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Q&A: Enforcing Restraining Orders

What is our church's responsibility when presented with a restraining order?

Our church was recently presented with a copy of a restraining order from a member who expects us to enforce it. What are our responsibilities to enforce this restraining order? How far must we go and how do we handle privacy issues when all nursery volunteers have to be informed? We are often told this is confidential.

When a church is presented with a court order by anyone, the church first must review the order to see if it is a party to the lawsuit. If the church is not a party to the lawsuit, it is not legally responsible for enforcing the court order. Churches frequently receive copies of court orders arising out of divorces or other family disputes, but rarely is a church a named party.

In any case, a church is responsible for the safekeeping of children left in the nursery. The church should use a system to identify the individuals authorized to pick up children from nursery. For example, ...

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Posted:
  • May 11, 2010

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