Thursday, March 26, 2009

NY Court Says Contract To Sell Church Land Was Valid Without Court Approval

In Hermandad Y Asociados, Inc. v Movimiento Misionero Mundial, Inc., (NY Sup. Ct., March 6, 2009), a New York state trial court interpreted Sec. 12 of the New York Religious Corporations Law. The section requires court approval for the sale, mortgage or long-term lease of church property. The court concluded, however, that the section does not prohibit a church from contracting to sell its property, so long as judicial approval is obtained before the property is actually conveyed. Ultimately, however, the church was excused from performance under the contract because the other party to it, a developer, had committed material breaches.