Vacant Churches Free Of Commercial Liability, NJ Court Says

By Jeannie O'Sullivan (May 22, 2018, 3:37 PM EDT) -- The New Jersey Appellate Division on Tuesday ruled in a published decision that owners of vacant churches aren't subject to the sidewalk liability imposed on commercial property owners, as long as no commercial enterprises were conducted on the premises when the house of worship was operational.

There was no evidence in Timothy Ellis' personal injury suit against the Hilton United Methodist Church over his September 2013 sidewalk slip showing that the church's trustees ever used their property for any purpose other than the religious activities of their parish, a three-judge panel ruled. In doing so, the court declined to extend its...

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