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Church Law & Tax Report

May/June 2012
Articles with a Member Access Only are available only to members.

Feature Article

12 Lessons from Penn State's Abuse Scandal Member access only

Church leaders must set and follow policies—and keep watch.

Court: No Housing Allowances for Second Homes Member access only

Ruling reverses controversial 'Driscoll' decision.


Recent Developments

Issues that affect ministers and churches, with Richard R. Hammar
Clergy Malpractice; Personal Injuries on Church Property or During Church Activities

Clergy Malpractice Claims Member access only

Courts generally refuse to recognize these claims.
Charters, Constitutions, and Bylaws; Church Members

Court Intervention in Church Legal Disputes Member access only

Courts will not resolve disputes that involve church doctrine.
Clergy - Removal; Employment Practices

Who Is Considered a Minister? Member access only

Courts may use various tests to determine whether the ministerial exception applies to an individual.
Breach of Contract

Religious Discrimination Member access only

Federal law does not prohibit religious discrimination in private contracts.
Denominations - Legal Liability; Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

Can a Denomination Be Held Responsible for a Pastor's Sexual Misconduct? Member access only

The answer hinges on whether the pastor is considered an employee of the denomination.


Q&A: Must Both Parents Consent to a Dedication? Member access only

A 2003 ruling offers some general insights but does not address situations involving young children and infants.