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Incorporated Arbitration Clauses

Have an attorney review any arbitration policy to ensure its enforceability.

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Key point 10-16.8. Churches have various defenses available to them if they are sued as a result of a personal injury. One such defense is an arbitration policy. By adopting an arbitration policy, a church can compel members to arbitrate specified disputes with their church rather than pursue their claim in the civil courts.

A New York court refused to enforce an arbitration clause in a church's bylaws to a contract dispute between a church and one of its members who performed repair work. A church's bylaws contained an arbitration clause specifying that "any claim not resolved in accordance with Matthew 18, by or between any member of the church [or] any person having once been a member [of the church] shall be decided by mediation, and if mediation is unsuccessful, by binding arbitration."

A church member sued the church in civil court claiming that it breached a contract for the renovation ...

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  • November 1, 2011

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