Tag Archives: Freedom of Religion

Schools & School Boards – Constitutional – Freedom of Religion – Establishment Clause – Academic Credit – Off-Campus Religious Instruction (access required)

Moss v. Spartanburg County School Dist. Seven A high-school student and her parents lose their First Amendment Establishment Clause challenge to a Spartanburg County public school system’s policy of allowing public school students two academic credits for off-campus religious instruction offered by private instructors; the 4th Circuit upholds the program as comparable to allowing credit from private school instruction.

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Constitutional – Freedom of Religion – Civil Practice – Subject Matter Jurisdiction – Church Membership – Ecclesiastical Matter (access required)

Vuncannon v. North Carolina Institute of Christian Development, Inc. Plaintiffs’ standing to bring this action (relating to the defendant-church’s sale of real property) depends on plaintiffs’ membership in the church. Defendants deny that plaintiffs are members of the church and provided the trial court with a document showing that plaintiffs had terminated their membership prior to the filing of this lawsuit by violating membership requirements established in the church’s bylaws. The trial court correctly held that it lacked jurisdiction to determine whether plaintiffs are members of the church.

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Constitutional – First Amendment – Freedom of Religion – Criminal Practice – Church-Affiliated College – Campus Police — DWI (access required)

State v. Yencer The Campus Police Act’s provision of secular police protection for the benefit of the students, faculty, and staff of Davidson College, as applied to defendant’s conviction for driving while impaired, does not offend the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Defendant has failed to demonstrate that her arrest and conviction for driving while impaired were influenced by any consideration other than secular enforcement of a criminal statute, G.S. § 20-138.1.

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Constitutional – Freedom of Religion – Civil Practice – Subject Matter Jurisdiction — Nonprofit Corporation – Tort/Negligence – Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (access required)

Johnson v. Antioch United Holy Church, Inc. Even though defendants are a church and three of its members, the trial court need not delve into eccliastical law to decide whether defendants’ actions were authorized by the church’s bylaws. We reverse the trial court’s order granting defendants’ motions to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and for Rule 11 sanctions.

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