Church Law & Tax Report
Articles with a are available only to members.
Integrating Tax Reform for 2018—and Beyond
Ten notable changes, and what they mean, for churches and their employees.
Why Hiring Ex-Offenders Should Be a Priority for Churches
How churches can prioritize support and employment for those leaving prison—while still considering the risks.
Issues that affect ministers and churches, with Richard R. Hammar
Personal Injuries on Church Property or During Church Activities; Workers Compensation
Court Rules Workers’ Compensation Insurance Is Exclusive Benefit for Job-Related Injuries
Employees are precluded from electing to sue their employing church in a civil lawsuit in an attempt to obtain greater damages.
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers
Statute of Limitations Bars Sexual Abuse Lawsuit
Woman's lawsuit seeking monetary damages for the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of a youth ministry volunteer over several years was barred by the state statute of limitations
Personal Injuries on Church Property or During Church Activities; Schools
School Not Responsible for Student’s Suicide
Court ruled that a parochial school was not responsible for the suicide of a freshman student who was a victim of relentless bullying.
Clergy - Selection; Nonprofit Corporation Law; Officers, Directors, and Trustees
Church’s Failure to Follow Bylaws Nullifies Actions
Court deems selection of a pastor, board member resignations, and special meeting null and void.
Breach of Contract; Defamation; Judicial Resolution of Church Disputes
Pastor's Age Discrimination Claim Against a Denominational Agency Was Barred by the "Ministerial Exception."
The "ecclesiastical abstention doctrine" does not necessarily preclude resolution of pastor's claims of breach of contract, wrongful eviction, and defamation, so long as doing so would not implicate religious doctrine.
Confidential and Privileged Communications
First Amendment Religion Clauses Prohibit Court from Resolving Confidential Communications Claim
First Amendment religion clauses prevented the civil courts from resolving a parishioner's claim that a priest improperly disclosed his confidential communications without permission.
Breach of Contract; Charitable Contributions
Court Not Barred by First Amendment’s Religion Clauses in Donor’s Designated Contribution Claim
The court concluded that each of the plaintiff's claims could be resolved without recourse to "questions of religious doctrine or ecclesiastical polity,"
Q&A: Did Tax Reform Affect Reimbursements of Entertainment Expenses?
An accountable reimbursement plan enables pastors and staff members to receive reimbursements without facing tax consequences.