Key point 3-07.03. In order for the clergy-penitent privilege to apply there must be a communication that is made to a minister.
Clergy-penitent privilege laws generally limit the privilege to confidential communications made to clergymen, priests, or ministers of the gospel. Communications made to nuns, In re Murtha, 279 A.2d 889 (N.J. 1971); Masquat v. Maguire, 638 P.2d 1105 (Okla. 1981) (privilege did not apply since nun was consulted in her capacity as a hospital administrator and "not in her capacity as a `clergyman'"). Contra Eckmann v. Board of Education, 106 F.R.D. 70 (E.D. Mo. 1985). an elder and deacon in the Christian Church, Knight v. Lee, 80 Ind. 201 (1881). lay religious counselors, State v. Buss, 887 P.2d 920 (Wash. App. 1995) ("nonordained church counselors"); People v. Diercks, 411 N.E.2d 97 (Ill. 1980). "lay ministers," Farner ...
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