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Pastor’s Breach of Contract Lawsuit Against Board Members Dismissed by Court

The court concluded that church board members are not personally liable for breach of contract, since "whenever a corporation makes a contract, it is the contract of the legal entity … and not the contract of the individual members."

Last Reviewed: March 9, 2021
Key point 4-06. Clergy who sign legal documents in their own name with no indication that they are signing in a representative capacity on behalf of their church may be personally liable on the document.
Key point 6-07.02. Church board members may be personally liable for contracts they sign if they do so without authorization, or if they fail to indicate that they are signing as a representative of the church.
Key point 6-08. State and federal laws provide limited immunity to uncompensated officers and directors of churches and other charities. This means that they cannot be personally liable for their ordinary negligence. However, such laws contain some exceptions. For example, officers and directors may be personally liable for their gross negligence or their willful or wanton misconduct.

A federal district court in Pennsylvania dismissed a lawsuit by a pastor against individual members ...

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Posted:
  • June 19, 2017
  • Last Reviewed: March 9, 2021

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