What Churches Need to Understand about the Legal Limitations of Waivers and Release Forms Introducing Church Issues—an in-depth resource created to help church leaders gain clarity and direction on a specific topic that challenges religious freedoms or exposes a congregation to legal risk. Does your church use waivers and release forms for events and activities, especially ones involving children and youth, thinking it will prevent a lawsuit? Unfortunately, many church leaders get lulled into a false sense of security about these documents which explains why personal injuries remains one of the top reasons churches end up in court each year. It's crucial for church leaders to understand what these documents do—and don't do—based on statutes and court decisions made nationwide. In Church Issues: Waivers and Release Forms and Church Liability attorney Richard Hammar addresses:
- Purposes of waivers and release forms;
- Legal requirements for a valid form;
- Reasons why courts generally disfavor the use of release forms, and
- Special matters a church should address whenever a release form is used in conjunction with children and youth activities.
Included: Valuable 16-point checklist to follow when creating and using waivers and release forms (there are no sample forms included). The step-by-step guidance of this checklist, along with the explanations Hammar provides, offers a tangible framework that leaders can use in tandem with qualified local legal counsel to reduce the legal and risk liabilities that their churches may face.
WHO SHOULD READ THIS?
- Senior and Executive Pastor
- Board members
- Children's and Youth Ministry Leaders
- Missions Board Leaders