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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

Fraud

Priest Sentenced to Nearly Eight Years for Embezzlement Member access only

The federal court also ordered nearly $260,000 in restitution payments and $46,000 in back taxes.
November 2021
Clergy - Removal; Officers, Directors, and Trustees

Board Possessed Legal Authority to Fire Its Pastor Member access only

State nonprofit corporation law factored heavily in the court's ruling.
October 2021
Employment Practices

Employee in Same-Sex Civil Union Sues Religious School Member access only

The “church autonomy doctrine” did not bar the plaintiff’s claims of discrimination, says court.
October 2021
Tax Exemption

Court Rejects Ministry’s Claim That It Is Exempt from All Taxes and Regulation Member access only

Attempts to become a “508(c)(1)(A)” church to avoid taxation and IRS scrutiny could have serious consequences.
October 2021
Ministerial Exception

A Teacher Was Not Barred from Suing a Christian College for Discrimination Member access only

The school could not use the “ministerial exception” as a defense against the suit, says Massachusetts court.
August 2021