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Church Law & Tax Report

March/April 2010
Articles with a Member Access Only are available only to members.

Feature Article

Call to Order

Call to Order Member access only

Churches can and should select a specific body of parliamentary procedure by an appropriate clause in the church's governing document.


Is Preaching About Homosexuality a Hate Crime? Member access only

Limitations of the new Hate Crimes Act.

Thinking of Buying a House? Member access only

Modified homebuyer credit may make now the best time for pastors to make a move.

Will Ministers Lose Tax-Exempt Housing Benefits? Member access only

Longstanding law challenged in federal court case.

Common Sources of Parliamentary Procedure Member access only

Other options to consider besides Robert's Rules of Order.

Recent Developments

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

Defamation Via Email Member access only

Think before you "send."

False Accusations Member access only

Court rules that a priest cannot sue men who accused him of sexually molesting them.

Malicious Statements Member access only

Court rules that committee's statements are protected by "qualified privilege."
Confidential and Privileged Communications

Expectation of Secrecy Member access only

Court rules that murderer waived his right to the privilege.

Legal Marriage Requirements Member access only

Couples united in "religious ceremonies" are not lawfully married.
New Jersey
Copyright; Invasion of Privacy; Schools

Invasion of Privacy Member access only

Court rules that school's sale of a recorded school play does not invade students' privacy.
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

Probation Conditions for Sex Offenders at Church Member access only

Check the probation arrangements of offenders who attend your church.
Confidential and Privileged Communications

Confidentiality During Spiritual Counsel Member access only

Only statements made in the course of seeking spiritual counsel are protected by the privilege.
New York
Personal Injuries on Church Property or During Church Activities

Liability for Playground Injuries Member access only

What churches can learn from ruling involving a school.
Personal Injuries on Church Property or During Church Activities

Responding to a Disruption During a Service Member access only

Court says church isn't liable for restraining woman.
Church Members; Defamation; First Amendment

Church Finance Disputes Member access only

Court rules that it cannot resolve a claim relating to a church's financial expenditures.


Q&A: Paying Honoraria to Board Members

Q&A: Paying Honoraria to Board Members Member access only

Are there any legal or tax implications to this "expression of appreciation"?