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Constitutional – First Amendment – Religious Freedom – Neutral Principles of Law — Tort/Negligence – Defamation — Congregational Meeting – Church Trustees
Banks v. St. Matthew Baptist Church The defendant-pastor’s allegedly defamatory remarks were made in the context of a congregational meeting, at which the issue of whether plaintiffs would continue as the church’s trustees was discussed; nevertheless, our courts can decide whether the remarks were defamatory pursuant to neutral principles of law without delving into church doctrine or governance.