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Jurisdiction Over Hiring Claims Different vs. Supervision Claims

First Amendment prevents court from resolving negligent hiring claim but not negligent supervision claim.

Key point 10-10.2. Many courts have ruled that the First Amendment prevents churches from being legally responsible on the basis of negligent supervision for the sexual misconduct of ministers.
Key point 10-09.1. Some courts have found churches liable on the basis of negligent supervision for a worker's acts of child molestation on the ground that the church failed to exercise reasonable care in the supervision of the victim or of its own programs and activities.

* A Tennessee court ruled that the First Amendment guaranty of religious freedom prevented it from resolving a negligent hiring claim brought by a victim of childhood sexual abuse against the offending priest and his diocese, but did not prevent it from resolving a negligent supervision claim. In rejecting the victim's negligent hiring claim against the diocese, the court observed: "The exercise of jurisdiction over matters pertaining ...

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Posted:
  • September 1, 2011

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