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What is the legal definition of "confidential communications" in reference to information received by Clergy?

Auburn, ME |

The Maine statute regarding who is a mandated reported states, " A clergy member acquiring the information as a result of clerical professional work except for information received during confidential communications;" Title 22 Sec.4011-A 1.A (27) Does this mean that ANY communication is considered confidential?

Attorney Answers 1


  1. As a general rule, only "confidential" communications are protected until and unless waived, so that if others are around at the time the communications are made there may have been no reasonable expectation of confidentiality. Similarly, if not made in the course of a professional consultation, such as discussing the weather with the pastor at the church barbecue, it is unlikely to be a protected communication. If you are genuinely concerned that you have suffered some damage as a result of a breach of this duty, you should promptly consult an experienced attorney convenient to yourself.
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    Disclaimer: California attorney Robert Miller has practiced for over 45 years and restricts his practice to real estate and probate matters in the Central District of Los Angeles. Any opinion expressed is for general informational purposes only, no attorney-client relationship is intended or created by this answer, and no action or inaction should be contemplated without first employing and consulting with a competent attorney convenient to the questioner.