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Adding Defendants to a Lawsuit

Be sure to name all potential defendants in the lawsuit; you may not be able to amend it.

Louisiana
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A Louisiana court ruled that a church could not sue its bank for negligence in allowing an employee to make unauthorized charges to the church's credit card since it failed to name the bank as a defendant in its original lawsuit. A church filed a civil lawsuit against its former financial secretary, alleging that during the course of her three-year employment she used church funds for her personal use, mostly through the unauthorized use of church checks and credit cards. The church's lawsuit alleged that the financial secretary:

  • Signed other persons' names to church checks without authorization.
  • Reported to the church that checks were written to one person or company when in reality checks were written to unauthorized persons or companies.
  • Reported to the church that checks so written were in one amount and in fact were written in other amounts not shown.
  • Opened credit accounts and credit cards in the church's name unknown to the church. These were used for unauthorized expenses that were not for the use and benefit of the church, but for the financial secretary's personal use.

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Richard R. Hammar is an attorney, CPA and author specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy.

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Posted:
  • March 1, 2011

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