Thursday, August 25, 2016

Court Refuses To Dismiss Minister's Suit Saying Ministerial Exception Is Not A Jurisdictional Bar

In McKnight v. Old Ship of Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 2016 Conn. Super. LEXIS 2065 (CT Super., July 28, 2016), a Connecticut appellate court held that it is bound by language in a footnote of the U.S. Supreme Court's Hosanna-Tabor decision that "the [ministerial] exception operates as an affirmative defense to an otherwise cognizable claim, not a jurisdictional bar."  The Connecticut court thus refused to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction a suit by a minister for lost wages and benefits against the church that previously employed him.