to respond when a member asks to inspect church records. Do members have a legal right to have access to church records? If so, under what conditions? Are there exceptions? These are very relevant and important questions for which church leaders should have answers. A recent New York case addresses ...

Join now to access this member-only content

Become a Member

Already a member? for full access.

Related Topics:
Posted:
  • July 1, 2009

Related ResourcesVisit Store

Using Social Media Safely
Using Social Media Safely
Policies to keep your church staff and members safe when using social media.
Record Keeping
Record Keeping
Learn best practices for protecting confidential documents.
2021 Church & Clergy Tax Guide (Book)
2021 Church & Clergy Tax Guide (Book)
The most comprehensive and authoritative tax guide available.