Howard Friedman, Religion Clause
In Lord-N-Fields Voice of Freedom Bible Church Community Workers Intl., Inc. v Kwan, (Sup. Ct. Suffolk County NY, Aug. 2, 2012), a New York state trial court voided the transfer of a 5.5 acre parcel of land that plaintiff church had made to a private corporation ostensibly to facilitate financing for a senior citizens’ housing project the church wished to construct on the land. The suit alleged that the corporation then transferred the land to its majority stockholder who, along with two associates, proceeded to mortgage the properties and take the proceeds for their own benefit. The court held that because the initial transfer of the property from the church was not approved by the court with the consent of the attorney general as required by NY Religious Corporation Law Sec. 12(1), that transfer was void. So then were subsequent transfers and mortgages stemming from it.