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Legal Developments

Richard Hammar’s Review of Cases Affecting Ministers and Churches
Find summaries of key state and federal court decisions, administrative rulings, and legislative developments. While each development is important, some are vital. Look for Key Point as an indicator.
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Newest DevelopmentsView All

Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

Youth Pastor Sentenced to Up to 12 Years for Secretly Video Recording Four Girls Member access only

Appeals court: consecutive sentencing was reasonable and didn’t “improperly rely on religious grounds.”
May 2021
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

Former Youth Leader Convicted for Attempting to Engage Minors in Sexting Member access only

Churches should be alert to the grooming behaviors that can lead to sexual abuse.
May 2021
Fraud

Pastor Guilty of Securities Fraud Member access only

Court sentenced pastor to nearly 25 years in prison for swindling his congregation, and others.
March 2021
Personal Injuries on Church Property or During Church Activities

Church Was Not Legally Responsible for a Man Injured on Its Property Member access only

The plaintiff “did not take reasonable care” when ascending an irregular stairway.
March 2021
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

Sexting Contributed to Court’s Sentencing a Man to a 52-Year Prison Term Member access only

Decision carries implications for how youth leaders communicate with teens.
March 2021