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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

Defamation

Pastor Denied Injunction Aimed at Stopping Online Critic Member access only

First Amendment speech protections mean a minister’s only recourse is a defamation lawsuit.
July 2021
Child Abuse Reporting; Personal Injuries on Church Property or During Church Activities

Why Churches Should Report Criminal Activities Member access only

Air Force's liability for church shootings has broader implications—including the reporting of sexual abuse.
July 2021
Church Property

Church Loses Property after Violating Deed Restriction Member access only

Why a New York court said a diocese’s building and land must be returned to the previous owner.
June 2021
Church Property

Churches Sued for Damages to a Neighboring Property Member access only

Landowners may face liability if their actions result in environmental damage to neighboring properties.
June 2021
Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment Claim by a Minister Dismissed for Lack of Proof Member access only

But federal court also says “ministerial exception” was not an available defense to hostile environment allegation.
May 2021