DeBruin v. St. Patrick CongregationAnnotate this Case
Plaintiff filed a complaint against St. Patrick Congregation, alleging that her employment was terminated for an improper reason. The circuit court dismissed Plaintiff's complaint, concluding that because St. Patrick was a religious institution and Plaintiff was a ministerial employee, Plaintiff's complaint failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) a court may not review whether St. Patrick improperly terminated its ministerial employee because St. Patrick's choice of who shall serve as its ministerial employee is a matter of church governance protected from state interference by the First Amendment and by Wis. Const. art. I, 18; and (2) accordingly, Plaintiff's complaint failed to state a claim upon which a court may grant relief.