Jump directly to the content

Defamation Claim Against Church

Courts may resolve church disputes if they can do so without inquiring into church doctrine.

Key point 6-06.4. Church officers and directors can be removed from office in the manner authorized by the church's governing documents. It is common for church bylaws to give the membership the authority to remove officers and directors who engage in specified misconduct or change their doctrinal position.

A South Carolina court ruled that it could resolve a defamation claim brought by dismissed church board members against their church since it could do so solely on the basis of neutral principles of law without any inquiry into church doctrine. A church relocated to a new facility. The congregation thereafter approved the church board's request to borrow funds to purchase and improve a nearby apartment building. After the purchase, the apartment building caught fire and the church learned it did not have insurance on the building. The church also learned that church property was serving ...

Log In For Full Access

Interested in becoming a member? Learn more.

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

Related Topics:
Posted:
  • March 1, 2012

Related ResourcesVisit Store

50-State Religious Freedom Laws Report
50-State Religious Freedom Laws Report
A review of state laws and court decisions affecting church leaders
Your Complete Guide to Virtual Church Meetings
Your Complete Guide to Virtual Church Meetings
A toolkit for legal and compliant business meetings
Church Governance
Church Governance
What leaders must know to conduct legally sound church business.
Pastor, Church & Law, Fifth Edition
Pastor, Church & Law, Fifth Edition
Learn which local, state, and federal laws apply to religious organizations.