Jump directly to the content

Pastor, Church & Law

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

Defenses to Liability

Volume 1 . Chapter 4 . § 4-11.2
Key point 4-11.02. Clergy who are sued for sexual misconduct may be able to assert one or more defenses.

1. Consent

The courts have reached different conclusions regarding the legal effect of a person's "consent" to a sexual relationship with a minister. Some courts have concluded that sexual relations between two consenting adults cannot be the basis for liability. Other courts have reached the opposite conclusion, usually on the ground that the pastor's unique authority and status precludes voluntary consent.

Some state laws that impose criminal liability on clergy who engage in sexual contact with counselees specify that consent is not a defense to liability.194

Several courts have referred to section 892A of the Restatement of Torts (a respected ...

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

ChurchSalary

Experience a whole new way to set compensation. Eliminate the guesswork – get access to detailed compensation reports in just minutes.

Dealing with Dangerous People

Dealing with Dangerous People Subscriber access only

This resource goes through safety measures to ward off dangerous individuals from entering your church.
Confronting Gun Violence at Church

Confronting Gun Violence at Church  Subscriber access only

Help your congregation feel secure in your house of worship.