Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Judge Kiser finds subject-matter jurisdiction for pastor's employment dispute

In the state and federal courts, there is an exception to subject-matter jurisdiction for intra-church disputes, the cases noting that for the courts to take sides in a matter of religious dispute would violate the First Amendment.

In Vann v. Guildfield Missionary Baptist Church, however, Judge Kiser denied the defendant's motion to dismiss, concluding that he had at least jurisdiction to decide whether the church had acted to dismiss the plaintiff, where the by-laws required some kind of majority vote and the plaintiff claimed there was no vote at all.

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