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THE NATION | IN BRIEF / NEW YORK

Gabby Clergy Free of Liability, Court Rules

November 28, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

Clergy members who disclose confidential information about parishioners can't face financial liability for their actions, New York State's top court ruled in Albany.

The Court of Appeals agreed, 7 to 0, that while state law recognizes a right of confidentiality for statements made to clergy by penitents, it does not allow for lawsuits if confidentiality is breached.

The determination means Chani Lightman of New York City cannot sue two Orthodox rabbis, Tzvi Flaum and David Weinberger, who she contends repeated statements she made in confidence to them about her marital difficulties.

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