Religious Land Use and Zoning Leaders

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Religious Land Use and Zoning Blogs

Churches and other religious institutions are protected from discrimination by municipalities and other local government bodies by the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, better known as RLUIPA. This blog by the national leaders in religious land use and zoning law highlights RLUIPA case studies and includes commentary on related news for church leaders and others throughout the country, as well as explanations of components of the RLUIPA law.

Homeless Shelters Facing Shutdowns May Have Rights Under Federal Religious Land Use Law

  • November 18, 2019
  • by Noel Sterett
  • Category: RLUIPA

Winter is here and with it another round of headlines which read “City Shuts Down Homeless Shelter.” Every year, these stories pop up all across the country. Their facts are often the same. But the ending to many of these stories can change if more […]

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Building Faith: Protecting Religious Freedom Through Land Use Laws

Last night I was honored to speak on a panel hosted by the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice at Marquette Law School in Milwaukee, WI. The panel discussion was part of the United States Attorney General’s Place to Worship Initiative and was […]

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Reflections on the Pastors’ Forum and 2019 Christian Legal Society National Conference

Last weekend, I had the privilege of speaking at the Pastors’ Forum as part of the 2019 Christian Legal Society Conference in Chicago, IL. Dozens of pastors from around the Chicago area came to hear about how they can better prepare their congregations to address […]

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Using RLUIPA when appearing before local planning and zoning boards

In the past several months, we have found that the strategic use of the Religious Land Use and institutionalized Persons Act (also known as RLUIPA) can be used to successfully persuade members of a Planning Commission or Zoning Board of Adjustment / Appeals to approve […]

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Speaking to Alliance Defending Freedom Ambassadors About Our Fight For Religious Freedom

On October 26, 2019, I was honored to speak about my work and the fight for religious liberty in America at an Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) event in Chicago. The event, which was part of ADF’s Ambassador program, drew a large room full of concerned […]

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HOPE LUTHERAN SECURES COURT ORDER AND OVER $60,000 IN SETTLEMENT WITH ST. IGNACE, MI

  • September 30, 2019
  • by Noel Sterett
  • Category: RLUIPA

On Friday, September 27, the United States District Court of the Western District of Michigan entered a Consent Decree securing Hope Lutheran Church’s right to continue meeting at 132 S. State St. in St. Ignace, Michigan. In addition to the consent decree, the City agreed […]

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Defining “religious exercise” under RLUIPA in the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals

  Today we had the opportunity to argue the parameters of RLUIPA before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, Missouri in the case of St. John Vianney High School v. City of Kirkwood, Missouri.  In this case, the City of Kirkwood approved the renovation […]

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Happy RLUIPA Day!

On this day 19 years ago, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, also known as RLUIPA. The law was passed by a unanimous Congress to enforce, by statutory right, four different constitutional prohibitions related to the development […]

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Who Decides What Activities Are Religious or Central to a Religious Institution’s Mission?

When a government regulation restricts an institution’s religious exercise, the government will often argue that the restricted activity is either not religious or not central to the institution’s religious mission. This issue surfaces in a variety of different cases. It often comes up in Title […]

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Appeals court orders Litchfield borough to pay Chabad Lubavitch’s legal fees

As reported in the Torrington Register Citizen on August 19, 2019, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the fee award for Dalton & Tomich PLC and the other attorneys who represented the Chabad in Litchfield, Connecticut in the decade long litigation over approving the […]

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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 experience serving both as general counsel and special litigation counsel.