Puri v. Khalsa

Lawsuit over whether plaintiffs were wrongly excluded from board member positions in nonprofit religious corporations that controlled a religious organization, was not barred under the ministerial exception since plaintiffs’ claims would not interfere with a religion’s freedom to choose its own ministers.  The ministerial exception, which the 9th Circuit has held applies to any claim that would interfere with a religion’s freedom to choose its ministers, did not bar this suit over whether plaintiffs were wrongly excluded from board member positions in various nonprofit religious corporations that controlled a religious organization.  The board positions were not themselves ministerial in nature.  The corporations themselves were not religious organizations though affiliated with other organizations that were religious in character.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Fisher, J.); January 6, 2017; 2017 WL 65393

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