Daniel P. Dalton of Dalton & Tomich, PLC is the author of the nation’s first definitive guide to the litigation of cases under RLUIPA, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (42 U.S.C. 2000cc). Published by the State and Local Government Law Section of the American Bar Association, Litigating Religious Land Use Cases has received praise from attorneys and religious leaders alike.
With a second edition published in October 2016, this book is an invaluable resource for religious entities and practitioners. It provides practical advice intended to afford sound instruction for religious entities and lawyers representing them to navigate the challenges and uncertainties surrounding a religious land use claim.
With over a decade of experience litigating religious land use cases, Dan provides a critical review of:
From the history to the filing to settling, Dan covers the essentials on how religious entities should navigate the path of approval of a religious use claim, or in the event the use is denied and the community violates the law, litigate land use claims on behalf of religious entities throughout the United States – primarily through RLUIPA, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. It is shown that RLUIPA is a valuable legislative tool that not only levels the playing field, but also promotes the viability of social growth in the community.
What do other religious leaders and attorneys have to say about the book?
A must-have for any land use lawyer (even if you don’t focus on religious land use cases, or don’t represent religious organizations in such cases), Dan’s book is a great overview of the applicable law, and a primer on the various causes-of-action that can pop up in these types of controversies.
Litigating Religious Land Use Cases is an essential guide for the advocate who is representing a church, synagogue, mosque or temple that has tried to work within the local zoning guidelines of the local municipality in order to carry out its mission in the community only to run into a brick wall. Mr. Dalton presents clear analysis of the current law and practical, step-by-step instruction on the process required by these disputes as they wind their way through municipal review and litigation in state or federal court. Mr. Dalton is an experienced and successful practitioner in these cases and a thought leader in this area of the law. I commend this book to the practicing bar and to religious communities to gain valuable knowledge about their rights under this important federal statute.
Since first taking up the cause of a small church fighting for its very existence against the whims of public officials in Detroit nearly ten years ago, Dan Dalton has transformed into one of the nation’s leading experts in the protection of religious liberty. Dalton is nationally recognized as an expert on the application of federal protections against discriminatory zoning and land use regulations. Now he shares is insights and expertise in a practical “how to,” and all readers will benefit.
In my role as Administrative Bishop for the Church of God, quite often we are faced with issues that involve local governments and municipalities. Many of these issues that arise in dealing with entities are land use related. I have found Dan Dalton’s experience and expertise in this area to be a valuable resource and asset in every situation. This book will assist and give insight in dealing with an ever growing challenge, the protection of rights of religious institutions.
I met Dan Dalton during a dark time for our church. He was recommended as the leading RLUIPA attorney in the nation. He demonstrated wisdom, expertise, a gentle nature, a calming inter-relational skill, genuineness, and a humble demeanor, while at the same time, being sharp, forth-right, strong, assertive, and fully respected by the other side’s attorneys & Judge throughout the case. Dan successfully guided us through a minefield that had been unevenly stacked against us. Dan managed the legal details, while we continued to do church. He even attended church social events to answer questions and mingle with our church family. He was loved and appreciated by our church leaders, and our congregation. Never one time during a year-long litigation process did Dan demonstrate anything other than Christ-like professionalism. Today, our church continues to grow, we are nearing the completion of our 60,000 square building, I have become the President of the Chamber of Commerce, and I am gladly welcomed in our City Hall. I have become an influencer within our community and our county. How Dan managed himself, managed our case, and represented our church set the table for me and our church to be where we are today.
Mr. Dalton’s expertise and experience helped us through a very difficult legal journey, ultimately achieving a favorable outcome. His personal interest in helping our church went “above and beyond” just the call of duty. His understanding of both legal and spiritual matters seems to uniquely qualify him to do what he is doing in this very important field of litigation!
“Time & Money” … represents the Jericho Wall of church leaders today desiring to expand their ministries in an ever increasing, unsympathetic government environment. In resolving the barriers that allows the church and state to reach agreement, Attorney Dan Dalton has provided a meaningful tool for both attorney and church leader that not only educates them regarding RLUIPA laws, but also, minimize their learning curve thus reducing stress, lost time and financial resources.
RLUIPA has become a passion for Dan Dalton. Dan is the authority on “Land Use” issues. His book is filled with solid content and practical case studies. The distilled nuggets are pure gold! This needs to be read by anyone thinking about litigating Land Use cases.
Thoughtful. Creative. Insightful. Informative. Well researched. This book embodies all the attributes of Dan Dalton the author, and Dan Dalton the lawyer. It brings to light the history of zoning as applied to religious land use and the current state of the law as applied to all religious uses today throughout the United States. A must read for anyone dealing with religious land use issues or practicing in this area of the law.
RLUIPA is the great equalizer when religious expression is corralled by local land use laws, particularly where a religious congregation’s space needs are suppressed, or worse, completely banned by artfully interpreted zoning laws. RLUIPA holds local vested land interests and their elected representatives accountable to one of the founding ideals of our great country, religious tolerance and inclusion. We owe Mr. Dalton our deepest gratitude, for he championed our Catholic High School’s cause, and saw us through by contesting and prevailing against the will of our former interim mayor.
Essential to living with integrity in the realm of a pastor is to practice what we preach. You have in your hands the fruits of one who decided to “preach” what he practices – and he practices well. With growing recognition around the country as one who knows what he’s talking about, Dan Dalton has been gracious to share these fruits of his labor, and we are the beneficiaries. I assure you that the confidence he instills within those he represents in the courtroom is rooted in legal substance and savvy, the very things you will find herein.
Daniel Dalton’s guide to litigating religious land use cases is a long overdue resource for attorneys who represent religious organizations. For the first time attorneys who may never have litigated a religious land use case before will have a soup-to-nuts primer on how to bring their case, what claims to raise, and how to think about settlement. The book is a unique and welcome contribution.
Dalton & Tomich, PLC is the national leader in successfully helping churches, other religious institutions and their insurers defend their rights in land use and zoning matters under RLUIPA, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. We have helped clients win cases against municipalities and other local government bodies from coast to coast, with expertise serving both as general counsel and special litigation counsel.
In 2015, Hope Rising Community Church experienced extreme opposition, the kind that would force it to close its doors and leave behind the families and youth it was so passionate about reaching. As the lead pastor I felt helpless, inferior and as if I had no […]Read More
Dalton & Tomich’s assistance in our RLUIPA matter has paved the way for our church to continue serving the community and for new churches in the area to thrive in the future. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your stand for religious […]Read More
The Urban Church will be forever grateful to Dalton & Tomich plc for navigating it through a difficult land use issue. Let them give you honest and caring advice because that’s exactly what they’ll do.Read More
Dalton & Tomich, PLC defended a complicated case at a church we insure. Not only is the firm professional, they understand how church business runs and work well within church leadership.Read More
Dalton & Tomich, PLC helped us immensely in the areas of litigation and negotiation! Their professionalism and understanding of church policy helped our church be victorious in a modern day religious land use battle. RLUIPA Religious Land Use Case: Lighthouse Community Church of GodRead More
Dalton & Tomich, PLC serves as General Counsel for the 144 churches within the Church of God in Michigan. The firm provides the legal expertise we need in dealing with the issues that arise during the course of fulfilling our ministry.Read More
I met Dan Dalton during a dark time for our church. He was recommended as the leading RLUIPA attorney in the nation. He demonstrated wisdom, expertise, a gentle nature, a calming inter-relational skill, genuineness, and a humble demeanor, while at the same time, being sharp, […]Read More
Mr. Dalton’s expertise and experience helped us through a very difficult legal journey, ultimately achieving a favorable outcome. His personal interest in helping our church went “above and beyond” just the call of duty. His understanding of both legal and spiritual matters seems to uniquely […]Read More