Catholic diocese not entitled to dismissal based on "ministerial exception" in wrongful termination case, District of Nevada rules

by admin | April 16th, 2011

On April 14, in Nicosia v. Diocese of Reno, District Judge Howard D. McKibben of the District of Nevada denied a motion to dismiss a wrongful termination claim under the False Claims Act, brought by the defendant, the Diocese of Reno, on the grounds of the “ministerial exception,” which the court wrote “prevents courts from adjudicating employment disputes between religious organizations and individuals who fulfilled ministerial roles.”

The plaintiff, a former parish administrator, alleged that he was terminated for complaining about allegedly fraudulent violations of a National Park Service grant. Prior to discovery, the court reasoned, because the plaintiff was a lay employee and not an ordained minister, it could not determine that the exception applied.

Leave a Reply

Recent Posts

Recent Comments