Jump directly to the content

Pastor, Church & Law

written by Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA

Civil Court Review of Termination Disputes—Limited Exceptions to the General Rule

Volume 1 . Chapter 2 . § 2-04.2
Key point 2-04.2. Some courts are willing to resolve disputes over the termination of clergy if they can do so without any inquiry into religious doctrine.

Some courts have suggested that they have authority to review clergy terminations under one or more of the following circumstances:

(1) Fraud or collusion

As noted in the previous subsection, the United States Supreme Court has suggested that the civil courts can review clergy terminations if "fraud or collusion" are alleged.171 However, the mere assertion that a dismissal was based on fraud or collusion will not suffice, since the Supreme Court has required that the alleged fraud or collusion be motivated "by bad faith for secular purposes."172

It would be extraordinary indeed for a religious organization ...

Article Preview

This article is currently available to ChurchLawAndTax.com subscribers only. To continue reading:

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations."

Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.


ChurchSalary

Receive a customized salary report for up to 18 different ministry positions. Learn how your church should compensate based on size, budget, location, and employee work experience.

Safe Hiring Practices for Ministries

Safe Hiring Practices for Ministries  Subscriber access only

Essential items to consider before you bring new clergy or staff on board.
Managing the Legal Risks of Lay Counseling

Managing the Legal Risks of Lay Counseling Subscriber access only

Develop specific policies and procedures that protect your church, lay caregivers, and those who receive care.