Wednesday, August 21, 2013

No 1st Amendment Bar To Suit Against Diocese Over Priest Sex Abuse

In Givens v. St. Adalbert Church, 2013 Conn. Super. LEXIS 1704 (CT Super. Ct., July 25, 2013), a Connecticut trial court rejected the contention of a Catholic diocese that the 1st Amendment and the ministerial exception doctrine preclude civil courts from deciding claims against religious institutions growing out of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy. The court, however, did dismiss two paragraphs of the complaint which would have required it to decide disputed issues of religious doctrine and practice.