Jump directly to the content

Church Protected by “Qualified Privilege” from Defamation Claims by Minister

Illinois
State:
Categories:

Key point 4-02.03. A number of defenses are available to one accused of defamation. These include truth, statements made in the course of judicial proceedings, consent, and self-defense. In addition, statements made to church members about a matter of common interest to members are protected by a “qualified privilege,” meaning that they cannot be defamatory unless they are made with malice. In this context, malice means that the person making the statements knew that they were false or made them with a reckless disregard as to their truth or falsity. This privilege will not apply if the statements are made to nonmembers.

An Illinois court ruled that statements made in a church disciplinary process involving accusations of sexual misconduct by a minister were protected against claims of defamation by a qualified privilege. A minister (the “plaintiff”) served as a church’s ...

Log In For Full Access

Interested in becoming a member? Learn more.

Related Topics:
Posted:
  • April 30, 2019

Related ResourcesVisit Store

Church Governance
Church Governance
What leaders must know to conduct legally sound church business.
Essential Guide to Liabilities and Duties for Church Boards
Essential Guide to Liabilities and Duties for Church Boards
Be aware of ways you can expose yourself to personal legal liability.
The 4 Hour Legal Training Program for Church Boards
The 4 Hour Legal Training Program for Church Boards
Understand key legal concepts necessary to protect the board and the church.