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Church Law & Tax Report

September/October 2018
Articles with a Member Access Only are available only to members.

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Feature Article

Protecting Your Church from Cyber Threats

Protecting Your Church from Cyber Threats Member access only

Three experts discuss the tactics targeting churches—and why leaders must remain vigilant.

Articles

The Growing Need for Cyberliability Insurance

The Growing Need for Cyberliability Insurance Member access only

How increased online and electronic activity exposes congregations to new risks.
How to Create a Church Culture of Accountability in the #MeToo Era

How to Create a Church Culture of Accountability in the #MeToo Era Member access only

Four strategies for responding to abuse victims and survivors.
Masterpiece Cakeshop Ruling and Religious Freedom

Masterpiece Cakeshop Ruling and Religious Freedom Member access only

This case and two others reflect the complexities of issues related to public accommodation.
Beware of This "Donor" Scam

Beware of This "Donor" Scam Member access only

Why a refund request for a donation should ring alarm bells.
Best Practices for Avoiding Cyberliability Problems

Best Practices for Avoiding Cyberliability Problems Member access only

Steps to take to avoid data breaches and other mishaps.

Recent Developments

Issues that affect ministers and churches, with Richard R. Hammar
Arkansas
Workers Compensation

Workers' Compensation Sole Remedy for Sexually Assaulted Employee Member access only

In many states, workers' compensation is the sole remedy available to an employee in such cases so long as the injury is work related and no exception applies.
Minnesota
Taxation - Church Property

Property Tax Exemption Does Not Apply to Municipal Special Assessment Member access only

Court ruled that the exemption of church property from taxation did not bar cities from requiring churches to share in the costs of public improvements, such as street resurfacing, that directly benefited them
New Jersey
Personal Injuries on Church Property or During Church Activities

Church Member Injured in Tug of War Assumed Risk of "Common" Consequences Member access only

Competent adults who voluntarily expose themselves to a known risk have assumed that risk and cannot seek monetary damages for injuries due to that risk.
California
Personal Injuries on Church Property or During Church Activities

Court Ruled a University Has a Duty to Protect Others from Foreseeable Violence Member access only

Colleges have a duty to act with reasonable care when aware of a foreseeable threat of violence in a curricular setting.
Louisiana
Confidential and Privileged Communications

Murder Suspect's Statements to Church Employee Not Privileged Member access only

Inculpatory statements made by a murder suspect to a church employee were not protected from disclosure by the clergy-penitent privilege because the employee was not a minister and the privilege had been waived.
Michigan
Clergy - Discipline and Removal

Court Barred by the Ecclesiastical Abstention Doctrine from Resolving a Pastor's Employment Dispute Member access only

Court concluded it could not interfere in matters of ecclesiastical polity by determining whether the defendants acted appropriately in handling the plaintiff's employment.